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Born in Exeter, he was the eldest son of Thomas Bridgeman and grandson of Edward Bridgeman. He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a Master of Arts, and then at the University of Oxford, receiving there a Doctor of Divinity. Bridgeman became rector of Wigan in 1615 and also of Bangor in 1621. Two years before, he had been consecrated Bishop of Chester, a post he held until his death in 1652. In 1633 Bridgeman was subject to a royal commission of enquiry led by Thomas Canon following complaints to the privy council that Bridgeman had embezzled fines taken for commuting penances. During his tenure, he initialised suspensions against the puritans Thomas Paget, John Angier and Samuel Eaton.
On 29 April 1606, he married Elizabeth Helyar, daughter of Reverend William Helyar, and had by her five sons. Bridgeman died at Moreton, Shropshire and was buried at Kinnerley. His oldest son Orlando was a judge and baronet and his third son Henry Bridgeman a bishop.
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- "Bridgeman, John (BRGN593J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Collins, Arthur (1812). Sir Egerton Brydges, ed. Collin's Peerage of England. vol. I. London: T. Bensley. pp. 367–369.
- Haydn, Joseph (1851). The Book of Dignities: Containing Rolls of the Official Personages of the British Empire. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longman's. p. 377.
- Papers for Sir Thomas Canon’s enquiry of 1633; Staffordshire Record Office D1287/18/2
- Summers, Montague (2003). Geography of Witchcraft. Kessinger Publishing. p. 350. ISBN 0-7661-4536-0.
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- Debrett, John (1828). Debrett's Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. vol. I (17th ed.). London: G. Woodfall. p. 239.
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