METCALFE, Philip (1733-1818), of Hawstead, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1784 - 1790
1790 - 1796
22 Nov. 1796 - 1802
1802 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 29 Aug. 1733, 2nd s. of Roger Metcalfe, M.D., of London by Jemima, da of Sir Philip Astley, 2nd Bt., of Melton Constable, Norf. unm.

Offices Held


According to Joseph Farington,1writing 6 Feb. 1804, Metcalfe

was apprentice to a person usually called Robin Jones [Robert Jones], of Vigo Lane, a wine and Spanish merchant. Metcalfe went to Malaga. It was the desire of Jones that Metcalfe should marry his daughter but she chose to marry Mr. [James Whorwood] afterwards General Adeane [q.v.] ... Metcalfe afterwards formed a connection and became partner in a distillery at West Ham, which has proved very lucrative to him.

But six years later, 20 June 1810, Farington wrote:2

Lord Lonsdale told me that when Mr. Metcalfe was a young man he was placed in a commercial house; but having paid his addresses to a daughter of the family, he was obliged to quit his situation. He then went abroad to various parts, and returned to England wholly without employment. He accidentally met an old acquaintance who enquired how he was situated, and on being informed that he had everything to seek, made him an offer to take him into a house of distillery which belonged to himself. Metcalfe accepted the offer, and in time became a partner and eventually the head of the house in which he has made a large fortune.

From the London directories it appears that the firm was Bisson and Son, distillers, of West Ham. By 1774 it was known as ‘Bissons Metcalfe, malt distillers, Three Mills, West Ham’, and by 1783 had become ‘Metcalfe and Bowman’, later becoming ‘Philip Metcalfe Co.’

Before the general election of 1784 Metcalfe appears in Robinson’s list of ‘Persons that will pay £2,000 or perhaps £3,000’ for a seat in Parliament.3 He was returne