EGERTON, Wilbraham (1781-1856), of Tatton Park, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
b. 1 Sept. 1781, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of William Egerton* by 2nd w. Mary, da. of Richard Wilbraham Bootle† of Rode Hall, Cheshire; half-bro. of William Tatton*. educ. Eton 1796; ?Brasenose, Oxf. 1800. m. 11 Jan. 1806, his cos. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Christopher Sykes†, 2nd Bt., of Sledmere, Yorks., 7s. 3da. suc. fa. in Egerton estates 1806.
Sheriff, Cheshire 1808-9.
Capt. R. Cheshire militia 1803; lt.-col. Macclesfield regt. 1809, lt.-col. commdt. 1812; capt. King’s Cheshire yeomanry 1819, lt.-col. 1831, lt.-col. commdt. 1835.
In 1806 Egerton inherited large Cheshire estates which made him one of the richest commoners in the kingdom. The old Tatton property at Wythenshawe went to his younger brother Thomas William, who resumed the surname of Tatton. He stood for Cheshire, which his father had represented in the 1802 Parliament, at the general election of 1812, was returned unopposed and sat undisturbed for five Parliaments.
Lord Sidmouth, the Home secretary, was informed that Egerton was friendly to ministers,1 who listed him among their supporters after the election. He voted with them on the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815; for continuing the property tax, 18 Mar. (one of the few county Members to do so); against civil list inquiries, 6 and 24 May 1816; on the composition of the finance committee, 7 Feb.; against Admiralty economies, 17 and 25 Feb.; for the renewed suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817, having been appointed to the secret committee on sedition, 5 Feb. 1817; in defence of the Scottish prosecutions, 10 Feb., and the use of spies, 11 Feb. 1818; against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, and for the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June 1819. He spoke in favour of protection for butter producers, 29 Mar. 1816, and paired on the government side for the division on the Irish window tax, 21 Apr. 1818.
Egerton, a steadfast opponent of Catholic relief, was not a totally docile ministerialist. He voted against government on the ducal grants, 28 June and 3 July 1815, 15 Apr. 1818, the leather tax, 9 May, Thompson’s re-election, 12 June 1816, and the salt duties, 25 Apr. 1817 and 29 Apr. 1819. He welcomed the government’s concession of an inquiry into these duties, 10 Mar. 1818, and again called for their reduction, 18 Mar. 1819.
His uncle Edward Bootle Wilbraham* thought he could not be counted on to defend the conduct of the Peterloo magistrates, of whom his brother was one, as he was ‘quite unused to public speaking’; but in the debate on the address, 24 Nov. 1819, Egerton spoke in their defence, to the gratification of his uncle, who thought he did it ‘very well’.2 He died 25 Apr. 1856.