ANTROBUS, Gibbs Crawfurd (1793-1861), of Eaton Hall, nr. Congleton, Cheshire and 11 Grosvenor Square, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 17 June 1793, 2nd s. of John Antrobus (d. 1794) of New Street, Spring Gardens, Mdx. and Anna, da. of Gibbs Crawfurd† of Saint Hill, East Grinstead, Suss. educ. Eton 1805; St. John’s, Camb. 1810; L. Inn 1812. m. (1) 25 June 1827, Jane (d. 24 Nov. 1829), da. of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st bt., of Westerville, Lincs., 1s; (2) 12 Jan. 1832, Charlotte, da. of Sir Edward Crofton, 3rd bt., of Mote, co. Roscommon, 2s. 2da. d. 21 May 1861.
Sec. of legation, Washington 1816-21, Sardinia 1823-4, Sicily 1824-6.
Sheriff, Cheshire 1834-5.
Antrobus came from an old Cheshire family based at Congleton. His father, who was said to have spent a short period of time at the stock exchange, before becoming a partner (with his elder brother Edmund) of the London banker Thomas Coutts in 1784, suffered a riding accident in 1793 and spent the final months of his life in a coma, unaware that his wife had died after giving birth to their second son.1 Antrobus and his elder brother were placed under the guardianship of their uncle Edmund, who was granted administration of their father’s estate, ‘for the use and benefit of the said infants’. Edmund Antrobus, who never married, raised the two brothers, was created a baronet in 1815 with remainder to them, and on his death in February 1826 divided the bulk of his estate, reportedly worth £700,000, between them. Gibbs Crawfurd’s share included Eaton Hall, which he had rebuilt by Lewis Wyatt in the Elizabethan style.2 He had joined the diplomatic service in 1816 and was posted to the United States, where he remained until 1821, receiving an annual salary of £550.3 Prior to the dissolution in 1820 Coutts, the duke of Newcastle’s banker, wrote to his client of his wish that Antrobus should enter Parliament, observing that ‘if your Grace can favour him by your nomination [for Boroughbridge] his uncle ... and myself will consider ourselves very much obliged’.4 In the event, he was brought in for the neighbouring borough of Aldborough, which the duke also controlled, despite the fact that he was still absent in the United States. One of the defeated candidates petitioned against his return on the ground that he lacked the requisite property qualification, but a committee declared him duly elected, 9 May 1821.
Having returned to England, Antrobus’s first recorded vote was with Lord Liverpool’s ministry against abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822; he gave general support to them thereafter. He divided against relieving Catholic peers of their disabilities, 30 Apr. In his only known intervention in debate, on the civil list, 15 May, it was reported that ‘not a word of what he said was audible in the gallery’.5 He voted against inquiry into Irish tithes, 19 June, and consideration of the Calcutta bankers’ petition, 4 July, and for the Canada bill, 18 July 1822. Next day he divided for the aliens bill. He was in the government majorities against parliamentary reform, 20 Feb., and tax reductions, 10, 13, 18 Mar. 1823. He voted against the production of papers concerning the Orange plot to assassinate the lord lieutenant of Ireland, 24 Mar., but divided against ministers for inquiry into the subsequent prosecutions, 22 Apr. He voted against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr. 1823. The previous month he had been appointed secretary of legation at Turin, where he remained until October 1824, when he was transferred to Sicily. He abandoned his diplomatic career in 1826, doubtless because of his inheritance from his uncle. He was present to vote with government on the salary of the president of the board of trade, 10 Apr. 1826. At the general election that summer he came in for Plympton Erle as a paying guest on the Treby interest. He divided against Catholic relief, 6 M