FELLOWES, Henry Arthur Wallop (1799-1847), of Eggesford, nr. Chudleigh, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Constituency

Dates

1831 - 1834

Family and Education

b. 29 Oct. 1799, 1st. s. of Hon. Newton Fellowes† (d. 1854) of Eggesford and 1st w. Frances, da. of Rev. Castell Sherard of Glatton, Hunts., rect. of Stainby and Gunby, Lincs. and Edmunthorpe, Leics. educ. Eton 1811; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1816, migrated to Trinity Hall 1818. unm. d.v.p. 15 Feb. 1847.

Offices Held

Biography

Fellowes was a nephew of the simple-minded 3rd earl of Portsmouth, who was certified by a commission of lunacy in February 1823. The proceedings, which were widely reported, revealed his obsession with bellringing, his compulsive attendance at funerals and, most notably, the fact that his wife’s lover had shared their marital bed. It appears that this Member may have been the nominal petitioner, though his father, the earl’s brother, was undoubtedly behind the suit.1 As Member for Andover, 1802-20, his father had generally aligned himself with the Whigs, and he was classed as a Liberal when he resumed his parliamentary career in 1832 as Member for North Devon, where his principal residence lay. Until 1835 he remained steward of Andover, where the family had long possessed an interest, but he was so lax in the execution of his corporate duties as to be accused of deserting the borough.2 This did not prevent his son standing at the general election of 1831, after the sitting Members had retired in the face of the corporation’s conversion to parliamentary reform. On the hustings Fellowes claimed that he had always been a ‘strenuous advocate’ of this cause and pledged his ‘firm and unflinching’ support for the Grey ministry’s bill. He was returned unopposed.3

Fellowes evidently missed the early part of the session, perhaps through illness, and is not known to have uttered a word in debate. He did not vote for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, when he was noted as a supporter in a list of absentees in The Times, 8 July, and was also recorded as absent in divisions on the bill’s details, 27, 28 July, 9 Aug. 1831. He eventually registered his presence with a vote against preserving the rights of freemen, 30 Aug. He divided for the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. He voted for the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, gave steady support to its details, and divided for the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He was in the government majority on the navy civil departments bill, 6 Apr., but was absent from the division on the address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry the reform bill unimpaired, 10 May. On 19 May he joined Brooks’s, sponsored by Lord Gosford and ‘Mr. Moreton’. He voted for the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and with ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 20 July 1832.

Fellowes was returned unopposed for Andover at the general election of 1832 and was subsequently described as a ‘moderate reformer and in general a supporter of ministers’.4 He retired at the 1834 dissolution. His existence is not even mentioned in the family history, and he died intestate at Eggesford in February 1847, ‘after a long and lingering illness’.5 His father never troubled to lay claim to his estate, administration of which was eventually granted in August 1854 to Fellowes’s half-brother, Isaac Newton Fellowes, who had succeeded their father as 5th earl of Portsmouth that January.6

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Howard Spencer / Philip Salmon

Notes

  • 1. Genuine Report of Procs. in Portsmouth Case (1823); The Times, 11 Feb.-1 Mar. 1823.