MARCH PHILLIPPS, Charles (1779-1862), of Garendon Park, nr. Loughborough, Leics.

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

Constituency

Dates

1818 - 1820
1831 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 28 May 1779, 1st. s. of Thomas March Phillipps (formerly March) of More Critchell, Dorset and his cos. Susan, da. of Charles Lisle of Moyles Court, Hants. educ. Dorchester; Sherborne until 1791; Eton 1793-6; Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1800. m. 14 Dec. 1807, Harriet, da. of John Gustavus Ducarel of Walford, Som., 2s. 1da. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1817. d. 24 Apr. 1862.

Offices Held

Capt. Leics. yeomanry 1803-7; sheriff, Leics. 1825-6.

Biography

March Phillipps, who had inherited a lucrative Leicestershire estate from his father, had secured the county seat in contentious circumstances in 1818 and, although he never joined Brooks’s Club, had acted with the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry in that Parliament.1 At the dissolution in 1820 he stood down in the face of a Tory backlash and restoration of the coalition which he had broken in 1818, and he declined an invitation to stand for Nottinghamshire.2 He spent some time in Paris and Rome and in the autumn of 1828 went back to Italy, where he stayed until the following year.3 At the 1830 general election he supported the unsuccessful attempt of the reformer Thomas Paget* to overturn the Rutland interest in Leicestershire, and he was toasted at a dinner of independent freeholders in November.4 At the county meeting called to express support for the Grey ministry’s reform scheme, 29 Mar. 1831, he said that

he felt confident that the ... measure ... would ... give great satisfaction, while its rejection would be received with disapprobation from one end of the kingdom to the other. A preceding speaker had an objection to the measure, and so had he; but on the whole he considered it ... well calculated to steer clear of the two extremes of high monarchical principles ... and of republican principles.5

At the general election precipitated by the bill’s defeat he stood for the county with Paget. After their unopposed return, he declared:

I shall not attempt to amuse and at the same time deceive you with a long tissue of sentimental declamation. I cannot promise that any effort of mine can feed the hungry, and also clothe the naked ... but I ... promise ... to assist in removing every burden of taxation that impedes the free action of the springs of national industry, that I will adopt all the means proposed for invigorating the productive energies of the nation, and for unfettering the commercial policy of the government.

He reiterated his support for the reform proposals, with some reservations as to details, but warned his audience not to expect instant ‘miracles’ from it. He declined a subsequent invitation to attend a celebratory dinner.6

March Phillipps, who is not known to have spoken in debate in this period, divided for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July 1831. He gave steady general support to its details, but cast wayward votes for the disfranchisement of Saltash, 26 July, to give Stoke-on-Trent two Members, 4 Aug., against the proposed division of English counties, 11 Aug., to preserve the voting rights of freemen, 30 Aug., and to disfranchise Aldborough, 14 Sept. He voted for the passage of the bill, 21 Sept., was granted three weeks’ leave on account of a family illness, 23 Sept., but was present to divide for Lord Ebrington’s motion of confidence in the government, 10 Oct. He was in the two ministerial majorities on the Dublin election controversy, 23 Aug. He incurred some criticism from the pro-reform press by attending Leicester corporation’s annual feast, 17 Nov. 1831, when he deplored a recent disturbance at Loughborough and