MILLS, Charles (1755-1826), of 8 Manchester Square, Mdx. and Barford, Warws.
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Family and Educationb. 13 July 1755, 2nd s. of Rev. John Mills, rect. of Barford and Oxhill, and Sarah, da. of Rev. William Wheeler, vicar of Leamington Hastings, Warws. educ. Rugby 1763. m. 21 Mar. 1810, his sister-in-law Jane, da. of Hon. Wriothesley Digby of Meriden, Warws., s.p. d. 29 Jan. 1826.
Dir. E.I. Co. 1785-1815, dep. chairman 1801, chairman Sept. 1801-2; dir. London Dock Co. 1803-9; asst. Lead Co. 1805.
Lt.-col. 1 R.E.I. vols. 1796, col. 1803; capt. Marylebone vols. 1803; commr. of lieutenancy, London 1808-d.
Mills, a partner in the family bank of Glyn, Mills and Company of London since 1777 and a former East India Company chairman, was an anti-Catholic Tory in Parliament, where he attended infrequently, and a reformer of convenience in Warwick, which he had represented on the independent interest since 1802.1 His sixth return in 1820 was unopposed despite mounting criticism of his politics, which he conceded on the hustings were ‘church and state’.2
In the House, 2 May 1820, he praised the worsted manufacturer John Parkes’s invention for reducing emissions from industrial furnaces, which he had seen in use at Warwick, and advocated its adoption in ‘the country at large’. He was appointed to the select committee on the subject later that day. He had refused to comment on reports of Parkes’s bankruptcy, which he knew were correct.3 In his only other reported speech in this Parliament, he criticized the ‘inauspicious’ timing of the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 4 June 1821. He voted against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 1825. He divided with government on the revenue, 4 July 1820, their handling of the queen’s case, 6 Feb., and the additional malt duty repeal bill, 3 Apr. 1821, and against more extensive tax reductions to relieve distress, 11, 21 Feb. 1822. He also voted with them against abolishing one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., but may have been the ‘J. Mills’ in the minority on the Calcutta bankers’ petition, 4 July 1822. He divided against the usury laws repeal bill, 27 Feb., and presented the Warrington victuallers’ petition against the excise licence duty, 6 May 1824.4 He voted to outlaw the Catholic Association, 25 Feb. 1825. Certain of opposition, Mills announced in September 1825 that he would stand down at the next dissolution, but died before it in January 1826, recalled as a ‘straight man of business’ in the City and a generous benefactor in Warwick.5
Mills had no children and by his will, dated 3 Jan. 1826, and proved under £120,000, he left his London house to his wife and his Warwickshire estates to his clergyman brother Francis and his heirs. His nephew Charles, an East India Company director since 1822, succeeded to his banking interests. Another nephew, Arthur, declared but desisted at Warwick in 1832.6
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Authors: Margaret Escott / Howard Spencer
- 1. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 590-1; Oxford DNB sub Mills family.
- 2. Warwick Advertiser, 19 Feb., 11 Mar. 1820.
- 3. VCH Warws. viii. 436.
- 4. The Times, 7 May 1824.
- 5. Warwick Advertiser, 24 Sept. 1825, 4 Feb. 1826.
- 6. Ibid. 31 Aug. 1822; PROB 11/1710/166; IR26/1092/149; Warws. RO, Moore and Tibbits mss CR 1097/330/371.