YORKE, Philip (1743-1804), of Erthig, Denb.
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Family and Education
b. 30 July 1743, o.s. of Simon Yorke of Erthig (a cos. of Philip, 1st Earl of Hardwicke), by Dorothy, da. and h. of Matthew Hutton of Newnham, Herts. educ. Eton 1759-60; Corpus Christi, Camb. 1762; L. Inn 1762, called 1767. m. (1) 2 July 1770, Elizabeth (d. Feb. 1779), da. of Sir John Cust, 3rd Bt., 4s. 3da.; (2) 27 Sept. 1782, Diana, da. and h. of Piers Wynne of Dyffryn Aled, Denb., wid. of Ridgeway Owen Meyrick of Bodorgan, Anglesey, 4s. 2da. suc. fa. 1767.
Sheriff, Denb. 1786-7.
At the general election of 1774 Yorke and his brother-in-law Francis Cockayne Cust stood as the anti-Godolphin candidates at Helston, and were returned on petition. Yorke was a country gentleman, honest and independent, but not greatly interested in politics. Generally he supported North’s Administration, and his attitude towards the American war appears in a letter he wrote to Philip, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, 30 July 1775:1
I do assure your Lordship this most unnatural and bloody contention in America makes me quite sick at heart. A continental war seems to me preposterous and impracticable ... you must wait till it shall please God to give to that headstrong and contumacious people a better sense of duty and obedience.
But in three divisions February-March 1780 (for an account of pensions, economical reform, and for the abolition of the Board of Trade) he voted with Opposition, and at the dissolution was classed by Robinson as only ‘hopeful’.
At the general election of 1780 he was again returned, after a petition, on the anti-Godolphin interest at Helston, but vacated his seat at the end of the first session of Parliament. ‘His constitutional diffidence’, wrote the Gentleman’s Magazine (1804, p. 280), ‘would not allow him to speak in the House of Commons.’ In 1784 he declined Hardwicke’s offer of a seat at Reigate, because he did not care to reside regularly in London.2
In later life he became interested in antiquarianism, and published books on Welsh history and genealogy. He died 19 Feb. 1804.