GLYNNE, Henry (1810-1872), of Hawarden Castle, Flint.

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



22 Sept. 1831 - 16 Feb. 1832

Family and Education

b. 9 Sept. 1810, 2nd s. of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, 8th bt. (d. 1815), of Hawarden and Hon. Mary Neville, da. of Richard Aldworth Griffin (formerly Neville)†, 2nd Bar. Braybrooke; bro. of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, 9th bt.* educ. West Bromwich 1819-23; Eton 1823-6; Christ Church, Oxf. 1828. m. 14 Oct. 1843, Hon. Caroline Lavinia Lyttelton, da. William Henry Lyttelton†, 3rd Bar. Lyttelton, 1s. d.v.p. 4da. (2 d.v.p.). d. 30 July 1872.

Offices Held

Rect. Hawarden 1834; rural dean, Mold 1851; canon St. Asaph 1855.


Glynne, the youngest Member elected to the Commons in this period, was intended for the church and to succeed his maternal uncle George Neville Greville to the lucrative living of Hawarden to which the Glynnes, as lords of the manor, had the right of appointment.1 A ‘plain, stolid, ordinary member of a handsome, witty, original family’, he had lost his father to consumption at an early age and spent his childhood in London and at Hawarden and his grandfather and guardian Lord Braybrooke’s residences in Berkshire and Essex. He followed his elder brother Stephen to Eton, of which he complained: ‘This place is really so dull, I really have nothing to do, no football or anything’.2 However, he enjoyed having Nicholas Vansittart’s* old room there and recalled that ‘Walker’s lectures on experimental philosophy interested me very much’.3 Writing to Stephen, 3 Feb. 1825, his headmaster, E.C. Hawtrey, noted: ‘Henry is very well, but not as diligent as could be wished. Do not tell him this. No, perhaps a hint from you might be of great use’.4 Braybrooke, anxious to overcome his dislike of ‘mathematics and close subjects’, had him tutored by one Hutchings at Hare Hatch until Christ Church would admit him.5 He was an undergraduate there and a day over 21, when Sir Edward Pryce Lloyd’s elevation to the peerage as 1st Baron Mostyn, 10 Sept. 1831, created a vacancy for Flint Boroughs, where his father had twice been defeated. His brother, a declared reformer, aspired to the representation but was disqualified as sheriff.6 Glynne was therefore suggested as Stephen’s locum, but his candidature proceeded only after his aunt Caroline, the wife of Paul Beilby Thompson*, had been assured by the bishop of London that becoming a Member of Parliament would not compromise his intended career in the church:

He [the bishop] says if he accepts it only while his brother is sheriff, and gets the Chiltern Hundreds the day he [Stephen] goes out of office, he (if he was in his diocese) would not object in any way to ordaining him. The worst that could happen would be to delay his taking deacon’s orders a few months, which would make no difference as to the time of his becoming priest, and that no bishop could object to ordaining him if he makes no violent radical speech on the hustings or in Parliament ... The bishop said Henry being so young, and there being so long a time after he leaves Parliament before he is of age for orders is all in his favour of being in Parliament for this short period.7

A ‘baby in apron strings’, his candidature was made known to a select few on the eve of the election, and he was nominated and returned unopposed with great pomp, 22 Sept.8 The marquess of Westminster observed to Stephen, 8 Oct.:

He will hardly submit to an academical examination after his political initiation. He will find the latter [by] a good deal the most difficult of task of the two in these desperate times. He intends, however, I fancy, to reverse the French proverb and sauter pour mieux simuler and have you to bear the brunt of the storms that are gathering on the political horizon.9

Though delayed, the return arrived in time for Glynne to honour his election promise by voting for Lord Ebrington’s motion of confidence in Lord Grey’s ministry, 10 Oct. 1831; and being summoned by the leader of the House Lord Althorp, he divided for the revised reform bill at its second reading, 17 Dec. 1831.10 His relations had dissuaded him from ‘moving at the head’ of the Flintshire radicals at the 28 Sept. county meeting, and he made no known parliamentary speeches.11 He resumed his studies at Oxford before taking the Chiltern Hundreds in February 1832, so making way for his brother.12 He graduated later that year, was ordained as planned and assisted Stephen, whose heir-at-law he remained, at subsequent elections. However, apart from church disestablishment and the proposed union of the dioceses of St. Asaph and Bangor, which he opposed, politics held little interest for him, and he used much of his stipend of £4,000 a year as rector of Hawarden to finance five national and three Sunday schools locally and to employ three curates.13 He officiated with his uncle at the double wedding of his sisters Catherine and Mary to William Ewart Gladstone† and George William Lyttelton† in July 1839, and was married to Lyttelton’s sister in 1843. He did not remarry following her death in childbirth in 1850, although his name was linked with a Miss Lowther and the daughter of a local pit owner, Miss Rose, who became a governess to his daughters and threatened to sue him for breach of promise.14 Plans for Hawarden to pass to the Gladstones were in place before Glynne, who predeceased Stephen, died suddenly and intestate in July 1872, after being caught in a thunderstorm. He was buried at Hawarden and commemorated there by a sermon, elegy and memorial.15 Administration of his estate was granted to his daughter Gertrude Jessy (d. 1940), from 1875 the second wife of the 2nd Baron Penrhyn.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. Flint RO, Glynne mss D/HA/1/7-8.
  • 2. J. Marlow, Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, 19-21; NLW, Glynne of Hawarden mss 3967-97, 4382.
  • 3. St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne-Gladstone mss GG23, H. to S. Glynne [undated]; Glynne of Hawarden mss 3909.
  • 4. Glynne of Hawarden mss 4370, 4596.
  • 5. Ibid. 4422, 4586, 4604; Glynne-Gladstone mss GG23, H. to S. Glynne, 1829.
  • 6. Chester Courant, 29 Mar. 1831; Glynne of Hawarden mss 5397, 5398, 5406, 5409; NLW, Coedymaen mss 220, 221; Mostyn of Mostyn mss 8129, 8139-45; Warws. RO, Pennant mss CR2017/TP463/1.
  • 7. Glynne of Hawarden mss 5402.
  • 8. Mostyn of Mostyn mss 8134-8; Glynne of Hawarden mss 5392, 5396, 5401, 5410; Pennant mss CR2017/TP463/2; H. Taylor, Historic Notices of Flint, 191; Glynne mss D/HA/1251, 1252; Chester Chron. 23 Sept.; Chester Courant, 27 Sept. 1831.
  • 9. Glynne of Hawarden mss 5408.
  • 10. Ibid. 5391, 5394, 5395, 5403, 5407.
  • 11. Mem. and Letters of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland ed. A.H.D. Acland, 32.
  • 12. Caernarvon Herald, 18, 25 Feb., 3 Mar.; Chester Chron. 24 Feb., 2 Mar. 1832.
  • 13. D.R. Thomas, Hist. Diocese St. Asaph, i. 363-4; Glynne mss D/HA/1255; Glynne-Gladstone mss GG23, H. to S. Glynne, 17 June 1839; GG30, S. to H. Glynne, 20 July 1836; Glynne of Hawarden mss 4657.
  • 14. Gladstone Diaries, iii. 305; v. 465, 474-5, 516, 529; vi. 134, 298, 583; Add. 44239, f. 362.
  • 15. Glynne mss D/HA/1/9, 17; Chester Chron. 3, 10, 17 Aug. 1872; Gladstone Diaries, viii. 187; Add. 40440, f. 105.