Constantine Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby

Constantine Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby
The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Normanby
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
29 April 1835 – 13 March 1839
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by The Earl of Haddington
Succeeded by Viscount Ebrington
Home Secretary
In office
30 August 1839 – 30 August 1841
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by Lord John Russell
Succeeded by Sir James Graham, Bt
Personal details
Born 15 May 1797 (2011-11-14T14:57:08)
Died 28 July 1863 (2011-11-14T14:57:09)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Hon. Maria Liddell
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Constantine Henry Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby KG GCB GCH, PC (15 May 1797 – 28 July 1863), styled Viscount Normanby between 1812 and 1831 and known as The Earl of Mulgrave between 1831 and 1838, was a British Whig politician and author. He notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1835 to 1839 and as Home Secretary from 1839 to 1841 and was British Ambassador to France between 1846 and 1852.


Background and education

Normanby was the son of Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave and Martha Sophia, daughter of Christopher Thompson Maling. His great-grandfather William Phipps had married Lady Catherine Annesley, who was the daughter and heiress of James Annesley, 3rd Earl of Anglesey and his wife Lady Catherine Darnley (an illegitimate daughter of King James II by his mistress Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester). Lady Catherine Darnley had later married John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, and hence Constantine Phipps, 2nd Earl of Mulgrave and later 1st Marquess of Normanby was the step-great-great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was the second President of the Cambridge Union Society.[1]

Political career

After attaining his majority, he sat for the family borough of Scarborough from 1818 to 1820. However after dissenting from the family politics, such as by speaking in favour of Catholic Emancipation, he resigned his seat and lived in Italy for two years. On his return in 1822 he was elected for Higham Ferrers and made a considerable reputation by political pamphlets and by his speeches in the house. He was returned for Malton at the general election of 1826, becoming a supporter of Canning. He was already known as a writer of romantic tales, The English in Italy (1825); in the same year he made his appearance as a novelist with Matilda, and in 1828 he produced another novel, Yes and No.

He succeeded his father as Earl of Mulgrave in 1831. He was sent out as Governor of Jamaica and was afterwards appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1835–1839). He was created Marquess of Normanby on 25 June 1838, and held successively the offices of colonial secretary and home secretary in the last years of Lord Melbourne's ministry. While Colonial Secretary, he wrote a letter of instructions to William Hobson, in which the government's policy for the sovereignty of New Zealand was set out.

Diplomatic career

From 1846 to 1852 he was ambassador at Paris, and from 1854 to 1858 minister at Florence. The publication in 1857 of a journal kept in Paris during the stormy times of 1848 (A Year of Revolution), brought him into violent controversy with Louis Blanc, and he came into conflict with Lord Palmerston and William Ewart Gladstone, after his retirement from the public service, on questions of French and Italian policy.


Lord Normanby married the Hon. Maria Liddell, daughter of Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth, in 1818. He died in London on 28 July 1863, aged 66, and was succeeded in his titles by his son George. The Marchioness of Normanby died in October 1882, aged 84.



  • Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Brian Tompsett, as of 1 March 2003; [1]
  • NORMANBY, CONSTANTINE HENRY PHIPPS, IST MARQUESS OF (1797–1863), 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica; [2]
  • Letter of Lord Normanby to William Hobson, 14 August 1839; [3] - starting near the bottom of this page and continuing to subsequent pages.
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edmund Phipps
Charles Manners-Sutton
Member of Parliament for Scarborough
With: Charles Manners-Sutton
Succeeded by
Edmund Phipps
Charles Manners-Sutton
Preceded by
William Plumer
Member of Parliament for Higham Ferrers
1822 – 1826
Succeeded by
Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby
Preceded by
Viscount Duncannon
John Charles Ramsden
Member of Parliament for Malton
With: John Charles Ramsden
Succeeded by
John Charles Ramsden
James Scarlett
Government offices
Preceded by
George Cuthbert, acting
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Amos Norcot, acting
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The Lord Wharncliffe
Preceded by
The Earl of Haddington
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Succeeded by
Viscount Ebrington
Preceded by
The Lord Glenelg
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Succeeded by
Lord John Russell
Preceded by
Lord John Russell
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir James Graham, Bt
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The 1st Lord Cowley
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
The 2nd Lord Cowley
Preceded by
Sir Henry Bulwer
British Minister to Tuscany
Succeeded by
Henry Howard
(pro tempore)
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Marquess of Normanby
Succeeded by
George Phipps
Preceded by
Henry Phipps
Earl of Mulgrave

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