Henry Chaplin, 1st Viscount Chaplin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Viscount Chaplin
PC
Young1stViscountChaplin.jpg
18-year-old Henry Chaplin, 1859.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
24 June 1885 – 28 January 1886
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by George Trevelyan
Succeeded by Edward Heneage
President of the Board of Agriculture
In office
9 September 1889 – 11 August 1892
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Herbert Gardner
President of the Local Government Board
In office
29 June 1895 – 12 November 1900
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by George Shaw-Lefevre
Succeeded by Walter Long
Personal details
Born 22 December 1840 (1840-12-22)
Ryhall, Rutland
Died 29 May 1923 (1923-05-30)
Londonderry House, London
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Florence Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (d. 1881)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Henry Chaplin, 1st Viscount Chaplin PC (22 December 1840 – 29 May 1923) was a British landowner, racehorse owner and Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 until 1916 when he was raised to the peerage.

Background and education[edit]

The member of an old Lincolnshire family, Chaplin was born at Ryhall, Rutland, the second son of the Reverend Henry Chaplin, of Blankney, Lincolnshire and his wife Carolina Horatia Ellice, daughter of William Ellice. His younger brother Edward Chaplin was also a politician. Chaplin was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a friend of the Prince of Wales. At the age of 21, he inherited substantial estates in Lincolnshire (including the family seat of Blankney Hall), Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, and a leading member of the Turf.[1][2]

Engagement to Lady Florence Paget[edit]

In 1864 Chaplin fell in love with and became engaged to Lady Florence, daughter of Henry Paget, 2nd Marquess of Anglesey and a celebrated beauty. The wedding was to be the society event of the year with the Prince of Wales one of many to offer his congratulations. However, during their engagement Florence had secretly fallen in love with Henry Rawdon-Hastings, 4th Marquess of Hastings. Just before her wedding, she had Chaplin take her to Marshall & Snelgrove's on Oxford Street to add to her wedding outfit. While Chaplin waited in the carriage outside, Florence walked straight through the shop and out to the other side, where Hastings waited for her in a carriage. Hastings and Florence were married on the same day.[3] After the wedding, a reception was held in St James’ Place before the newly married couple set off for their honeymoon at Donington Hall, Leicestershire whilst the scandal died down. Florence Paget informed Chaplin by letter the next day.[4]

In the 1867 Derby, Chaplin renewed his rivalry with Lord Hastings. Hastings wagered thousands of pounds against Chaplin's horse, Hermit.[5] Ten days before the race Hermit was injured and Chaplin was advised not to enter him. However, the injury was not as serious as first thought, and though not fully fit, Hermit entered the race and won it. Lord Hastings lost heavily and fell into severe debts. Added to a drinking problem, Chaplin's great rival died in poverty already the following year, aged only 26.[6]

Political career[edit]

Henry Chaplin by Arthur Stockdale Cope

Chaplin first entered parliament at the 1868 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Mid-Lincolnshire.[7] He represented this constituency until it was replaced under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885.[8] In the 1885 general election he was returned to parliament for the new Sleaford division[9] which he held until his defeat at the 1906 general election.[9][10]

Chaplin was sworn of the Privy Council in 1885 and filled the office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in Lord Salisbury's short ministry of 1885 to 1886. He became the first President of the Board of Agriculture in 1889, with a seat in the cabinet, and retained this post till 1892. In the Conservative cabinet of 1895 to 1900 he was President of the Local Government Board, and was responsible for the Agricultural Rates Act 1896. However, he was not included in the ministry after its reconstruction in 1900.

Chaplin had always been an advocate of protectionism, being in this respect the most prominent inheritor of the views of Lord George Bentinck; and when in 1903 the tariff reform movement began under Chamberlain's leadership, he gave it his enthusiastic support, becoming a member of the Tariff Commission and one of the most strenuous advocates in the country of the new doctrines in opposition to free trade.

After losing his seat at Sleaford in 1906, Chaplin was returned to the House of Commons at a by-election in May 1907 as member for Wimbledon.[11] He held the seat until 1916,[12] when he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Chaplin, of Saint Oswald's, Blankney, in the County of Lincoln.

Agriculture[edit]

Henry Chaplin in a Punch cartoon accompanying a satirical article on his receiving a deputation on the subject of the swine fever.[13]

Known as the "Squire of Blankney", Chaplin took an active interest in agricultural questions, as a popular and typical representative of the English "country gentleman" class. However, mounting debts forced him to sell the family seat of Blankney Hall to Lord Londesborough in 1887.

Family[edit]

In 1876 Chaplin married Lady Florence, daughter of George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland. They had one son, Eric, and two daughters, Edith and Florence. Lady Florence died in childbirth in 1881, giving birth to her youngest daughter, Florence. Lord Chaplin remained a widower until his death in May 1923, aged 82. He was succeeded in the viscountcy by his son, Eric.

Chaplin and Lay Florence's eldest daughter, the Hon. Edith, married Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry, and became a well-known society hostess.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  2. ^ http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/10800
  3. ^ Hastings, Marquis Henry Weysford Charles Plantegenet; Paget, Florence Cecilia (Sep 1864). GRO Index to Register of Marriages 1a. Registration District of St George Hanover Square, Middlesex: General Register Office. p. 474 
  4. ^ Engagement to Lady Florence Paget at macla.co.uk
  5. ^ Thoroughbred Heritage - Hermit
  6. ^ The 1867 Derby at macla.co.uk
  7. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 421. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  8. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
  9. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 341. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  10. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28022. p. 3436. 17 May 1907. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  12. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]
  13. ^ Punch Vol. 102, 13 February 1892.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Mid Lincolnshire
1868–1885
With: Weston Cracroft Amcotts 1868–1874
Hon. Edward Stanhope 1874–1885
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Sleaford
1885–1906
Succeeded by
Arnold Lupton
Preceded by
Charles Eric Hambro
Member of Parliament for Wimbledon
19071916
Succeeded by
Sir Stuart Coats, Bt
Political offices
Preceded by
George Trevelyan
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1885–1886
Succeeded by
Edward Heneage
New office President of the Board of Agriculture
1889–1892
Succeeded by
Herbert Gardner
Preceded by
George Shaw-Lefevre
President of the Local Government Board
1895–1900
Succeeded by
Walter Long
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Chaplin
1916–1923
Succeeded by
Eric Chaplin