Sir Robert Inglis, 2nd Baronet

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Milton Bryan
FRS PC
Sir Robert Harry Inglis, 2nd Bt by Sir George Hayter.jpg
Sir Robert Inglis by George Hayter
Member of Parliament for Oxford University
In office
1829–1854
Preceded by Robert Peel
Succeeded by Sir William Heathcote, Bt
Member of Parliament for Ripon
In office
1828–1829
Member of Parliament for Dundalk
In office
1824–1826
Personal details
Born 12 January 1786
Snelston, Derbyshire, Great Britain
Died 5 May 1855 (aged 69)
Belfast, Ireland, UK
Resting place Ballylesson
Political party Tory/Ultra-Tory
Education Winchester College
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Religion Church of England
Sir Robert Inglis

Sir Robert Harry Inglis, 2nd Baronet FRS (12 January 1786 – 5 May 1855) was an English Conservative politician, noted for his staunch High church views.

Family[edit]

He was the son of Sir Hugh Inglis, a minor politician and MP for Ashburton (1802–1806).

Political Career[edit]

Robert succeeded to his father's baronetcy in 1820, and served as MP for Dundalk 1824-1826, Ripon 1828-1829 and Oxford University from 1829 to 1854. He was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for 1824.

Inglis was strongly opposed to measures which, in his view, weakened the Anglican Church. When Robert Grant, MP for Inverness Burghs, petitioned for Jewish relief in 1830, Inglis was violently opposed. Inglis alleged that the Jews were an alien people, with no allegiance to England, and that to admit Jews to parliament would "separate Christianity itself from the State."[1] He also alleged that if they were admitted to parliament "within seven years...Parliamentary Reform would be carried."[2] Inglis was joined in his public opposition by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Henry Goulburn, and the Solicitor General and future Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Sugden. Although the Jews were not emancipated fully until 1858, Parliamentary Reform occurred in 1832, just two years later. Inglis also likened Buddhism to "idolatry" in connection with the British colony of Ceylon during a debate over the relationship of "Buddhist priests" to the British colonial government in 1852.[3]

In 1845 he broke with Sir Robert Peel and opposed the Maynooth Grant, which would have granted a yearly £26,000 subsidy to the Catholic Maynooth seminary. Other opponents included, oddly enough, John Bright and Benjamin Disraeli, although on different grounds.

In 1851, when Lord Stanley (who became the Earl of Derby later that year) attempted to form a protectionist administration, Inglis was offered the presidency of the Board of Control, which he accepted initially, only to withdraw a few days later. A major activity of Inglis's political career was the chairing of the select committee that controlled the House of Commons Library, of which he was a member for 14 years. However, his rather narrow view of its scope was overturned by Sir Robert Peel in 1850. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1854, and died the next year, at the age of 69. On his death the baronetcy became extinct.

Inglis's Journals are in the Canterbury cathedral Library and archives.

Errata[edit]

No doubt prejudiced against him for his opposition to the Jewish reform measures, Disraeli apparently viewed Inglis with contempt, and described him as "a wretched speaker, an offensive voice, no power of expression, yet perpetually recalling and correcting his cumbersome phraseology."[4] Yet Inglis spoke powerfully and with great compassion about the plight of the Irish people during the Great Famine of the 1840's. He was well informed about the situation 'on the ground' and drew information from reports from the Society of Friends which give an accurate picture of Ireland's suffering. He did not hesitate to criticize absentee landlords, likening them to the absentee of Maria Edgeworth's novel, Castle Rackrent." Inglis, whatever his religious views seems also to have been a conscientious public representative. He served as an M.P. for three different constituencies over almost thirty years and in that time he spoke 1,327 times. See Hansard for his speeches, particularly the speech of 01-02-1847.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hansard, 2nd Series, xxii, 798.
  2. ^ Hansard, 2nd Series, xxiii, 1304–1806.
  3. ^ Hansard, 3rd Series, cxxiii, 713–714.
  4. ^ Robert Blake, Disraeli (New York, 1967), 304, op. cit..

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Hartopp-Fleetwood
Member of Parliament for Dundalk
1824 – 1826
Succeeded by
Charles Barclay
Preceded by
Lancelot Shadwell
Louis Hayes Petit
Member of Parliament for Ripon
1828 – 1829
With: Louis Hayes Petit
Succeeded by
George Spence
Louis Hayes Petit
Preceded by
Robert Peel
Member of Parliament for Oxford University
1829 – 1854
With: Thomas Estcourt (1829–47)
William Ewart Gladstone (1847–1865)
Succeeded by
Sir William Heathcote, Bt
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Hugh Inglis, 1st Baronet
Baronet
(of Milton Bryan)
1820–1855
Title extinct