Charles Paul Phipps

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Charles Paul Phipps (1815–1880), of Chalcot House, Westbury, Wiltshire, was an English merchant in Brazil and later Conservative MP for Westbury (1869–1874) and High Sheriff of Wiltshire (1875).

Portrait of Charles Paul Phipps by George Richmond RA

Origins[edit]

Charles Paul Phipps was the eighth son of Thomas Henry Hele Phipps (1777–1841), of Leighton House, Westbury, Wiltshire, and Mary Michael Joseph Leckonby (1777–1835). The Phippses had originally emerged as prominent Wiltshire clothiers in the 16th century. Over the next hundred years prosperity propelled them into the ranks of the landed gentry but, by the early 19th century, they found themselves in rather reduced financial circumstances.

Coffee merchant[edit]

In 1830, at the age of 15, Phipps was sent to Rio de Janeiro with twenty pounds in his pocket to seek his fortune. In 1837 he went into partnership with his brother, John Lewis Phipps, buying out the Brazilian coffee business of Heyworth Brothers. Despite a number of alarms, the business eventually flourished, becoming for a while one of the largest coffee exporters from Brazil. Between 1850 and the mid-1870s, the volume of coffee exported by the firm increased from 94,000 to about half a million bags per annum (valued at £2,000,000).[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1869, Phipps was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Westbury, by 499 votes to 488 for the Liberal candidate, Abraham Laverton. He lost his seat to Laverton in 1874 by 22 votes.

Phipps died on 8 June 1880, having suffered a stroke the previous year.

Family[edit]

In 1844, Phipps married Emma Mary Benson, who came from a mercantile family, being the daughter of Moses Benson of Liverpool and granddaughter of Moses Benson (1738–1806). Their eldest son, Charles Nicholas Paul Phipps, was also subsequently MP for Westbury and High Sheriff of Wiltshire. Their second son, William Wilton Phipps, was the grandfather of both Joyce Grenfell and Simon Wilton Phipps MC, the Bishop of Lincoln.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Graham, Britain and the Onset of Modernization in Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 1972), page 76

Sources[edit]

  • Notes on the 'Westbury' Phipps Pedigrees by John C. Phipps (1983, unpublished)
  • Papers of the Phipps Family of Chalcot (1574–1988) (Ref.540), Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Lewis Phipps
Member of Parliament for Westbury
18691874
Succeeded by
Abraham Laverton