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Charles Sibthorp

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Charles Sibthorp
Portrait of Sibthorp by John Andrews.
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
In office
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
In office
Personal details
Born14 February 1783
Lincoln, Great Britain
Died14 December 1855 (aged 72)
London, United Kingdom
Political partyTory/Ultra-Tory
ChildrenGervaise Waldo-Sibthorp
ParentHumphrey Sibthorp
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1803–1822
Unit4th Dragoon Guards
Scots Greys

Charles de Laet Waldo Sibthorp (14 February 1783 – 14 December 1855), popularly known as Colonel Sibthorp, was a widely caricatured British Ultra-Tory politician in the early 19th century. He sat as a Member of Parliament for Lincoln from 1826 to 1832 and from 1835 until 1855.

Sibthorp was born into a Lincoln gentry family, the son of Colonel Humphrey Waldo Sibthorp, of Canwick Hall, by his wife Susannah, daughter of Richard Ellison, of Sudbrooke Holme, Lincolnshire. Charles's brother, Richard Waldo Sibthorp (1792-1879), was an Anglican priest who gained notoriety for his 1841 conversion to Roman Catholicism (and who subsequently returned to the Anglican Church).[1][2] He was commissioned into the Scots Greys in 1803, promoted Lieutenant in 1806, and later transferred to the 4th Dragoon Guards, in which he reached the rank of Captain. He did not serve abroad and continued in the service until 1822, when he succeeded to the family estates and also succeeded his brother as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal South Lincolnshire Militia. In 1812, he married Maria, daughter and co-heiress of Ponsonby Tottenham, M.P. for Fethard, County Wexford; they had four children.[3]

Member of Parliament[edit]

During Sibthorp's three decades in Parliament, he became renowned, along with Sir Robert Inglis, as one of its most reactionary members. He stoutly opposed Catholic Emancipation,[4] Emancipation of the Jews in England, the Reform Act of 1832, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the 1851 Great Exhibition[5] and the construction of the National Gallery.[6] He was convinced that any changes from the Britain of his youth (in the late 18th century) were signs of degeneracy, that Britain was about to go bankrupt, and that the new railways were a passing fad which would soon give way to a return to "chaises, carriages and stages".[7]

He was opposed to all foreign influences, and offended Queen Victoria with his public suspicions of Prince Albert, the prince consort. His political views, his bluntness in expressing them, and his eccentricities made him the target of both witticisms and cartoons in Punch.

He was returned to Parliament on eight occasions.

Sibthorp died at his home in London, and was succeeded as MP by his son, Gervaise Waldo-Sibthorp.


Sibthorp family tree
John Sibthorpe
Coningsby Sibthorp
Humphry Sibthorp
Humphrey Sibthorp
John Sibthorp
Charles Sibthorp
Gervaise Waldo-Sibthorp


  1. ^ "Sibthorp, Richard Waldo".
  2. ^ "Sibthorp, Charles de Laet Waldo".
  3. ^ "Sibthorp, Charles de Laet Waldo".
  4. ^ John F. Michell (April 1999). Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions. Adventures Unlimited Press. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-0-932813-67-1.
  5. ^ John F. Michell (April 1999). Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions. Adventures Unlimited Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-932813-67-1.
  6. ^ John F. Michell (April 1999). Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions. Adventures Unlimited Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-932813-67-1.
  7. ^ John F. Michell (April 1999). Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions. Adventures Unlimited Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-932813-67-1.
  • S Roberts & M Acton "The Parliamentary Career of Charles De Laet Waldo Sibthorp 1826 - 55: Ultra Tory Opposition to reform in Nineteenth Century Britain" New York 2010.
  • Dodds, John W. The Age of Paradox : A Biography of England, 1841-1851. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood, 1970 [1952].
  • Michell, John. Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions, 1984 ISBN 0-7474-0353-8.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Sibthorp, Charles De Laet Waldo". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Lincoln
With: John Fazakerley to 1830
John Fardell 1830–31
George Heneage from 1831
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Lincoln
With: Edward Lytton Bulwer to 1841
William Collett 1841–47
Charles Seely 1847–48
Thomas Hobhouse 1848–52
George Heneage from 1852
Succeeded by