Edward Corbett (MP)

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For other people named Edward Corbett, see Edward Corbett (disambiguation).

Colonel Edward Corbett (30 December 1817 – 6 January 1895)[1] was a British land-owner[2] and Conservative Party politician from an old Norman family in Shropshire. He held a seat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1877.

Early life[edit]

Corbett was the oldest surviving son of Panton Corbett of Longnor Hall in Shropshire and Leighton Hall in Montgomeryshire.[3] His mother was Louisa Favoretta Jones, from Lichfield in Staffordshire, and his father had been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Shrewsbury from 1820 to 1830.[3] The family was a branch of the Norman Corbet family of Caus, who came to England with William the Conqueror and were granted extensive lands in Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.[3]

Corbett was educated at Eton.[3] He joined the British Army in November 1837 as an ensign in the 51st regiment, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.[3] He switched to the 72nd Highlanders in 1841, and retired from the army in October 1844.[3] By 1874 he was living in Longnor Hall[4] and held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Shropshire militia,[4] and the honorary rank of Colonel (which was bestowed in 1883).[5] He resigned his commission in the militia in October 1884, but was permitted to retain his rank.[6]

Political career[edit]

By 1868 Corbett was a Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Shropshire, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire.[7]

He was elected at the 1868 general election as an MP for South Shropshire,[8][9] having expressed confidence in Disraeli and promised voters "to resist to the utmost of his power Mr. Gladstone's attempt to uproot and destroy the Protestant Church".[2] Corbett was re-elected in 1874.[4] When he resigned his seat on 7 August 1877, by taking the post of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds,[10] the announcement was described by The Times newspaper as "sudden".[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1842 Corbett married Elizabeth Anne Theresa, the daughter of Robert Sholl[3] and had five sons and eight daughters.[3] His eldest son, also named Edward Corbett (1843–1917), in April 1881 unsuccessfully contested a by-election in Northampton as a Conservative after the Liberal MP Charles Bradlaugh was unseated when he voted in the Commons before taking the Oath of Allegiance[9] (he insisted on the right to affirm instead).[12] Bradlaugh was again expelled from the Commons the following year, and Corbett junior again stood in the resulting by-election.[9][13] Addressing a public meeting from the balcony of the Angel Hotel in Northampton on 23 February, he told the crowd that this was not an ordinary electoral contest, but a battle of principles.[14] He hoped that the result would be to spare the House of Commons from the "disgreceful scenes" which had taken place over Bradlaugh's refusal to take the oath.[14] Bradlaugh was re-elected on 4 March 1882.[9] Edward Corbett junior never entered parliament.


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b "Election Intelligence: Shropshire (South)". The Times (London). 2 November 1868. p. 7. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Mair, Robert Henry (1870). Debrett's Illustrated House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870. London: Dean & Son. p. 63. 
  4. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 24063. p. 540. 6 February 1874. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23948. p. 637. 14 February 1873. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  6. ^ "From the London Gazette, Friday, Oct. 3". The Times (London). 4 October 1884. pp. , col A. 
  7. ^ "Our New Members of Parliament". The Times (London). 4 December 1868. p. 3, col E. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23445. p. 6274. 27 November 1868. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  10. ^ Department of Information Services (14 January 2010). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times (London). 2 August 1877. p. 8, col B. 
  12. ^ Ailleen Walker and Edward Wood (14 February 2010). "The Parliamentary Oath" (PDF). Department of Information Services, House of Commons Library. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Mate, Charles H.(editor) (1907). Shropshire – Historical, Descriptive, Biographical, Part II – Biographical. Mate. p. 32. 
  14. ^ a b "Election Intelligence. Northampton". The Times (London). 24 February 1882. p. 5, col E. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Jasper More
Sir Percy Egerton Herbert
Member of Parliament for South Shropshire
With: Sir Percy Egerton Herbert 1865–76
John Edmund Severne 1876–85
Succeeded by
John Edmund Severne
Sir Baldwyn Leighton, Bt