Philip Lybbe Powys Lybbe

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Philip Lybbe Powys Lybbe (12 June 1818 – 12 September 1897) was an English rower, barrister and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1859 and 1865.

Hardwick House on the banks of the Thames

Philip Powys was born as Powys at Broomfield House, Southgate, Middlesex, the son of Henry Philip Powys and his wife Julia Barrington. The Powys family lived at Hardwick House near Whitchurch-on-Thames which they had inherited some generations earlier from a marriage with the heiress to the Lybbes who had been its owners. Powys later reported "I have been an oarsman since my boyhood; could row probably before I could write. I was reared on the banks of Thames. My father was a very good oarsman at St John's, Oxford, and put me to work going down in the boat to Mapledurham church on Sunday afternoons".[1] Powys was educated at Eton College, and Balliol College, Oxford and also noted "I rowed all through my Eton and Oxford life" and "I found my College Boat the cheapest amusement in Oxford. I never hunted, but always rowed".[1] In 1839 Powys rowed number 7 in the Oxford boat in the Boat Race. In 1841 and 1842 as a member of The Midge, Oxford Club, London Powys was a member of the winning crew in the Stewards' Challenge Cup at Henley.[2] Curiously in a law case reported in the Reading Mercury of 15 November 1862, it was reported that he was lame and always walked with a heavy stick, with which he was said to have assaulted a defaulting tenant; so when did this lameness happen or how did he row if lame?

Philip Powys became a barrister and was J.P. for Oxfordshire. At the 1859 general election, Powys was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Newport Isle of Wight.[3] He obtained a Royal Licence to change his name on 18 February 1863.[citation needed][4] Subsequently he was referred to as Mr Lybbe. He held the seat until the 1865 general election.[3]

Philip Lybbe died aged 79 at The Den, Patcham, Sussex and was buried at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Whitchurch on Thames.

Philip Powys married Ann Phillis Greenwood at Tilehurst, Berkshire on 11 June 1844 and they had a total of five children, all born with the name of Powys; there was no divorce between Philip and Ann. Around 1862 Philip Lybbe commenced a relationship with Fanny Worth and they stayed together for the rest of his life; they had three children, all born with the name of Lybbe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b John Ed. Morgan, M.D University Oars (1873)
  2. ^ R C Lehmann The Complete Oarsman
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 221. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Buxton
Charles Mangles
Member of Parliament for Newport
With: Robert Kennard
Succeeded by
Charles Wykeham Martin
Robert Kennard