Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave


Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave

Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave (14 February 1755 – 7 April 1831) was a British politician.

Educated at Eton College and the Middle Temple, he entered the army in 1775, and eventually rose to the rank of General. He saw service in the Caribbean during the American Revolutionary War. In 1784 Phipps was elected to the House of Commons for Totnes. He supported the government of Pitt, to whom he eventually became close. In 1790, he was elected for Scarborough in Yorkshire.

He succeeded his brother Constantine John Phipps as Baron Mulgrave in the Peerage of Ireland in 1792, but did not succeed to his brother's British title. In 1793, due to the fact that he was on a mission to the King of Sardinia in Turin, he was near at hand when British forces captured the French port of Toulon, and he briefly took command of the British land forces there, before withdrawing upon the arrival of more senior officers. In 1794 he was granted a British peerage as Baron Mulgrave, entering the House of Lords. In 1799 he was sent out on another special military mission, this time to the headquarters of the Austrian commander, Archduke Charles, to attempt to persuade him to retain his troops in Switzerland rather than removing them to the Middle Rhine, but he was unsuccessful.

Mulgrave supported Pitt when he resigned in 1801, and in return for his loyalty was rewarded with the office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1804–1805) in Pitt's second government. Following an accident suffered by Lord Harrowby, Mulgrave took his place as Foreign Secretary, in which position he helped Pitt to form the Third Coalition against Napoleon.

With the death of Pitt and the formation of the Ministry of All the Talents in 1806, Mulgrave, along with the other Pittites, went into opposition, but when the Pittites returned to power in 1807, Mulgrave served in various major offices, first as First Lord of the Admiralty (1807–1810), then as Master-General of the Ordnance (1810–1819), and finally as Minister without Portfolio (1819–1820). As First Lord he was heavily involved in planning both the successful expedition against Copenhagen in 1807, and the disastrous one to Walcheren in 1809. After moving to the ordnance board, Mulgrave became less active politically. He was created Earl of Mulgrave in 1812, and was succeeded by his son, Constantine Henry, who was later created Marquess of Normanby.


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