Henry Phipps, Second Baron Mulgrave

Master of the Ordnance, 1810-1819

February 14, 1755 - April 7, 1831

Henry Phipps (1755-1831) Second Baron Mulgrave (Ireland) 1792. First Baron Mulgrave from 1794. First Earl of Mulgrave and Viscount Normanby from 1812. Master of the Ordnance, 1810-1819. Career army officer, served in the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolutionary War and rose to General in 1809. Pittite MP from 1784 and good debater. Mulgrave was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Foreign Secretary in Pitt’s second government, then was given the Admiralty under Portland and transferred to Ordnance (for which he was most professionally qualified) in 1810. Given a step in the peerage by Liverpool in 1812, he remained in office without contributing much beyond his department until 1819, when he retired, as his powers were failing, in favour of the Duke of Wellington. He remained Minister without Portfolio until the following year, when he retired. He was regarded as a passive leader of the Ordnance, which was described in 1813 as the ‘greatest clog about the State’1. His son was a Whig Cabinet Minister.

[1] Rory Muir, Wellington: Waterloo and the Fortunes of Peace, 1814-52 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015) p. 247, quoting Colonel Henry Torrens (later Major-General Sir Henry Torrens) (1779-1828), Military Secretary to the Commander in Chief.

© 2020 Martin Hutchinson