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Footprint on the Ridge - 'MP of the Month'

16/04/24
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Whilst we have already featured Sir Philip de Malpas Grey-Egerton (1806-81) in our 'Footprints on the Ridge', this morning we add to our understanding of this MP who not only owned Oulton Estate and Broxton Old Hall on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge but who was passionate about palaeontology. He sat variously in the House of Commons, representing Chester, Cheshire South and West Cheshire.

First elected to Chester in 1830, Grey-Egerton was the second longest serving MP of his era; acquiring a reputation as 'one of the hardest workers in committees'. In 1835, for example, he was appointed to the committee on the British Museum and served on inquiries relating to private railways bills and mine safety.

That said, he appears to have looked after his Cheshire constituents:

  • When Peel's tariff reforms threatened to harm the Cheshire cheese industry in the 1840s, by slashing the duty on American cheese imports, Grey-Egerton successfully lobbied the Board of Trade for an exemption.
  • In 1847 he joined other Cheshire MPs in a campaign on behalf of the region's salt producers against the salt monopoly of the East India Company.
  • Other issues that inspired him were the reform of Cheshire's constabulary and the devastating impact of the cattle plague on the county's livestock farmers.
  • A staunch supporter of the Established Church, Grey-Egerton also piloted a private members' bill in 1840 which enabled new Anglican churches to be built in Cheshire using surplus funds from local tolls, in order to 'check demoralisation'.

From the blog of the History of Parliament's House of Commons, 1832-68 project — Dr Philip Salmon — first posted in 2017 from 'MP of the Month'

CLICK HERE to be directed to our 'Footprints on the Ridge'.