George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby

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About George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby, GCB, GCMG, PC (23 July 1819 – 3 April 1890), styled Viscount Normanby between 1831 and 1838 and Earl of Mulgrave between 1838 and 1863, was a British Liberal politician and colonial governor of Nova Scotia, Queensland, New Zealand and Victoria.


Normanby was born in London, the son of Constantine Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby, by his wife the Hon. Maria, daughter of Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth. He gained the courtesy title Viscount Normanby when his father succeeded as Earl of Mulgrave in 1831. When his father was made Marquess of Normanby in 1838, he became known by the courtesy title Earl of Mulgrave. Normanbyentered the Coldstream Guards as ensign, and became lieutenant in 1838.

Political and administrative career

Normanby was returned to parliament for Scarborough in 1847, a seat he held until 1851 and again between 1852 and 1857. He was appointed Comptroller of the Household by Lord John Russell in 1851. When Lord Aberdeen became prime minister in early 1852, he became Treasurer of the Household, a post he held until 1858, the last three years under the premiership of Lord Palmerston. The latter year he was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia, which he remained until 1863. In 1863 he also succeeded his father in the marquessate and took his seat in the House of Lords.

Normanby returned to the government in 1868 when he was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting by William Ewart Gladstone. The following year he was promoted to Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms. In 1871 he became Governor of Queensland. He continued in this post until 1874, and was then Governor of New Zealand from 1874 to 1879 and Governor of Victoria from 1879 to 1881.


Lord Normanby married Laura, daughter of Captain Robert Russell, R.N. in 1844. When he served as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, he and his wife had the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and his brother, Prince Alfred (Duke of Edinburgh) as their guests at Government House. The couple had several children. The Marchioness of Normanby died in London in January 1885, aged 69. Lord Normanby died at Brighton, Sussex, in April 1890, aged 70, and was succeeded by their eldest son, Constantine. One of their daughters, the Lady Katherine Louisa Phipps, married the 3rd Earl of Ellesmere."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 March 2013, 15:17 UTC, <,_2nd_Marque...> [accessed 7 May 2013]

George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby (1819-1890), governor, was born on 23 July 1819 in London, only son of the 1st Marquess of Normanby and his wife Maria Lydell, daughter of Lord Ravensworth. Styled Earl of Mulgrave he served in the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1838-46, represented Scarborough in 1847-50 and 1852-57 in parliament, was comptroller in 1851-52 and treasurer in 1853-58 of the Queen's household, and lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia in 1858 until succeeding as marquess in 1863. He had been a privy councillor from 1851, and was appointed G.C.M.G. in 1877 and G.C.B. in 1885. In Yorkshire on 17 August 1844 he had married Laura (d.1885), daughter of Captain Robert Russell, R.N.; they had four sons and three daughters.

Normanby was governor of Queensland in 1871-74, New Zealand in 1874-78 and Victoria in 1879-84. Despite his origins he saw himself as a career governor, possibly as his Yorkshire estates brought him no more than £7000 a year. In the colonies he was described as safe and sagacious, a moderate conservative who could be trusted to take the sting out of awkward situations and to blunt the energies of thrusting demagogues. His term in Queensland coincided mainly with A. H. Palmer's premiership which ended with narrow majorities but produced no major constitutional crises. Prosperity was returning and exploration renewed. The governor travelled widely and his titles were duly honoured in the naming of the Normanby and Mulgrave Rivers, electoral districts and various streets.

On transfer to Victoria in February 1879, Normanby found Graham Berry in power and the conservatives incensed at the preceding governor, Bowen, for allegedly favouring Berry in the controversy over the Legislative Council's powers. In 1880 Normanby granted dissolutions to Berry and his opponent Service, but neither election returned the outgoing ministry or brought political stability. Irritated at Berry's tactics in overthrowing the Service ministry in June, Normanby refused to authorize a third election after Berry requested it in 1881. Instead the O'Loghlen ministry was commissioned and survived until granted a dissolution in 1883 when it was ousted by the Service-Berry coalition. In all these manoeuvres Normanby was an experienced interpreter of current constitutional practice and kept the Colonial Office's approval although his impartiality tended to bear harder on reformers than on conservatives.

Normanby was a 'whip' of no common order: at full gallop he habitually drove his coach through the back gate of Government House with only an inch or so to spare. He rarely missed an important race meeting. He also enjoyed the hospitality of such pastoralists as Sir Samuel Wilson and W. J. Clarke whose baronetcy he recommended, but some called his own public entertaining 'plain and unassuming' while H. G. Turner wrote of his 'frigid parsimony'. Other landmarks of his governorship included the opening of the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and the signing of Ned Kelly's death warrant.

His wife suffered from a heart disease and in January 1884 Normanby announced his resignation on the ground of her ill health and his own. In April they left for London where she died on 26 January 1885. 'Entirely altered', he visited Australia in 1887-88 and then settled at Brighton, Sussex. He died on 3 April 1890 and was buried in Yorkshire. Descendants of his third son live in Queensland.

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George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby's Timeline

July 23, 1819
Portland Place, Yorkshire, England
August 29, 1846
August 13, 1847
January 31, 1850
London, Middlesex, England
January 26, 1851
May 6, 1854
April 3, 1890
Age 70
Brighton, England (United Kingdom)