CRIPPS, Joseph (1765-1847), of Coxwell Street, Cirencester, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - 1812
1818 - 1841

Family and Education

b. 10 Mar. 1765, 1st s. of Joseph Cripps of Cirencester by Hester, da. of William Hall of Arlington. m. (1) 27 Apr. 1786, Elizabeth (d.15 Apr. 1799), da. of Benjamin Harrison of Lee, Kent, gov. and treasurer Guy’s hosp., 3s. 2da.; (2) 1 Oct. 1801, Dorothea Harrison, sis. of his 1st w., 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 1782; cos. John Cripps of Ashcroft, nr. Dursley, Glos. 1830.

Offices Held

Dir. Van Diemen’s Land Co. 1825-d., dep. gov. by 1829, gov. by 1838-?1842.

Capt. Cirencester vols. 1798, lt.-col. commdt. 1803.


From his father Cripps inherited a cloth mill at Cirencester, where the family had been settled since the 16th century but had not yet provided a Member for the borough. He acquired a second mill and extended his local business activities to brewing and banking. His father’s attempts to develop an electoral interest at Cirencester had failed, but Cripps was returned unopposed for the borough at the general election of 1806, when he was the beneficiary of a movement, possibly orchestrated by his fellow banker Joseph Pitt*, to replace Sir Robert Preston, a London merchant, with a local man who would be more attentive to the town’s commercial interests.1

After the election Cripps was listed among the ‘staunch friends’ of slave trade abolition. On 24 Feb. 1807 he moved unsuccessfully for counsel on behalf of the South Sea Company to be heard on the South Sea trade bill. He was re-elected without opposition at the general election of 1807 and evidently supported the Portland ministry. He approved their militia transfer bill, 27 July 1807, on the ground that ‘some extraordinary exertion in the way of recruiting was required in the present crisis’, the Grenville ministry’s military measures having proved inadequate. He put in good words for the Duke of York, 17 Feb. and 17 Mar. 1809: on the first occasion he asserted that whatever the outcome of the inquiry, ample evidence had been adduced of the ‘unparalleled regularity’ with which the duke had administered army business. He voted with the Perceval ministry on the address, 23 Jan., but against them on the Scheldt expedition, 26 Jan. 1810. In mid March the Whigs listed him under ‘Government’, but he did not vote in the division on the Scheldt inquiry, 30 Mar. He voted with ministers on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, and against the sinecure bill, 4 May 1812. On 14 June 1811 he refuted allegations of bad conditions for French prisoners of war in Dartmoor prison.

Cripps stood again for Cirencester in 1812, but was narrowly beaten into third place in a hard-fought contest. He regained the seat after a token contest in 1818 and held it for the next 23 years before handing it over to his son. He voted against the Liverpool ministry on the Windsor establishment, 22 Feb., but with them on Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, and the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June 1819. He seconded Protheroe’s successful motion for an inquiry into highways, 17 Feb., opposed equalization of the coal duties, 5 Mar., and supported the second reading of the Game Laws amendment bill, 19 Mar. 1819. While he approved the principle of a resumption of cash payments, 25 May 1819, he proposed amendments to the resolutions designed to lessen the shock of the transition. Amid noise and confusion at the end of the debate he was prevailed on to withdraw his opposition. He died 8 Jan. 1847.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


Vis. England and Wales ed. Crisp. Notes, xiv. 72-78.

  • 1. Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. xcii. 165; W. Tunnicliff, Survey (1789), 64; W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Glos. 171-2; K. J. Beecham, Cirencester, 179; Glocester Jnl. 27 Oct., 10, 17, 24 Nov., 1 Dec. 1806.