MILBANK, Mark (1795-1881), of Thorpe Perrow; Barningham Park, Yorks. and 25 Bruton Street , Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 2 May 1795, 1st s. of William Milbank of Thorpe Perrow and Dorothy, da. of John Wise of Woolston, Devon. educ. Harrow 1805-13; Oriel, Oxf. 1813. m. 2 June 1817, Lady Augusta Henrietta Vane, da. of William Harry Vane†, 3rd earl of Darlington, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (2 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1802. d. 21 Oct. 1881.
Capt. 4 N. Riding militia 1814; lt. W. Riding yeomanry June 1819, capt. Dec. 1819, res. Apr. 1820.
Sheriff, Yorks. 1837-8.
Milbank, who had inherited his father’s estates in North Yorkshire in 1802 and been elected to Brooks’s Club, 7 Feb. 1818, was returned for the venal borough of Camelford later that year on his father-in-law Lord Darlington’s interest, but unseated on petition. He was returned unopposed in 1820 following a compromise with Lord Yarmouth’s rival interest, which was intended to forestall another attempt to disfranchise the borough.1 He was a regular attender but an almost silent Member, who continued to vote with the Whig opposition to Lord Liverpool’s ministry on all major issues, including parliamentary reform, 25 Apr. 1822, 24 Apr., 2 June 1823, 13 Apr. 1826. He was absent from the division on Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821. He was named as a defaulter, 28 Feb., but attended next day to vote for relief, and did so again, 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He was granted three weeks’ leave for urgent private business, 14 Feb. 1821, and another two weeks on account of illness in his family, 18 Feb. 1823. He voted against empowering the government to admit foreign corn, 8 May 1826. At the general election that summer he and another Darlington nominee were returned for Camelford ahead of two clients of Yarmouth (now marquess of Hertford).2
He divided for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827. He was granted one month’s leave for ‘urgent private business ... being petitioned against’, 12 Mar., but was declared duly elected, 4 May, after Hertford had sold his interest at Camelford to Darlington.3 He voted against Canning’s ministry for the disfranchisement of Penryn, 28 May 1827. He divided for repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. He voted for more efficient control over crown proceedings for the recovery of excise penalties, 1 May, against the small notes bill, 5 June, to condemn the misapplication of public money for building work at Buckingham House, 23 June, and to reduce ordnance officials’ salaries, 4 July 1828. He was absent from the call of the House, 5 Mar., apparently did not attend next day, but voted for Catholic emancipation, 30 Mar., and to allow Daniel O’Connell to take his seat unhindered, 18 May 1829. It was presumably owing to the fact that Darlington (now marquess of Cleveland) had switched his allegiance to the duke of Wellington’s ministry that Milbank took no part in the revived Whig opposition on economy and retrenchment issues during the 1830 session. He voted to transfer East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb., and enfranchise Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., but was against Lord Blandford’s reform plan, 18 Feb., and Jewish emancipation, 17 May. He was granted one month’s leave for urgent private business, 4 Mar. 1830. He was returned unopposed for Camelford at the general election that summer.4
The ministry regarded Milbank as one of their ‘friends’, and he voted with them in the crucial civil list division, 15 Nov. 1830. However, Cleveland subsequently transferred his support to Lord Grey’s ministry, and Milbank divided for the second reading of their reform bill, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He was returned unopposed at the ensuing general election, although Camelford was scheduled for disfranchisement.5 He voted for the second reading of the reintroduced bill, 6 July, and steadily for its details, except for a vote with the minority to transfer Aldborough from schedule B to A, 14 Sept. In his only known parliamentary speech, 20 July, he maintained that his constituents were prepared to sacrifice their privileges ‘for the benefit of their country’. He divided for the bill’s third reading, 19 Sept., and passage, 21 Sept., the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. He voted to punish only those guilty of bribery at the Dublin election and against the censure motion on the Irish administration, 23 Aug. He divided for the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, steadily for its details, and for the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He was absent in the country at the time of Ebrington’s motion for an address asking the king to appoint only ministers committed to carrying an unimpaired measure, 10 May.6 He voted for the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and against increased county representation for Scotland, 1 June. He divided with ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12, 16, 20 July, and relations with Portugal, 9 Feb. 1832. His parliamentary career ended with the demise of Camelford.
In November 1825 Thomas Creevey* visited the Milbanks at Thorpe Perrow and recorded in his diary that
their house is in every way worthy of them - a great big fat house three stories high ... a very handsome [living room] about 50 feet long, with a great bow furnished with rose coloured satin, and the whole furniture of which cost £4,000. Everything is of a piece - excellent and plentiful dinners, a fat service of plate, a fat butler, a table with a barrel of oysters and a hot pheasant, etc., wheeled into the drawing room every night at half past ten.7
Milbank, an accomplished horseman, died in October 1881. His estates passed in turn to his eldest son, Mark Milbank (1819-83), and his second son, Frederick Acclom Milbank (1820-98), Liberal Member for the North Riding of Yorkshire, 1865-85, who was created a baronet in 1882.