WALDO SIBTHORP, Coningsby Waldo (?1782-1822), of Canwick Hall, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



21 May 1814 - 9 Mar. 1822

Family and Education

b. ?1782, 1st s. of Humphrey Sibthorp† (afterwards Waldo Sibthorp) of Canwick and Susannah, da. of Richard Ellison, banker, of Thorne, Yorks. and Sudbrooke Holme, Lincs.; bro. of Charles De Laet Waldo Sibthorp*. educ. Louth g.s. 1791; Westminster 1797; Corpus, Oxf. Nov. 1800, aged 18. unm. suc. fa. 1815. d. 9 Mar. 1822.

Offices Held

Capt. R. South Lincs. militia 1804, maj. 1808, lt.-col. 1813.


At the general election of 1820 Sibthorp stood again for Lincoln, where he had sat, like his father before him, since 1814, on the strength of his wealth, residence at Canwick Hall on the city’s southern edge and connection with his uncle Richard Ellison, a local banker and former Member. Despite being ‘too much indisposed to appear in the open air’ (his clergyman brother Humphrey stood in for him), he topped the poll after a contest forced by a third man.1 As previously, he was inconspicuous in the House, partly on account of his poor health. He refused to present the address of a public meeting in support of Queen Caroline in December 1820, on the pretext that he did ‘not consider such a service as within the range of his parliamentary duties’. He promoted a meeting to get up a loyal address to the king, 14 Dec. 1820, when he deplored the ‘enormous abuse’ of the right of free speech in ‘disgusting and disgraceful attempts ... to vilify and degrade’ the monarch, and provoked anger with his assertion that Caroline’s supporters had ‘treason in their hearts’. His address was overwhelmingly rejected, but was subsequently made available for signatures.2 He voted in defence of the Liverpool ministry’s prosecution of the queen, 6 Feb., and on the 13th dissented from the prayer of the Lincoln petition in her support:

He had never been able to bring himself to consider the proceedings against Her Majesty as unjust, illegal and inexpedient; and as to parliamentary reform, he ever should oppose every system which, under the pretence of reform, threatened to endanger the best principles of our constitution.

Ten days later he was ‘severely and dangerously hurt’, suffering ‘paralysis in the lower part of the back’, when a wheel flew off his carriage in Lincoln Minster Yard; sabotage was suspected but never proved.3 Although he partially recovered, his parliamentary career was over: no further votes or speeches have been found and on 9 May 1821 he was given six weeks’ sick leave. He was reported to be on the mend after ‘a severe relapse’, 15 Feb., but he died at Canwick, ‘aged 40’, in March 1822. According to a fulsome and scarcely credible obituary

in his more immediate neighbourhood he left a void which will not easily be supplied ... His manners were those of a perfect gentleman, polite, courteous, and unassuming. There was an inexpressible suavity in his demeanour that endeared him to all ... His powers of conversation threw instruction and delight all around him ... His intellectual attainments were of a very superior quality.4

By his will, dated 6 Nov. 1821, he left a life annuity of £300 and a legacy of £1,000 to his mother and a life annuity of £100 to Margaret Browne, ‘spinster, now residing at Canwick’. To Humphrey he devised a legacy of £8,000, plus £4,00 in shares and bonds, fee farm rents at Bristol worth £60 a year and a freehold house in Broadway, Blackfriars, London. He gave his brother Richard £8,000 and provided £3,000 to be invested for the benefit of the children of his sister Mary Hawkins. His real estate in Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire and the residue of personal estate sworn under £45,000 passed to his next brother Charles, who replaced him in the Lincoln seat.5

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 3, 10, 17 Mar. 1820; Sir F. Hill, Georgian Lincoln, 79, 227-8.
  • 2. Hill, 228-9; Drakard’s Stamford News, 8, 15, 22, 29 Dec. 1820.
  • 3. Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 2, 9 Mar. 1821.
  • 4. Ibid. 15 Feb., 15 Mar. 1822; Gent. Mag. (1822), i. 280-1.
  • 5. PROB 11/1656/220; IR26/927/339.