GYBBON, Phillips (1678-1762), of Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 11 Oct. 1678, 1st surv. s. of Robert Gybbon of Hole Park by Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Phillips. m. Catherine, da. of Honor Bier, 1da. suc. fa. 1719.
Commr. of the revenue [I] 1714-26; chairman of committee of privileges and elections 1722-7; surveyor gen. 1726-30; ld. of Treasury 1742-4.
Descended from a wealthy clothier, who bought an estate on the Kent-Sussex border under Henry VIII, Gybbon was returned as a Whig for the neighbouring borough of Rye, which he represented continuously for 55 years. Obtaining a place at George I’s accession, he voted with the Government, except on the peerage bill, which he opposed. He was one of the leading ministerial supporters in the Commons who attended private meetings at Walpole’s house immediately before and after the opening of the new Parliament in 1722,1 when he was chosen without a contest to be chairman of the elections committee. As chairman he insisted on committing a rioter to the Gate House for ‘having spoke some reflecting words on the Government at Coventry’, although both parties to the petition had agreed to the release of all the rioters. On another election petition, he
declared for the ayes and the noes said they had it, and upon going to divide he leaped out of the chair and ran away; his pretence was that a Member had gone out of the House, and so the Committee could not divide after the question, but everyone said it was a partial proceeding, for he as chairman should have taken care the doors had been shut on the question.2
He moved unsuccessfully for the special tax on papists to be extended to non-jurors, 6 May 1723, spoke against the restoration of Bolingbroke’s estates, and was one of the managers of Lord Chancellor Macclesfield’s impeachment in 1725. Going into opposition, he was not re-elected chairman of the elections committee at the opening of the 1727 Parliament, in which he became one of Pulteney’s chief followers, closely associated with Samuel Sandys and Sir John Rushout. The most moderate of the three, he spoke against the Government on the civil list arrears in 1729, but objected to a demand by Sandys for the originals of some papers laid before the House by Walpole, 18 Feb. 1730, saying
that he did not speak to discourage the enquiry but he was as far from casting an odium on a minister without just cause as he would be from accusing the meanest servant. But to come to such a motion before the House had read any of those papers to know whether anything was wilfully kept back was not a right thing. So Mr Pulteney declaring he acquiesced, we were freed from the trouble of a division.
Turned out of his office when the ministry was reconstructed on Townshend’s resignation in 1730, he moved for the withdrawal of the excise bill, 4 April 1733, but was one of the opposition Members who were against a motion designed to secure its outright rejection, declaring themselves satisfied with its being dropped. His opposition at Westminster did not prevent him from co-operating in Sussex with Newcastle, who in return allowed him to continue to dispose of the Treasury patronage at Rye.3
On Walpole’s fall Gybbon, Sandys, and Rushout were placed by Pulteney on the new Treasury board on which they combined to outvote and overrule its nominal head, Lord Wilmington. When Pelham succeeded Wilmington in 1743, Sandys and Rushout were transferred to other posts but Gybbon, who Walpole prophesied would prove reasonable,4 was allowed to continue at the board, till they were all turned out with Granville at the end of 1744. In 1746, when he voted for the Hanoverians, he was classed as one of the followers of Pulteney, now Bath.
In the 1747 Parliament Gybbon, classed as Opposition, attached himself to the Prince of Wales,5 in whose lists of future office holders he figures as a lord of the Treasury. After Frederick’s death he made his peace with the Pelhams, with whose support he continued to be returned for Rye till his death, 12 Mar. 1762.