BURTON (afterwards PHILLIPSON), Richard (?1723-92).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1 Dec. 1762 - 1768
14 Apr. 1770 - 18 Aug. 1792

Family and Education

b. ?1723, s. of William Burton of Herringswell, Suff. by his w. Grace Phillipson. educ. Eton 1732; Emmanuel, Camb. 28 Jan. 1742, aged 18; M. Temple 1741. unm. Took name of Phillipson 1766.

Offices Held

Cornet 1 Drag. 1744, lt. 1746, capt.-lt. 1750, capt 1751, maj. 1759; lt.-col. 1761; lt.-col. 1 Drag. 1771; col. 1775; col. 20 Lt. Drag. 1779-85; maj.-gen. 1779; col. 3 Drag. Gds. 1785- d.; lt.-gen. 1787.


Burton was returned for Eye on the interest of his friend, Lord Cornwallis. In the autumn of 1763 he was classed by Jenkinson as ‘doubtful’; he voted with the Opposition over Wilkes on 15 Nov. 1763, and on general warrants, 18 Feb. 1764, but in Newcastle’s division list of 6 Feb.1 appears as voting with the Government, which is apparently a mistake as on 10 May Newcastle included him among his ‘sure friends’. In the summer of 1765 Rockingham classed him as ‘pro’. He supported the Chatham Administration, and voted with them on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768.

In 1768 Phillipson (as he now was) unsuccessfully contested Winchelsea on the interest of Arnold Nesbitt, presumably with Government sanction and support. After his return to the House in 1770 Phillipson adhered to the North Government. Next he voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries; against Fox’s East India bill; and adhered to Pitt. There is no record of his having ever spoken during his 28 years in Parliament.

With age he grew very deaf and very stout. In 1784 Lord Cornwallis complained of Phillipson having ‘most provokingly left all his trumpets in London, which is hard upon me in our têtes-à-tête’;2 and on 16 May 1790 Lord Brome wrote to his uncle, William Cornwallis, who was going to stand for Eye together with Phillipson:3 ‘If you are not here, he will very well do for two, and I think it will be no easy matter to chair him.’

He died 18 Aug. 1792.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Add. 32955, ff. 405-7.
  • 2. Cornwallis Corresp. i. 181.
  • 3. HMC Var. vi. 354.