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1st Baron ( 1834 - 1923 )

Michael BIDDULPH, 1st Baron Biddulph (17 February 1834 – 6 April 1923) was a British banker and Liberal, later Liberal Unionist, Member of Parliament (MP).

BIDDULPH was the eldest son of Robert BIDDULPH and his wife Elizabeth (nee PALMER), and was educated at Harrow. He was a partner in the London banking firm of Cocks, Biddulph and Co. In 1865 he was elected to the House of Commons for Herefordshire, a seat he held until 1885, and then represented Ross between 1886 and 1900. At first a Liberal, he disagreed with William Ewart GLADSTONE on the issue of Irish Home Rule and sat as a Liberal Unionist after 1886. BIDDULPH was also a Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and served as Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire. In 1903 he was raised to the peerage as Baron BIDDULPH, of Ledbury in the County of Hereford.

Lord BIDDULPH married, firstly, Adelaide Georgiana, daughter of General Jonathan PEEL, in 1864. They had two sons and three daughters. After her death in 1872 he married, secondly, Lady Elizabeth Philippa, daughter of Charles YORKE, 4th Earl of Hardwicke, in 1877. They had no children. Lord BIDDULPH died in April 1923, aged 89, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son from his first marriage, John. Lady BIDDULPH died in 1916, aged 81.

The cottage hospital was erected in 1891 by Michael BIDDULPH, Esq., M.P., it opened on the 29th December, but patients were not accepted until June 1892.
Mr BIDDULPH of Ledbury Park funded the hospital, in commemoration of the coming of age of his eldest son.
A Retrospect


January 16 A meeting held at the Town Hall which interesting addresses on the life and works of the great poetess were given by Mr. Rider HAGGARD, Mr. M. BIDDULPH. M.P. (who presided). Lady Elizabeth BIDDULPH, the Bishop of Hereford. Mr. RANKIN, M.P., Mr. C. W. R. COOKE, M.P., the Rev. Preb. MADDISON GREEN, the Rev. C. Y. POTTS, &c.

February 4 In the afternoon the subscribers and donors of the Ledbury Cottage Hospital held a meeting, at which the twenty-third annual report was submitted and passed. Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., appealed for funds and threw out suggestions with regard to raising the necessary money for keeping the institution going in an efficient manner.

April 13 Celebrated the first annual supper of the Ledbury Quoit Club, Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., presiding.

June 1 Evening monthly meeting of the Urban Council, Mr. BIDDULPH, M.P., moved a resolution that the County Council be asked to take such steps to prevent a recurrence of the traction engine accident of the 26th outside Bank House.

November 2 Evening, at a meeting of the Urban Council, Mr. Edward MADDISON, of the National Provincial Bank, was appointed treasurer of the Urban Council, in the place of Mr. A. BROWN, of the Capital and Counties Bank who had left Ledbury. The water question was again considered, and Mr. M. BIDDULPH moved “That a Committee, not to exceed five in number, be appointed to consider the question and expense of storage of the surplus water from the Conygree and Brickyard schemes, with power to consult a competent authority on the subject, and to report to the Council.” Mr. BIDDULPH said he should be pleased to place his stone quarry at the disposal of the Council for a reservoir without serious expense to the Council. The motion was adopted.

November 10 Mr. John BIDDULPH, eldest son of Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., was married to Miss Marjorie Caroline Susan MURE,, youngest daughter of the late Col. William MURE. D.L.. and the Hon. Hrs. MURE, of Caldwell, Glasgow.


January 11 the Urban Council held a special meeting to further consider the proposed sewerage for the town. The Newtown separate scheme, estimated to cost £ 1,364, was produced. Mr. BIDDULPH’S motion, “That Mr. BERRINGTON’S scheme be adopted pro forma, and that a sub-committee be appointed to confer with Mr. BERRINGTON on various points” was carried by one vote. The following committee was appointed: Messrs. W. A. C. GABB, C. W. STEPHENS, H. BRAY, J. DAWES, and J. FLOYD.

February 2 In the afternoon the 24th general annual meeting of the subscribers and donors to the Ledbury Cottage Hospital was held ,Mr. BIDDULPH, M.P.,(president of the Hospital), presiding. The report showed that the income had exceeded the expenditure by £17 16s. 5d,, and referred to the loss the institution had sustained in the death of Mr. E. J. WEBB ; the report also referred to the handsome legacy of £150 to the Hospital from Mrs. RUSSELL, late of Woodlands. The balance sheet was adopted, the opinion being expressed that it was desirous that a lasting memorial of the Jubilee should be erected.

April 20 The annual meeting of the Urban Council was held, when Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., was elected chairman and Mr. C. W. STEPHENS, C.C. vice-chairman.

May 7 A hastily summoned meeting was held in private, at which it was stated that Mr. BIDDULPH had been to the Local Government Board, and that all hopes of the scheme need not be abandoned.

June 16 The Urban Council appointed Mr, W. E. JONES Collector. Considerable opposition was given to the proposed Reservoir, on the terms offered by Mr. BIDDULPH, viz that a site be leased by the Council for a term of 99 years at a pepper corn rent of 1/- per annum. The Meeting ended with the intent of approaching Mr. BIDDULPH to sell the site outright to the Council.

August 3 The Urban Council agreed to the draft deed of water rights from Lady Henry SOMERSET for £500 and the lease of the quarry for the reservoir from Mr. BIDDULPH for 99 years. The sewerage question was also fully considered.

October 16 Mr. BIDDULPH’S mansion, at the Upper Cross, which had been concealed by stucco, at this date presented the appearance of one of the old Elizabethan granges. The stucco, or plaster, having being removed, brought to view a perfect specimen of half-timbered architecture.


December 19 Mr. J. HUMPHREYS, F.L.S., gave a lecture in the Royal Hall on “The Contrivances of Plants” in aid of the Cottage Hospital. Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., presided.


October 2 Mr. M. BIDDULPH retired at General Election, after representing the County 35 years, and Captain Percy A. CLIVE (C.) returned unopposed in his place.

November 14 At a largely attended Meeting held at The Barrett Browning Institute it was decided to hold a Public Dinner in honour of Mr. M. BIDDULPH, on his retirement from Parliament after representing the County of Hereford for 35 years. It was subsequently decided that there should be a County Presentation of a piece of Plate on the same occasion. The function was fixed to take place at The Feathers Hotel on Friday, January 4th, 1901.


January 4 Banquet and Presentation to Mr. Michael BIDDULPH after serving his native County in Parliament 35 years, at The Feathers Hotel.

Related Links
Lady Elizabeth BIDDULPH ( Wife )
John Michael Gordon BIDDULPH 2nd Baron ( Son )
Michael William John BIDDULPH 3rd Baron Grandson
Ledbury Park ( Residence )

Introduction - The free encyclopedia - Wikipedia
1897 - 1980 A Retrospect Tilleys Almanacks - Herefordshire History
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Cuttings from Old Ledbury Reporter Newspapers