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Christopher Sykes (MP): Wikis


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Sir Christopher Sykes (1831 – 15 December 1898) was a British Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) and friend of Edward VII as Prince of Wales.

Christopher was the second son of Sir Tatton Sykes, 4th Baronet. His father was a popular horse breeder who bred bloodstock; however, he was an authoritarian father who bullied his children[1]. At the earliest opportunity young Christopher began mixing with London's great and good. Fashionable, and somewhat snobbish, he became a connoisseur of books, china and furniture, before being elected in 1865, a Conservative MP for Beverley, then from 1868 for the East Riding of Yorkshire. He held this seat until 1885, when it was abolished, and was then elected for Buckrose, one of the constituencies into which his previous constituency had been divided, which he represented until 1892. Between 1868 and 1892, he made only six speeches, and did not speak on any particular issue except in favour of a bill for the preservation of seabirds, earning him the nickname Gull's Friend.

Sykes became a close friend of Edward VII as Prince of Wales. The Prince was entertained in great splendour at Brantingham Thorpe, Sykes' country house in Yorkshire, during the Doncaster Races, and at his London home in Berkeley Square. The Prince exploited his friend and subjected him to humiliations, for example, on one occasion, poured a decanter of brandy over his head.

However, Sykes's lavish entertainment of the Marlborough House Set soon put a strain on his finances. Nearly bankrupted in 1890, Sykes was forced to sell both Brantingham Thorpe and his London home. At a general election two years later, he lost his parliamentary seat. Despite this, the Prince of Wales never forgot his devoted friend, and after Sykes' death in 1898, he installed a tablet to his memory at Westminster Abbey.



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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Henry Edwards and
James Robert Walker
Member of Parliament for Beverley
With: Harry Edwards
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Edwards and
Edmund Hegan Kennard
Preceded by
Lord Hotham and
Arthur Duncombe
Member of Parliament for East Riding of Yorkshire
With: William Henry Harrison-Broadley
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Buckrose
Succeeded by
Sir Angus Holden


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