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Edmund Backhouse (MP): Wikis


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Edmund Backhouse (1824 – 7 June 1906), banker, J.P. on the County Durham and for the North Riding of Yorkshire benches. He was Member of Parliament for Darlington.



He was the youngest son of Jonathan Backhouse (1779-1842), banker, of Polam Hill, Darlington, and of his wife Hannah Chapman Backhouse, daughter of Joseph Gurney (1757-1841) and Jane Gurney, born Chapman [1] of Norwich [2].



Both parents were ministers[3] of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), travelling in Great Britain and North America[4].


Edmund Backhouse

Edmund Backhouse married Juliet Mary, daughter and sole heir of Charles Fox of Trebah in Cornwall, and his wife, Sarah. After the death of his sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Barclay Fox, the Backhouses brought up their daughter, Jane Hannah Fox. They were the parents of Sir Jonathan Backhouse, 1st Baronet and grandparents of Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Baronet, Admiral Oliver Backhouse (1876-1943), twins: Lt-Col Miles Roland Charles Backhouse (1878-1962), Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Roland Charles Backhouse (1878-1939) and Lady Harriet Findlay DBE (1880-1954).


In 1845 he became a junior partner in Jonathan Backhouse & Company, the family bank [5].


In 1867, he was elected M.P. for Darlington as a Liberal.[6].He was re-elected in 1874. He retired from Parliament in 1880. He was succeeded by Theodore Fry.

Residence in Cornwall

He bought Trebah from his father-in-Law. He probably played a large part in the development of the remarkable garden, which is now open to the public.


He died at Trebah on 7 June 1906, aged 82 years and was buried at the Quaker Burial Ground in Budock. His executors sold Trebah to Mr. and Mrs. Hext

Obituary in The Times


"Mr. Backhouse was a genial good-hearted gentleman, at once a banker and a country squire. He was diligent and painstaking in all he undertook in public or private life, and was considered one of the ablest representatives sent from the north to Parliament. He was not an orator, but his speeches were characterised by good sense and extreme caution. His judgement was considered safe and he was always conscientious."


  1. ^ Maternal grand-father, Joseph Gurney (1757-1841) - Source: Milligan's Biographical dictionary of British Quakers in commerce and industry - not Joseph Gurney (1804–1879).
  2. ^ Archives of the Backhouse family have been deposited at the University of Durham (accessed 1 March 2008). These archives also contains material on the Fox, Gurney and Hustler families.
  3. ^ They were recorded by their Monthly Meeting as regularly giving acceptable spoken ministry in the Meeting for Worship.
  4. ^ "Travelling" here means "travelling in the ministry", that is visiting the Quaker communities and speaking at their Meetings for Worship.
  5. ^ For an account of the banks of Darlington, including Backhouse's Bank, see A draft article for the Victoria County History of Durham by Gillian Cookson.
  6. ^ Some of his political papers are held at: Senate House Library, University of London - Reference code: GB 0096 MS 761 - They appear to concern legislation on private banks.
  7. ^ Obituary in The Times June 8, 1906, Page 3, Column F

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Darlington
Succeeded by
Theodore Fry


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