Charles Seely (1803–1887)

For other people named Charles Seely, see Charles Seely (disambiguation).
"Statesmen No.290"
As depicted by "Spy" (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, 21 December 1878

Charles Seely (3 October 1803 21 October 1887) was a 19th-century industrialist and British Liberal Party politician, who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln from 1847 to 1848 and again from 1861 to 1885.[1]

Personal life

He was born and educated in Lincoln. His parents were Charles Seely (1768–1809) and Ann Wilkinson of Lincoln. He married Mary Hilton in 1831.

Hosting Garibaldi

In 1864, Seely was the Deputy Lieutenant for Lincolnshire, when he played host to the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, when Garibaldi visited 26 Prince's Gate Hyde Park, his house in London and Seely's estate at Brook House on the Isle of Wight. Garibaldi stayed at Brook House from 3 to 11 April, during which time he was also joined by Giuseppe Mazzini, the Italian writer and politician whose efforts helped bring about the modern Italian state. During this time Garibaldi raised funds for his Italian campaigns. On 11 April Garibaldi left Brook House with Seely and travelled from Southampton to London, where he was greeted by crowds estimated at half a million people, according to The Illustrated London News. Garibaldi stayed several days at Seely's house in London where a reception was hosted for him on 19 April. The next day he travelled to the Guildhall where he was given the Freedom of the City of London.


Seely made his fortune in the Industrial Revolution through a contract with the navy for pig iron, which was used in the 19th Century as ballast for ships. He was chairman of the House of Commons Committee on Admiralty Reform in 1868. In a Vanity Fair Spy cartoon, 1878, on notable people of the day, he was noted as "Statesmen No.290".[2] He later diversified his fortune into acquiring coal mines and property - in 1883 he owned 9,264 acres of the Isle of Wight,[3] 2,929 of Worcester and 394 of Bedfordshire. By 1900 the family estates in the Isle of Wight comprised almost the entire west side of the island.

In the 1870s he commissioned Myles Birket Foster to paint 50 watercolours of Venice.


Four other members of his family became Members of Parliament and played prominent roles in politics during the 19th and 20th centuries:

Additionally, his great-grandson David Peter Seely, 4th Baron Mottistone, who was baptised with Winston Churchill and the then Prince of Wales (subsequently Edward VIII) as his godparents, was the Deputy Lieutenant for Lincolnshire, Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight and its last Governor. His youngest sister Jane Anne Seely married (1882) Henry George Gore-Browne who received the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Henry was a great-great grandson of the 1st Earl of Altamont MP, whose heir is the Marquess of Sligo.


  1. "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "L" (part 3)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  2. "NPG D43882; Charles Seely ('Statesmen. No. 290.') - Portrait - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  3. John Bateman, The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland, London, 1876, page 400.


By Giacomo Emilio Curàtulo &

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Delaet Waldo Sibthorp
William Rickford Collett
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
With: Charles Delaet Waldo Sibthorp
Succeeded by
Charles Delaet Waldo Sibthorp
Thomas Benjamin Hobhouse
Preceded by
George Heneage
Gervaise Tottenham Waldo Sibthorp
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
With: George Heneage, to 1862;
John Bramley-Moore, 18621865;
Edward Heneage, 18651868;
John Hinde Palmer, 18681974;
Edward Chaplin, 18741880;
John Hinde Palmer, 18801884;
Joseph Ruston, 18841885
Succeeded by
Joseph Ruston
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.