Francis Bingham Mildmay, 1st Baron Mildmay of Flete

Mildmay in 1895.

Francis Bingham Mildmay, 1st Baron Mildmay of Flete, TD, DL (26 April 1861 – 8 February 1947)[1] was initially a Liberal and later a Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 until 1922 when he was raised to the peerage.

Mildmay was the son of Henry Bingham Mildmay and his wife, Georgiana Frances (née Bulteel). He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2] He became a partner in the firm of Baring Brothers.[3]

At the 1885 general election, Mildmay was elected Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for the Totnes division of Devon.[4] He was one of the Liberal Unionists who combined to oppose the Home Rule Bill in 1885, and was returned in subsequent parliaments as a Liberal Unionist, and from 1912 as a Conservative.[4] He held the seat for 37 years until he retired from the Commons at the 1922 general election[5] and was ennobled.

Mildmay held a commission as a lieutenant in the West Kent Yeomanry (Queen's Own), a cavalry Yeomanry regiment, where he was later promoted captain on 17 May 1893, and Major. He saw active service in the Second Boer War when he volunteered for the Imperial Yeomanry, where he was appointed a Lieutenant of a battalion on 10 February 1900.[6] He later served in World War I between 1914 and 1918. At one stage he was divisional interpreter of General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow, who referred to him with affection and some wonderment at his tireless work and bravery in doing his duty at the Second Battle of Ypres. Mildmay was often found to be carrying messages across the battlefield. Snow described him as a colourful and brave chap and recommended him for a decoration more than once though he never got one[7] apart from the Territorial Decoration (TD).

Mildmay was created Baron Mildmay of Flete, of Totnes in the County of Devon, on the 20 November 1922[8] and was a member of the Committee for Review of Political Honours Commission between 1923 and 1924. He was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Devon in 1928. He lived at Flete House, a mansion near Plymouth built by his father which remodelled and extended the original house of the Elizabethan era. He was an extensive breeder and exhibitor of South Devon Cattle and was President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1932 and from 1941-43. He was a member and treasurer of the Medical Research Council and a director of the Great Western Railway.


Mildmay married Alice O. St. J. Grenfell, daughter of Charles Seymour Grenfell, in 1906. They had two children: a son, Anthony, and a daughter.


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 2)
  2. "Mildmay, Francis Bingham (MLDY879FB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  4. 1 2 Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 262. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  5. "Lord Mildmay of Flete A Link With Gladstone". The Times. London. 10 February 1947. p. 7, col D.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27163. p. 909. 9 February 1900.
  7. Snow, Peter; Pottle, Mark, eds. (2011). The Confusion of Command, The War Memoirs of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow, 1914-1915. Frontline Books. p. 107-108. ISBN 978-1-84832-575-3.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 32776. p. 8794. 12 December 1922.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Totnes
Succeeded by
Samuel Emile Harvey
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The 4th Earl Fortescue
Lord Lieutenant of Devon
Succeeded by
The 5th Earl Fortescue
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New title Baron Mildmay of Flete
Succeeded by
Anthony Bingham Mildmay
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