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Sir John Robert Mowbray, 1st Baronet PC (3 June 1815 – 22 April 1899), known as John Cornish until 1847, was a British Conservative politician and long-serving Member of Parliament, eventually serving as Father of the House.

Sir John Mowbray

John Robert Mowbray (1815–1899), by Walter William Ouless.jpg
John Robert Mowbray (Walter William Ouless, 1886)
Father of the House of Commons
In office
Preceded byCharles Pelham Villiers
Succeeded byWilliam Wither Bramston Beach
Personal details
Born(1815-06-03)3 June 1815
Died22 April 1899(1899-04-22) (aged 83)
OccupationMember of Parliament
Known forFather of the House



Mowbray was the son of Robert Stirling Cornish, and was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1847 he married Elizabeth Gray, the sole heir of George Isaac Mowbray of Bishopwearmouth. The same year he assumed by Royal licence the surname of Mowbray in lieu of his patronymic to reflect the large fortune he married into. Together, they had three sons and two daughters.[1]

"Committee of Selection"
Mowbray as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, April 1882

In 1853 Mowbray was elected to the House of Commons for Durham, a seat he held until 1868, and then represented Oxford University from 1868 until his death in 1899. In the House, he was chair of the Committee of Selection and of the Standing Orders Committee.[2] He served as Judge Advocate General under the Earl of Derby from 1858 to 1859 and under Derby and later Benjamin Disraeli from 1866 to 1868. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1858 and in 1880 he was created a baronet. From 1898 until his death the following year Mowbray was Father of the House of Commons.[1]

A bronze bust was erected as a memorial in the House of Commons in 1900.[2]


  1. ^ a b Pollard 1901.
  2. ^ a b "Political notes". The Times (36061). London. 9 February 1900. p. 10.


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