Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/291

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tired from practice to Oxford. He subsequently returned to London, and is said to have resumed his practice. He died in London on 28 April 1751, aged about 71. At the Society of Antiquaries there is a portrait of Vertue by Gibson, painted in 1723 (engraved by Vertue himself); at the Royal Society a portrait of Flamsteed the astronomer; at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, portraits of Flamsteed and John Locke; and at the National Portrait Gallery a portrait of Archbishop Wake. Many of his portraits were engraved by J. Faber, J. Simon, G. White, G. Vertue, and others, including Sir Robert Walpole, Admiral Sir Charles Wager, Dr. Sacheverell, Robert, lord Molesworth, and the Rev. Samuel Clarke.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Dallaway and Wornum; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.

GIBSON, THOMAS MILNER- (1806–1884), statesman, was born at Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, 3 Sept. 1806, and baptised on 8 Nov. His father, Thomas Milner Gibson, son of the Rev. Thomas Gibson, of a family settled at Dovercourt-cum-Harwich and Ipswich, was a major of the 37th foot, who after serving in Trinidad returned to England, where he died in May 1807. His mother, Isabella, daughter of Henry Glover of Chester, after the death of her husband, remarried, in July 1810, Thomas Whiting Wootton, who died in 1844. The only child, Thomas, coming to England with his parents in 1807, was after some time sent to a unitarian school at Higham Hill, Walthamstow, kept by Dr. Eliezer Cogan [q. v.], where he had Benjamin Disraeli for one of his companions. He was next at a school at Blackheath, then was entered at the Charterhouse in 1819, and five years afterwards was at a private tutor's in Nottinghamshire. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he came out thirty-sixth wrangler in 1830, when he proceeded B.A. He was returned as member for Ipswich in the conservative interest on 27 July 1837, but two years later resigned, after becoming a convert to the liberal doctrines of the period. He appealed to the electors to receive him in his new capacity, but was defeated at the poll, 15 July 1839, by Sir T. J. Cochrane. He then contested Cambridge, but it was some time before he was again seen in the House of Commons. Like many other able young men, he found in free trade and its development the cardinal point of his political creed. In the intervals of his exclusion from parliamentary life, while the agitation was being organised for the abolition of the corn laws, he entered heart and soul into the movement, and became one of Cobden's most influential allies, and one of the prominent orators of the league. This gave him a seat for Manchester, which he won, 1 July 1841, after a severe struggle with Sir George Murray. On the formation of Lord John Russell's ministry in July 1846, with the object of carrying out a free trade policy, he was appointed vice-president of the board of trade, and became a privy councillor on 8 July. The object of Lord John Russell was to strengthen the government by an alliance with the chiefs of the league. Gibson, although he only held office until April 1848, will always be remembered as one of the first official exponents of free trade. Like Lord Palmerston and Charles Buller, he combined great powers of argument with a happy use of ironical humour. His speeches on the sugar duties in 1848 were marked by a thorough mastery of the whole question, and were some of the best delivered on that topic, and his addresses throughout the anti-cornlaw agitation, both in and out of parliament, convinced his audiences. In March 1857 he seconded Cobden's vote of censure of Lord Palmerston's Chinese policy, but together with his friend and colleague John Bright lost his seat for Manchester, his objection to the Crimean war having proved distasteful to his constituents; however, on 14 Dec. he found refuge at Ashton-under-Lyne, which he continued to represent until 1868, when, being defeated on 17 Nov. by Thomas Walton Mellor, he retired from public life. In March 1869 he was offered but declined the governorship of the Mauritius; he also refused to accept the honour of K.C.B. On the motion for the second reading of Lord Palmerston's bill to amend the law of conspiracy, Gibson moved a vote of censure on the government, which was carried by 234 against 215, and Palmerston resigned 19 Feb. 1858. During Lord Palmerston's ministry, 1859–65, and in the short-lived government of Lord John Russell which followed, 1865–6, Gibson was president of the poor law board, 25 June to 10 July 1859, and president of the board of trade, with cabinet rank, from July 1859 to July 1866, having held the latter place longer than any of his predecessors. He took an active part in the promotion of the commercial treaty with France. The abolition of the newspaper stamp, the advertisement duty, and the excise on paper was, to a very great extent, due to his exertions. In 1850 he became the president of the Association for the Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge, and took every opportunity of urging on the government the necessity of doing away with the three restrictive duties. This subject was