The Times/1926/Obituary/Holcombe Ingleby
Mr. Holcombe Ingleby
Many friends, especially Norfolk men and the surviving members of the 1910 Parliament, will hear with regret that Mr. Holcombe Ingleby, who was for eight years member for King's Lynn, died yesterday at Sedgeford Hall, Norfolk, at the age of 72.
Born on March 18, 1854, he was the son of the distinguished Shakespearian scholar, Clement Mansfield Ingleby, of whom he contributed an interesting memoir to the "Dictionary of National Biography." From him—originally a Birmingham man who settled near Ilford, in Essex—Holcombe Ingleby inherited everything except the ill health which interfered so much with the elder Ingleby's work; he had wealth for instance, some antiquarian tastes, much musical knowledge, and a fine voice. He went up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and took honours in history. After entering at Inner Temple, he changed his mind and was admitted a solicitor, practising for several years in London. The title of his firm was Ingleby and Royds, which afterwards became Royds, Rawstorne, and Co.
His marriage in 1886 to Miss Neville Rolfe, daughter of Mr,. C. F. Neville Rolfe, of Heacham Hall, took him to Norfolk and King's Lynn. There he passed most of the remaining years of his life throwing himself into the affairs of the ancient borough, of which he became Mayor in 1909, and again from 1919 to 1922. He had desired that office, partly because he was fond of the place and people and a born administrator, but also for the sentimental reason that his wife's ancestors had held it 200 years before. In 1919 and 1923 he edited the "Red Register" of King's Lynn, described in The Times as "a collection of records of no little importance for students of social life and organization in England during the 14th and 15th centuries." In 1910 he stood as Conservative candidate for the borough, and defeated the former member, the energetic and independent Mr. Thomas Gibson Bowles by a majority of 97.
What followed caused some scandal and much amusement. Three humble voters confessedly backed by more powerful people, petitioned against the new member on the ground that he and his agents had been guilty of bribery and corruption. The case was tried at King's Lynn before Mr. Justice Ridley and Mr. Justice Channell, and the hearing lasted several days, reports being eagerly read all over the country.. Mr. Ingleby had undoubtedly been the most lavish of entertainers. At his house, Sedgeford Hall, a few miles away, he had habitually received vast parties of guests, providing them with "pageants and carnivals," not to speak of refreshments, the attendance numbering 7,000 in 1905 and 3,000 in 1909. At that time he was not a Parliamentary candidate, but something of the kind went on after he became one, while presents of game were abundant. In giving evidence, the Liberal agent declared that rabbits had been scattered among the voters; but he had to confess that he himself had accepted a couple of wild duck! In the end, the Judges decided that the festivals and gifts had not been corruptly provided, and Mr. Ingleby was declared duly elected, and held the seat till 1918.
It was not only in Norfolk, where he was High Sheriff in 1923, that Mr. Ingleby was popular. The House of Commons like him for geniality and common sense; at the Carlton Club, at Boodle's, and at the Athenæum he was always welcome. He will be greatly missed. He leaves one son, who lost a foot in the war, and one daughter, a fully qualified M.D., highly regarded in her profession.