Born into a wealthy and influential Anglo-Irish family as Henry
Phipps, he succeeded to the title of Baron Mulgrave (Irish peerage)
on the death of his brother in 1792. He had entered the army, as
an Ensign in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards on 8th June 1775. In
an era when commissions were most commonly purchased (rather than
earned or awarded), his substantial financial resources and family
connections allowed him to rise rapidly through the ranks. Only
five years after first donning a uniform, he was Lieutenant Colonel
of the 88th Regiment of Foot. That regiment was disbanded three
years later, so he returned to the 1st Foot Guards (retaining the
rank of Lieutenant Colonel but soon after acquiring a full Colonelcy).
King George III conferred the Colonelcy of the 31st Regiment upon
Colonel Lord Mulgrave on the 8th February 1793. Lord Mulgrave was
promoted to Major General on the 3rd October 1794; to Lieutenant
General on the 1st January 1801, and to General on 25th October
Lord Mulgrave served in America from 1776 to the end of 1778; in
the West Indies in 1780: he commanded at Toulon in 1793; in New
Zealand in 1794; and in 1799 his Lordship was employed on a military
mission to the Archduke Charles and Marshal Suvaroff. He was appointed
Master General of the Ordnance on 5th May 1810, and held that appointment
until 31st December 1818.
Following his retirement, he became Governor of Scarborough Castle
and Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire. He was appointed
a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and, in 1812, was
created Viscount Normanby and Earl of Mulgrave (English peerage).
He died on 12th April 1831, still in command, and after the exceptionally
long tenure of thirty-eight years as Colonel of the Regiment.