GOODRICKE, Sir John, 5th Bt. (1708-89), of Ribston, nr. Knaresborough, and Bramham Park, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - 1780
21 Dec. 1787 - 3 Aug. 1789

Family and Education

b. 20 May 1708, 1st s. of Sir Henry Goodricke, 4th Bt., by Mary, da. of Tobias Jenkyns of Grimston, Yorks., and gd.-da. of Charles, 1st Duke of Bolton. educ. Trinity, Camb. 1725. m 28 Sept. 1731, Mary Benson (formerly Johnson), illegit. da. of Robert Benson, 1st and last Baron of Bingley (of the 1st creation), 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 21 July 1738; and in 1773 to Bramham Park estate of George Fox Lane 1st Baron Bingley (of the 2nd creation), who had m. a legit. da. of Robert, Lord Bingley.

Offices Held

Resident at the court of Brussels 1750, but did not go there. Appointed minister to Sweden 1758, he remained at Copenhagen till admitted to Sweden in Apr. 1764, and was there as envoy 1764-73.


Goodricke relinquished his Stockholm appointment on succeeding to the Bramham Park estate, and in 1774 successfully contested Pontefract on the joint Walsh and Galway interests. He supported Administration on the American war. Writing on 16 July 1775 to Lord Hardwicke on the flourishing state of the north country, he described himself as ‘one of those singular persons who think we can do much better without the Americans than they can without us, and if artificial riots are not stirred up among the people, they will not suffer for want of work merely on account of the continental colonies not taking our goods’; and he concluded that ‘English ministers never gave themselves much trouble to justify the national conduct against misrepresentation, so that the world is always prejudiced against us: it is so in this dispute’. On 14 Sept. 1777 he wrote that he could not

as Mr. Burke and his sheriffs do, feel exactly the same whether the Americans get a victory or the English troops, or whether they ruin us or we them by captures; with Mr. Burke’s leave I suppose I ought to feel in a different manner for the fortune of my son than I should for the misfortunes of one of the descendants of my family whose ancestors sprung from it in Queen Elizabeth’s time.1

Goodricke was listed as ‘pro, present’ on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779, which to him was ‘an innovation in the constitution and narrowed the elective powers of the people’: no arguments had been produced for excluding contractors from the House of Commons any more than others in lucrative employments, including officers in the army and navy.2 He voted with Administration on Keppel, 3 Mar. 1779. On 10 Mar. 1779 he supported Hoghton’s motion for granting further relief to Protestant Dissenters, because ‘union was much wanted throughout the kingdom, and this would promote it’.3 Goodricke does not appear in any of the other division lists for the remainder of the Parliament, but was among the Yorkshire gentlemen who met at Lord North’s house, 24 Dec. 1779, to express disapproval of the York meeting calling for economical reform.4 He did not stand again at the general election, but in 1787 was returned for Ripon on the Lawrence interest. He did not vote on the Regency, 1788-9, and died 3 Aug. 1789.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Add. 35425, ff. 264, 281.
  • 2. Almon, xii. 128.
  • 3. Ibid. 108.
  • 4. Pol. Memoranda of the Duke of Leeds, 19.