RYDER, Nathaniel (1735-1803), of Shiplake, Oxon.

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



11 Dec. 1756 - 20 May 1776

Family and Education

b. 3 July 1735, o.s. of Sir Dudley Ryder, M.P., l.c.j. King’s bench 1754-6, by Anne, da. of Nathaniel Newnham of Streatham, Surr. and sis. of Nathaniel Newnham sen.  educ. Clare, Camb. 1753.  m. 22 Jan. 1762, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Rt. Rev. Richard Terrick, bp. of Peterborough 1757-64 and London 1764-77, 6s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1756; cr. Baron Harrowby 20 May 1776.

Offices Held


Ryder inherited an interest at Tiverton which secured to him one seat, and sometimes two. This depended a good deal on access to Government patronage; generally Ryder supported Administration, and while he commanded two seats accepted the Treasury’s recommendation to one. In October 1761 he received the whip direct from Newcastle, and in Bute’s list of December 1761 was classed ‘Newcastle and Government’. On 1 Dec. he voted to postpone consideration of the peace preliminaries, but next appears in Fox’s list of Members who supported them (December 1762) with a query by his name. In James Harris’s report of the debate of 10 Dec. he is named as a speaker, without indication for which side, but Newcastle noted on 11 Dec.: ‘Ryder against us.’1

On 24 Jan. 1764 he spoke for the repeal of the cider tax—a motion supported by most Members from the western counties. On 15 Feb. he again voted against Administration on the motion to adjourn the debate on general warrants. Lord Sandwich, trying to win support for the critical debate of 17 Feb., applied to the bishop of Peterborough, Ryder’s father-in-law, about him. On 17 Feb. the bishop wrote to Grenville:2

I can only say that I have not been wanting in any step which I could take with propriety in disposing Mr. Ryder to have the same sentiments upon the question of this day which I have: he has however given me the strongest assurances that he is absolutely undetermined in his judgment, and will come to the debate entirely open to conviction.

Ryder did not vote against Administration in this division, nor is his name in any of the lists of absentees. By 1765 he was again counted as a regular Government supporter, and attended the eve-of-session meeting at the Cockpit, 9 Jan.

In July 1765 Ryder was classed by Rockingham as ‘pro’, and he did not vote against the repeal of the Stamp Act. His great ambition was a peerage: he applied for one to Grafton in 1766 and received a promise that he would be included in the next creation.3 Naturally, therefore, Ryder supported Chatham’s Administration: voted with the court on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767; seconded the Address, 24 Nov. 1767; and voted against the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768. He did not vote in the divisions over Wilkes and the Middlesex election, but supported the court on Brass Crosby’s case, 27 Mar. 1771. He voted for making Grenville’s Election Act permanent, 25 Feb. 1774, but was classed by the King as a friend. His speeches in the House were never frequent and usually short.

Ryder (Lord Harrowby since 1776) died 20 June 1803.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Add. 33000, ff. 223-4.
  • 2. Grenville mss (JM).
  • 3. Ryder’s diary, 1766 and 1767, Harrowby mss.