SYMONS, Richard (?1743-96), of Mynde Park, Hereford
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Family and Education
b. ?1743, o.s. of Richard Peers, alderman of London, by Anna Sophia, da. of Richard Symons of Mynde Park. unm. suc. to Mynde Park estate of his mat. uncle John Symons and took name of Symons 1763; suc. fa. 1772; cr. Bt. 23 May 1774.
Symons inherited from his uncle ‘a large independent fortune’1 and an estate near Hereford. In 1768 he was returned unopposed for the borough as he was at his two subsequent elections. In Parliament he voted with the Opposition on Wilkes’s petition, 27 Jan. 1769, Wilkes’s libel, 2 Feb. 1769, and the Middlesex election, 8 May 1769. He does not appear in any other division list between January 1770 and May 1772, but Robinson classed him as ‘pro, present’ in both his surveys on the royal marriage bill, March 1772, and Symons voted with the Administration on Grenville’s Act, 25 Feb. 1774. He was listed by Robinson in September 1774 as a Government supporter, and henceforth voted constantly with them till the fall of North. During the debate on Sir John Rous’s motion of no confidence, 15 Mar. 1782, Symons was ‘the first who spoke in favour of the Administration’:2
He did not speak the language of a lukewarm friend, ready to desert, or feebly to support a minister, to whose measures he had formerly given his avowed and open support; on the contrary, he said, he spoke out manfully in the style of one who having acted from principle, still upheld the Administration of a man of whose measures he had always from principle approved ... He said he looked upon and felt himself as independent a man as any in the House; and that, laying his hand upon his heart, he was able to say in truth and upon his honour, that he believed this war and the public calamities were not to be ascribed or imputed to the noble Lord; but to the extraordinary and unjustifiable opposition that had been given to the measures of Government.
Symons voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and was classed by Robinson in March 1783 as ‘North, doubtful’. On 31 Mar. he said in the House:3
As to the present Coalition, he could not help mentioning to their honour, a report which he had heard that day; it was that they meant to serve their country without receiving the emoluments of office; if that was true, they might depend on his warmest support, if otherwise he thought the Coalition so unnatural, that he should deem it his duty to watch them narrowly before he gave them any support.
Symons voted against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, and in both Robinson’s list of January 1784 and in Stockdale’s of 19 Mar. he was classed as a follower of Pitt. At the general election he was opposed at Hereford by Lord Surrey, and was forced to withdraw on the eve of the poll. Symons did not attempt to re-enter Parliament. On 30 July 1789 he wrote to Pitt offering his support to an Administration candidate at Hereford, and explaining that ill-health prevented him from standing.4
He died 4 July 1796.