PRICE, Richard (1773-1861), of Knighton, Rad.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

18 Mar. 1799 - 1847

Family and Education

b. 1773, 1st s. of Richard Price, attorney, of Norton Manor, Knighton by Mary alias Margaret, da. of Charles Humphreys, attorney, of Pennant Hall, Mont. educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 17 Nov. 1790, aged 17. unm. suc. fa. 1797.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Rad. 1794-5.

Lt.-col. Rad. vols. 1803, lt.-col. commdt. 1803, (militia) 1808.

Biography

A nephew of Chase Price, who had sat for Radnorshire, Price was ‘brought in by Alderman Harley’, uncle of the patron Edward, 5th Earl of Oxford, for the boroughs seat on a vacancy in 1799. In 1807 it was alleged that

the present Lord Oxford has continued to support him; although Mr Price opposes Lord Oxford’s interest in the county of Radnor, and although Mr Price affects to come in for the borough of Radnor upon his own interest, and independently of the interest of Lord Oxford.1

Opposition to him was spasmodically attempted, but Price became increasingly secure in the seat.

In Parliament, Price was not an active Member and gave an independent and silent support to administration. Ministers were not sure of him in 1804 and 1805, when he was listed ‘doubtful’: he voted against compensation to the Duke of Atholl on 7 June and appeared in the majority for the criminal prosecution of Melville, 12 June 1805. He was not regarded by the Whigs as having been a friend to their administration: before the 1807 election they were interested in ‘obtaining the return of a staunch friend, instead of the present Member who votes with the new administration’.2

Price continued in this line, apart from votes against ministerial corruption, 25 Apr. 1809; against committing Burdett to the Tower, 5 Apr. 1810; for sinecure reform, 24 Feb. 1812; against the army estimates, 6 Mar. 1816; and against the renewal of the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816. After supporting Catholic relief on 24 Apr. 1812 and 2 Mar. 1813, he voted against it on 24 May 1813 and 9 May 1817. After 1818 there were two R. Prices in the House, but Richard was clearly the one who supported administration: the Whigs had listed him ‘Government’ in 1810, when he duly appeared in the majority of 30 Mar. on the Scheldt expedition, and the Treasury as ‘h[opeful]’ in 1813. He voted against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819, though he had appeared in the minority on the Windsor establishment, 22 Feb. 1819. Price’s only speech before 1832 was against parliamentary reform. He, rather than Charles Williams Wynn, was described as Father of the House on his retirement in 1847. He died 10 Apr. 1861, aged 88.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne

Notes