RAMSBOTTOM, Richard (?1749-1813), of Clewer Cottage, nr. Windsor, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. ?1749. m., 1 surv. da. (Elizabeth, who m. 21 Feb. 1793, Anthony Bushby Bacon).1
This Member was almost certainly the Richard Ramsbottom who was apprenticed to Thomas Isherwood, a partner with James Isherwood in a distillery in Aldersgate Street, London, on 6 Sept. 1763, when his father was described as Richard Ramsbottom, coffee house keeper, of Goswell Street. His father had probably only recently come to London from Yorkshire, for the John Ramsbottom who was apprenticed to Isherwood in 1761, when the father was named as Richard Ramsbottom, excise officer, of Barnsley, was in all likelihood his brother.2 By 1773 the Ramsbottom brothers were partners in the distillery and in 1786 they bought the Windsor ale brewery of the Isherwoods’ kinsman Henry Isherwood*. They subsequently built up the business in partnership with James Baverstock, the writer on brewing. Initially the firm produced only 10,000 barrels a year, but in 1796 they began to expand their trade in shipments to London and by 1801 production had trebled.3 The Ramsbottoms later ventured into banking, first at Windsor and then in London, in partnership with John Newman, father of the future cardinal, at 72 Lombard Street.
Ramsbottom, who had been prominent in support of Henry Isherwood at the Windsor by-election of 1794 and established himself as the head of the independent party on the latter’s death in 1797, contested the borough in 1802, stressing his local connexions and his ‘genuine and independent spirit of loyalty and attachment’ to the King,4 but was beaten into third place by the court candidate and an outsider, John Williams, who combined against him. Although Ramsbottom had Williams unseated on petition in 1804, his own claims were dismissed for bribery and at the ensuing by-election he put up his son-in-law, unsuccessfully, against the court nominee. When he stood again at the general election of 1806 he was faced with a coalition of court candidates, but he captured one seat for the independent interest and retained it without opposition in 1807.
In 1808 Joshua Wilson wrote that at the 1807 general election Ramsbottom’s former opponents had acquiesced in his return because he ‘had voted in such a manner during the short  Parliament, as to give no umbrage’,5 but no other evidence of any parliamentary activity has been found. The Whig list of March 1810 includes ‘R. Ramsbottom’ under ‘doubtful’ Members; but as he had already vacated his seat when the list was compiled, it is not clear whether it was to him or to his nephew John, his replacement, that the classification was intended to apply. Ramsbottom died, ‘aged 63’, 22 Feb. 1813.6
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: David R. Fisher
- 1. Gent. Mag. (1793), i. 185; PCC 158 Heathfield. He may have been the Richard Ramsbottom who m., 20 July 1767, at St. Botolph, Aldersgate, Jane Robertshaw, widow. The Times, 13 July 1802 stated that he had m. Louisa, da. of William Langford, Lower Master of Eton College, but it was in fact his nephew James who did so. See Gent. Mag. (1802), ii. 879.
- 2. Stationers’ Co. Apprentices, 1701-1800 ed. Mackenzie, 189-90.
- 3. See P. Mathias, Brewing Industry in England, 150, 255, where it is incorrectly stated that Ramsbottom’s family partner in 1786 was his nephew, John Ramsbottom*.
- 4. Windsor Election Handbills (1802), 31.
- 5. Biog. Index (1808), 660.
- 6. Gent. Mag. (1813), i. 291.