WORSLEY, Sir Richard, 7th Bt. (1751-1805), of Appuldurcombe, I.o.W.

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



1774 - Dec. 1779
1 Feb. 1780 - 1784
1790 - Aug. 1791
26 Aug. 1791 - June 1793
1796 - Feb. 1801

Family and Education

b. 5 Mar. 1751, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Worsley, 6th Bt., of Appuldurcombe by Lady Elizabeth Boyle, da. of John, 5th Earl of Cork and Orrery [I]. educ. Winchester; Corpus, Oxf. 1768; Grand Tour until 1772. m. 20 Sept. 1775, Seymour Dorothy (div. 22 Feb. 1782), da. and coh. of Sir John Fleming, 1st Bt., of Brompton Park, Mdx., 1s. d.v.p., 1da. suc. fa. as 7th Bt. 23 Sept. 1768.

Offices Held

Comptroller, board of green cloth 1777-9, of Household Dec. 1779-Mar. 1782; PC 9 Feb. 1780; envoy extraordinary to Venice 1793-7.

Sheriff, Hants 1773-4; col. S. Hants militia 1779-d., brevet col. 1794; gov. I.o.W. 1780-2; verderer, New Forest until 1798.


Worsley returned to England in 1788 after five years on the Continent, and as patron of one seat for Newtown returned himself in 1790. He was one of the few Members who could speak of Oczakov from personal knowledge when he justified Pitt’s stand against Russia, 15 Apr. 1791. The same month he was counted hostile to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. As a public figure he had nothing else to commend him and in July 1791 he commissioned his former nominee for Newtown, Mark Gregory, to negotiate with Pitt, through George Rose, the reversion of the governorship of the Isle of Wight, with a collateral pension in case of displacement. Rose put out of the question any formal patent of reversion and hinted that in exchange for placing the seat at government disposal Worsley should be satisfied with Pitt’s assurance of satisfaction when the opportunity arose. To this Gregory, whom Rose suspected to be aiming for the seat, replied ‘Can you say that it is dealing liberally by Sir Richard Worsley to require of him what I know he could now make £4,500 of, for such an uncertainty?’. The negotiation broke down and Worsley, who had vacated his seat in readiness, returned himself again until 1793, when he substituted Pitt’s friend Canning for himself gratis, in acknowledgment of his appointment as minister to Venice.1

Worsley left Venice in December 1794 on the arrival of a French minister. The only satisfaction he obtained abroad, as before, was in the collection of art treasures, catalogued by him in the Museum Worsleyanum, but accessible to very few: Buonaparte seized four of them in Italy and thought them too good to return to him.2 In 1796 he once more had himself elected for Newtown. On 1 Feb. 1798 he applied to Pitt for a peerage for his mother, in token of his past services and expenses, but to no avail. On Pitt’s resignation he retired from Parliament, where he had made no further mark, offering his seat to George Rose.3 It continued to be occupied by friends of government. On 12 Mar. 1804 he renewed his agreement with the co-patron of Newtown for the benefit of his rightful heirs.4 He died 8 Aug. 1805, intestate. His niece and heiress Henrietta married in 1806 Charles Anderson Pelham*, who succeeded to the patronage once a current agreement expired.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Brian Murphy / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. PRO 30/8/173, ff. 182, 256, 258; Harewood mss, Canning to Rev. Leigh, 17 May 1796.
  • 2. Add. 47571, f. 188; Gent. Mag. (1805), ii. 781; Minto, iii. 273.
  • 3. PRO 30/8/191, f. 217; Rose Diaries, i. 296.
  • 4. Add. 46501, f. 118.