BORRADAILE, Richardson (1762-1835), of All Hallows Lane, London; 14 Duke Street, Westminster, Mdx. and Balham, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 17 Jan. 1762, 6th surv. s. of John Borradaile (d. 1783) of Wigton, Cumb. and Mary, neé Richardson. m. 21 Dec. 1786, Elizabeth, da. of William Cotton of The Priory, Leatherhead, Surr., 8s. (4 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p.). d. 18 May 1835.

Offices Held

Dir. E.I. Dock Co. 1811; dep. chairman, Protector Fire Insurance. Co. 1828; chairman, Rock Life Assurance Co. 1830.


Borradaile’s father, a tanner and the owner of a cloth factory at Wigton, was appointed to a position in the customs office at Ravenglass, Cumberland, following the collapse of his business ‘towards the close of his life’. His family had strong maritime connections and two of his sons predeceased him whilst serving on merchant ships of the East India Company. By the mid-1770s his eldest son William (1750-1831) was trading as a hatter from 31 Cannon Street, London, where he was joined by Borradaile, the youngest of the family, and their mother after she was widowed in 1783. The brothers established a thriving partnership, running a hat manufactory and furrier’s business at 34 Fenchurch Street, in addition to the Lanark Twist Mills, Lanarkshire. Their mother died at Gracechurch Street, 14 Jan. 1794, leaving £65 and her estate to Borradaile. Both brothers signed the London merchants’ loyal declaration of 1795. Diversifying into marine insurance and shipping, they became ‘owners of the heaviest ships in the East India Company’, operating the Cumberland, on which Borradaile’s third surviving son and namesake worked as a midshipman before his death in China in 1811, in addition to the ‘Streatham, Inglis and three other East Indiamen, which were to some extent armed’.1 They held numerous appointments with London’s leading commercial companies.

At the 1826 general election Borradaile received an invitation from the independent interest at Newcastle-under-Lyme to stand in opposition to the sitting Members. He had ‘long been serviceable to the borough by taking its staple produce’ of hats, and in the previous year had purchased some of the Newcastle properties auctioned by Lord Stafford as part of his disengagement from local politics. He initially declined, but finding himself ‘uncommonly popular’ sent down his youngest son George (1802-81), who explained that his father was ‘prevented from leaving town on account of an inflammation of the knee’, that he was ‘decidedly opposed’ to Catholic emancipation, and desired ‘such an alteration in the corn laws as shall enable the working classes of this country to eat as cheap bread as those of any other’. On the eve of the poll one of the candidates unexpectedly withdrew, leaving Borradaile to be returned unopposed in absentia. On visiting the constituency four days later, 13 June 1826, he reiterated his hostility to Catholic relief and the corn laws and promised to ‘use his best endeavours to aid the hat trade’.2 Borradaile, who is not known to have spoken in debate, voted against Catholic claims, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828, but presented a favourable Newcastle petition, 18 Feb. 1828. He was in the minorities against removing bankruptcy jurisdiction from the court of chancery, 22 May, and the Penryn election bill, 7 June 1827. He divided against repeal of the