RIDLEY, Sir Matthew White, 3rd bt. (1778-1836), of Blagdon, Northumb. and 1 Grafton Street, Mdx.

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



1812 - 14 July 1836

Family and Education

b. 18 Apr. 1778, 1st s. of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 2nd bt.†, of Blagdon and Heaton and Sarah, da. and event. h. of Benjamin Colborne of Bath, Som.; bro. of Nicholas William Ridley Colborne*. educ. Westminster; Christ Church, Oxf. 1795. m. 13 Aug. 1803, Laura, da. of George Hawkins, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 6da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. as 3rd bt. 9 Apr. 1813. d. 14 July 1836.

Offices Held

Capt. Northumb. supp. militia 1798; lt.-col. Loyal Newcastle vol. inf. 1803.


According to the Whig barrister James Losh, who compared him unfavourably with his younger brother Nicholas Ridley Colborne, Sir Matthew White Ridley was a man ‘spoiled by prosperity ... his temper probably made irritable by some domestic grievances ... his faults ... those of an opulent man with moderate talents, labouring to be thought a person of consequence’.1 A baronet with 30,000 acres in Northumberland and valuable commercial property in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which his family had represented since 1747, he was also the senior partner in the Newcastle Old Bank of Ridley, Bigge and Company and had, as such, lobbied against the planned restriction of country bank notes under the 1819 Act. Politically a devotee of Lord Grey, with whom he corresponded on Northumberland politics, as Member for Newcastle since 1812, he had established himself as a regular and respected speaker against Lord Liverpool’s administration and taken particular pride in his select committee work. He habitually annoyed his constituents, who accused him of meanness, by promoting measures favourable to his personal interests in agriculture and the Tyneside coal, glass-making and soap trades.2 But, as he intended, his promise early in 1820 to present the Dissenters’ petitions for revision of the Marriage Act (which he introduced, 4 May) and support for the Newcastle reform meeting of 26 Jan., chaired by his banking partner Charles Bigge, at which he declared for moderate reform, without the ballot, revived his popularity. The contest at Newcastle at the general election in March, when lord chancellor Eldon’s nephew William Scott* was the third man, was directed against his colleague Cuthbert Ellison, and Ridley’s return, after a short poll which cost him about £1,500, was assured.3

He remained a reliable spokesman for the main Whig opposition in the 1820 Parliament. When in London, he attended unstintingly and voted against administration in almost every major division, but family illnesses, foreign travel and his love of the chase tended to delay his return after the Christmas recess and to hasten his departure in the summer. He was especially active in the select committees on foreign trade (1820-4) and the business of the House.4 A voluble defender of the country bankers and northern coal owners, he was a consistent advocate and promoter of petitions for the abolition of capital punishment for forgery and non-violent crimes, and favourable also to ending military flogging. He had been a founder of the Blagdon Hunt,5 and remained a regular speaker and teller against Richard Martin’s bills opposing cruelty to animals, which, to the annoyance of his Newcastle critics, he regarded as matters for enforcement by magistrates and a waste of parliamentary time, 21 May 1823, 24 Feb., 11 Mar. 1825, 20 Apr. 1826. Where, as in the case of mad dogs, a legal loophole existed, he suggested legislating and making all dogs, except sheep dogs, taxable, 7 June 1830.6

On 12 May 1820 Ridley presented the Newcastle reformers’ temperate petition and hailed it as a ‘tribute to the middle class’ and as a ‘preliminary step in the successful progress of a constitutional reform’. Equivocal as yet in his support for the Newcastle freeholders’ campaign and petitions for county or borough votes, 9 June, he refused to deal with similar requests couched in radical addresses to Queen Caroline, whose cause he supported purely from party loyalty, 29 Nov. 1820.7 He approved the preamble and voted for a scot and lot franchise for Leeds under the Grampound disfranchisement bill, 2 Mar. 1821,8 and for reform, 25 Apr. 1822, 2 June 1823, 26 Feb. 1824, 9, 13 Mar., 27 Apr. 1826, and was a teller for Russell’s resolutions to curb electoral bribery, 26 May 1826. He considered the abortive division of counties bill ‘unnecessary’ and was pleased to see it killed by adjournment, 17 May 1823.9 He divided for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar. (paired), 21 Apr., 10 May, and against the attendant Irish franchise bill, 26 Apr. 1825. He criticized the methods used to obtain signatures to hostile petitions, 16 Mar. 1821, and presented a favourable one from the Catholics of Cumberland, Durham and Northumberland, 21 Apr. 1825.10

Ridley welcomed Gascoyne’s failure to have the agriculture committee selected by ballot and distanced himself from Henry Brougham and the Whig opportunists by whose votes it had been conceded, 31 May 1820. Elaborating, he said that, if present, he would have voted against it with the Whig leader George Tierney (30 May) and was prepared to back any proposition that confined its remit, in order to reduce tension between manufacturing and agriculture. Ever conscious of the importance of the admiralty, Trinity House and Greenwich Hospital votes in Northumberland, he made a point, as in the last two Parliaments, of quibbling over the navy estimates and proposed his annual amendment for a reduction in admiralty lords, to no avail, 9 June. He called for measures to cut the cost of turnpike trust renewals, 30 June 1820, 27 Feb. 1821. He recommended printing the radical Nathan Broadhurst’s petition alleging ill-treatment in Lancaster gaol ‘on principle ... whatever its merits’, 5 July, and demanded an end to the ‘great fraud’ of the national lottery, 6 July 1820.

Contributing to the parliamentary campaign on behalf of the queen, and backed by her attorney-general Brougham, he warned of the danger of premature disclosures by secret committee members if their deliberations were adjourned, and substantiated his point by citing the garbled newspaper reports of the St. Omer negotiations, 12 June 1820. Harrying ministers preparatory to Brougham and Tierney’s successful attacks, 6 July, he objected to confining proceedings to the Lords and to the government’s decision to suspend rather than discharge the order for the green bag inquiry, ‘so opening the way for further prosecutions’ should the bill of pains and penalties fail. He added that had he known what ministers intended he ‘might well’ have divided against them, 22, 26 June. He voted against the prorogation proposed by the queen’s radical partisans, 18 Sept., but threatened further opposition and made the chancellor of the exchequer Vansittart disclose that £20,000 had already been advanced for her defence.11 After her prosecution was abandoned, he acted with Grey to call county meetings in Durham and in Northumberland (where the sheriff refused it), ‘for though the innocence of the queen may not be proved to the conviction of everyone, it is too monstrous to say that she shall be liable to any further proceedings’.12 His infant daughter Mary’s death, 1 Jan. 1821, and second son Nicholas Henry’s serious illness precluded his attendance at the Northumberland meeting, 10 Jan.;13 but he testified in the House to the respectability of the signatories to their petition and demanded that the queen ‘have the full benefit of her acquittal’, 1 Feb. His failure to vote on the opposition censure motion, 6 Feb., was attributed retrospectively to the ill health for which on the 12th he had received ten days’ leave.14 He voted ‘on principle’ to print the radical Nottingham petition urging the impeachment of ministers for mishandling the affair, 20 Feb. He recommended the withdrawal of James Stuart Wortley’s motion of complaint against the Morning Chronicle, 9 Mar. 1821.15

Pressing ministers on taxation (as he would again to less effect, 17 Mar. 1825), Ridley highlighted their tardiness in legislating to compound the assessed taxes on expiry of the 1819 Act and proposed doing so himself, 31 Jan., 22 Feb., before making way for the ministerial measure, 15 Mar. 1821. He protested at its deferral, 29 Mar., and his warning that it was ‘hurried through ... with as many blunders and errors as ... the last bill’ was loudly cheered, 13 Apr.16 Drawing on his correspondence with the excise office, he sparred with the financial secretary to the treasury Stephen Rumbold Lushington over the glass duties, which were due to expire, 19, 21 Feb. (and intervened similarly to protect his commercial interests when they were reviewed in 1825, 1828, 1830 and 1832).17 He praised the objectives but declined to endorse the protectionist principles of petitions against altering the timber duties that he introduced from South Blyth, 21 Feb., and Greenock, 26 Feb., but indicated that his silence did not signify acquiescence in the ministerial measure, 30 Mar. On 5 Apr., quoting the Tyne ship owners’ claim that Canadian timber was ‘less prone to dry rot’ and their estimate that the proposed change would cost ship outfitters £150,000 annually in lost North American revenue, he eschewed Lord Althorp’s amendment favouring Norway deals, likewise Sir Henry Parnell’s for gradual equalization, and proposed another (defeated by 70-15) reducing the duty on colonial timber from 10s. to 5s. a load, and making 5s. the maximum concession for non-colonial imports.18 Protesting that Northumberland interests were ignored, he opposed the appointment of the select committee on the additional malt tax in Scotland to which he was named, 12 Apr.19 He endorsed Michael Taylor’s bill to reduce steam engine emissions, 18 Apr., was locked out from the division on Grey’s son-in-law John Lambton’s reform proposals that day, and appears to have stayed away for the remainder of the session. At Durham assizes, 21 Aug. 1821, an out of court settlement was reached in a high profile test case for trespass brought against him by the bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, for infringing manorial rights while hunting.20

Ridley defended Althorp’s moderate resolutions criticizing the government’s relief proposals, 21 Feb. 1822. He also made an issue of the rising cost of pensions for navy widows, 22 Feb., and highlighted an anomaly whereby the regulations for dispatching petitions by post were ‘contained in an Act for laying an additional duty upon tea and coffee’, 25 Feb.21 He pressed for the production of detailed estimates, 27 Feb., and the gradual reduction proposed in the salt duty (a means of cutting production costs in his soap factories), 28 Feb. Making a bid to capture the disaffected agriculturists’ votes, he pre-empted his planned motion of 7 Mar., moved directly for an address recommending a reduction from six to four in the number of junior admiralty lords, 1 Mar., and carried it by a resounding 182-128. Doing so, he poured scorn on the Tory Gooch’s attempt to upstage him by reviving the malt question, and appealed directly to the country gentlemen to back the wider campaign for lower taxes. He also contrasted the ‘recent’ increase in admiralty lords (four in 1702 and 1709, five in 1714, 1717 and 1774 and six since 1785) with the sharp decrease since 1815 in naval personnel, and mollified the Whig ‘Mountain’ by portraying the trivial (£2,000) annual saving his reduction achieved as the removal of ‘undue patronage’. By the 5th he had turned his attention to Greenwich Hospital expenditure.22 He expressed qualified support for the government’s pensions bill, 11 Mar., and opposed Hume’s attempt to reduce funding for the Royal Naval College, 18 Mar.23 Notwithstanding his critical votes for abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., 2 May, on the composition of the India board, 14 Mar., diplomatic expenditure, 16 May, and Henry Williams Wynn’s† appointment to the Swiss embassy, 16 May, he refused to participate with his associates as a speaker, mover or teller, in the attack on the Grenvillite accession.24 He insisted that the 4,820-signature Newcastle petition for clemency for Henry Hunt*, which imputed corruption to the House and was rejected, did not represent the inhabitants’ views, 22 Mar.; but he did believe that the circumstances of Hunt’s imprisonment merited Parliament’s attention, and voted to receive petitions for remission of his sentence, 28 Mar.25 He called for and was named to the committee on the vagrancy bill, 29 Mar., and, furnished with hostile petitions, he opposed Scarlett’s poor bill, objecting especially to the speed with which removals were to be effected, 31 May.26 His remarks at the second reading of the colonial trade bill, by which the navigation laws were relaxed, 6 May, were not reported, but after failing to delay it or obtain concessions for the Tyne ship owners (20 May), he opposed it to the last, because he was convinced that while taxes remained artificially high it would be impossible for British merchants to compete effectively in an open market, 4 June. He prevaricated similarly over the details of the consolidated Customs Acts, 5 June,27 and considered the leather tax a ‘bad choice’ for repeal, 1 May, 15 May.28 He endorsed the Newcastle merchants’ complaint at the depreciation in the value of warehoused corn stocks following the return to the gold standard, 6 Mar., took charge of the successful Tyne tolls and Newcastle gaol bills, 2 May, and quizzed ministers that day on the likelihood of legislation for Bank of England charter banks. He complained that the residual 2d. duty on salt increased the cost of alkali used in glass manufacture, 11 June 1822, and joined in the clamour for its total repeal, 6 Apr. 1824.29

Ridley was host to the duke of Sussex during his visit to Newcastle in September 1822, and a trustee of the city’s Literary and Philosophy Society Club, whose foundation stone the duke laid.30 He dismissed as premature Grey’s proposal for a Northumberland reform meeting in January 1823.31 Appearing late for the session, he presented petitions against the house tax and Insolvent Debtors Act, 10 Mar.,32 but explained on the 13th that he had no wish to see the latter abandoned. Backed by the political economist Ricardo, he endorsed the principle of government’s warehousing bill as ‘highly beneficial to the commerce of the country’, although ‘particular interests might be partially injured’, 21 Mar.33 He brought up petitions opposing the equalization of the East and West Indian sugar duties, 21 Mar., and for repeal of the coastwise coal duty, 28 Apr., and argued that retaining the tariff on wool encouraged importation of ‘inferior’ cloth, 4 June.34 He did not vote, when defeat obliged ministers to concede inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange theatre rioters, 22 Apr., and took no part in it, but he was instrumental in persuading John Maxwell Barry to withdraw a breach of privilege motion alleging misreporting of their deliberations, 8 May. He voted to refer Catholic petitions on the administration of justice in Ireland to the law commission, 26 June 1823. He was an active member of the select committee on the game laws that session, and a majority teller for Stuart Wortley’s bill, 11 Mar. 1824. (He opposed his next one because he thought it was unlikely to prevent poaching, 13, 24 June 1828, and supported Althorp’s measure, 8 Aug., 2 Sept. 1831.) He was a majority teller against the spring guns bill, 29 June 1825.

The duke of Bedford was one of many surprised at Ridley’s appointment in February 1824 as a Windsor Castle commissioner, responsible for its refurbishment, an office which although unpaid was portrayed by his Newcastle adversaries as a ‘job’.35 He defended expenditure on Buckingham House, 1 Mar., but was reluctant to vote an additional £13,000 that day for the Caledonian Canal. He asked the home secretary Peel to produce the report on Millbank penitentiary (and was duly added to that committee) next day. He also badgered the colonial under-secretary Horton over the distribution of the grant for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospels in the colonies and the religious persuasions of its recipients, until silenced by Joseph Butterworth, brandishing before him the resolutions of a Newcastle meeting condemning the indictment in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith, 12 Mar. Ridley later justified his vote (11 June) against inquiry into Smith’s case, which vexed his constituents, as one of confidence in Canning’s November 1823 resolutions.36 He voted to reduce the grant for Irish charter schools, after calling in vain for its postponement, 15 Mar. As a member of the select committee on private business, he rejected Hume’s call for a ban on Members voting on bills in which they had a pecuniary interest, 27 May 1824, and subsequently endorsed the committee’s view that the matter was best left to the integrity of individual Members, 23 Feb. 1825.37 However, he conceded the case for a ‘declaratory resolution’ to guide Members’ future conduct, 10 Mar. 1825. He objected to and was a majority teller against a proposal to ballot select committees for private bills, 19 Apr. 1826; but supported resolutions imposing similar restrictions on Members employed as parliamentary agents, 26 Feb. 1830.

Representing Tyne shipping and coal interests, Ridley called for a full inquiry into the coal duties and denied allegations made in the London petition that supply was rationed to inflate prices, 23 Feb. 1824. He headed the coal owners’ delegation at meetings with the chancellor of the exchequer Robinson in March, when, contrary to Grey’s prediction, ministers rejected their case for gradual repeal. Ridley referred to it, giving brief details, when presenting the Newcastle petition, 11 Mar., and again on the 26th. Protesting vehemently at the preference accorded to ‘inland’ coal, on which tariffs had been reduced from 7s. 6s. to 1s. a ton, while 9s. 4d. to 6s. 9d. a chaldron was still levied on coastwise coal, he threatened to move for equalization, 29 Mar.38 Forcing divisions on resolutions proposed in the Tyne and Wear colliery owners’ petition for free trade, 1 Apr., he failed (by 83-51) with a proposal to charge coastwise coal at 4s. 6d. a ton or 6s. a chaldron, and inland coal at 3s. and 4s. 6d.; (by 80-54) with another proposing a staged reduction of the duty by a further 2s. in 1825; and (by 73-60) with one for total repeal. He criticized the differential duties in the coal and linen bill, 5 Apr., and was a minority teller against it, 27 May.39 His Newcastle coal (loading) bill, received royal assent, 28 May 1824.40

Ridley was appointed to the select committee on Ireland, 17 Feb. 1825 (having voted for inquiry, 11 May, to amend the clergy bill, 10 June, and for the Whig insurrection bill, 14 June 1824). Commenting on a hostile petition from the deanery of Bath and Wells, 15 Feb. 1825, he said that he ‘certainly regretted some of the [Catholic Association’s] proceedings ... not because they had done any injury to their Protestant fellow-countrymen, but because they were calculated to retard the progress of their own cause’. He voted against the ministerial bill outlawing the Association, 15, 21 Feb., but refrained from supporting Brougham’s attempt to have their counsel heard, 18 Feb. He presented petitions and voted for repeal of the assessed taxes, 23 Feb. Quipping that the current elevation resembled ‘a double stand on a race course like Doncaster’, he defended government spending on additional official residences in Downing Street, 28 Mar. The recent good conduct of his Blyth colliers encouraged him to propose a select committee on workers’ combinations, to which he was appointed, 29 Mar., and he backed petitions for repeal of the statutes outlawing them, 25 Apr., 3, 4 May, and remained a committed supporter of the repeal bill notwithstanding his differences on minutiae with its sponsor Hume and the president of the board of trade Huskisson, 16, 27 June.41 He presented and endorsed a petition in favour of the St. Katharine’s Docks bill from Newcastle chamber of commerce, 15 Feb., and opposed the Tyne and Weardale railway as a ‘wild speculation’, 4 Mar., preferring the Carlisle-Newcastle, for which he was the banker.42 True to the Tyne ship owners’ resolution, he joined in the vain clamour to exclude a clause from the private Isle of Dogs docks bill that allocated collier vessels particular berths and charged them supplementary fees, 23 Mar. 1825.43 He consistently supported some relaxation of the corn laws (5 May 1820, 2 Apr. 1821, 28 Apr. 1825) and failed with an amendment to reduce the duties charged under the warehoused corn bill, 13 May 1825.44 He approved of the proposed increase in judges’ salaries, 16 May, and referred to his own 12-year chancery case as proof that inquiry into arrears was overdue, 7 June; but he disavowed his friends’ ‘useless’ ‘baiting’ of Eldon that day, for which he and his brother were duly thanked.45 He was a minority teller against the award to the duke of Cumberland, 9 June 1825.46

The Newcastle Old Bank weathered the 1825-6 crisis and was among those licensed (and gazetted) in November 1828 to print money on unstamped paper.47 Ridley’s preference for banks similar to his own, with few partners, was well known when, responding to the address, 2 Feb. 1826, he conceded the case for further regulation and defended the country bankers against imputations that they had contributed to the recent crisis. This he attributed to commercial distress, poor management and diminished confidence in the Bank of England. He estimated the number of country bank notes in circulation at between 3,500,000 and 8,000,000, cautioned against their precipitate withdrawal and explained that country bankers issued notes for the convenience of their customers rather than for profit. He confined his interventions on the government’s promissory notes bill to a few brief technical points, 27, 28 Feb., and hailed it as a harbinger of lower prices and wages, 6 Mar.48 He exercised similar restraint in discussions on the Bank charter bill, 21 Mar., 14 Apr. He was one of the predominantly Whig minority on the select committee on Scottish and Irish pound notes who remained dissatisfied with their report, but even so, he conceded that the immediate withdrawal of Scottish notes was inexpedient.49 Breaking his ‘silence’ in a major speech, 26 May 1826, he objected to compelling country banks to lodge surety funds with the Bank, described the damage done by the government’s letter to its directors and reaffirmed his confidence in English banking. He made clear his preference for a ‘paper currency, upon a secure and solid basis, convertible into gold’ to a metallic one, but considered paper more liable to overspeculation, hence his doubts about the Scottish concession. Defending English country bankers in general and the Newcastle banks in particular, he tabled a resolution and announced that in the next Parliament he proposed investigating the implications of retaining different currency systems in England and Scotland and of assimilating them. Having withdrawn his much postponed resolutions for revising and consolidating the statutes, he praised Peel’s, in which he noted an anomaly on horse exports, 9 Mar. 1826; he revived the issue in 1830.50 He sought additional information on government expenditure on public buildings, and criticized the ‘overgenerous’ award for Edinburgh University, 13 Mar. 1826. He opposed, as Tierney’s seconder, the proposed increase in the president of the board of trade’s salary to accommodate Huskisson, 7, 10 Apr. He voted for corn law revision, 18 Apr., to bring up the report on the government’s importation bill ‘without pledging himself to support it’, 5 May, and divided against it, 11 May. To conciliate the shipping interest before the general election, he endorsed protectionist petitions from Sunderland, 17 Apr., and South Shields, 27 Apr.; and, using statistics for the port of London, where foreign tonnage had doubled since 1823, imports from Norway, Denmark and Russia were up by £343,151 and exports down by £290,000, he demonstrated the increasing uncompetitiveness of ‘unprotected’ British shipping, 13 May.51 Certain it would be a casualty of the dissolution, he seconded Sykes’s motion for a bill to redress the grievance of the unenfranchised Newcastle freeholders, 26 Apr. 1826.52

Ridley and his brother’s correspondence with Grey when the retirement as Member for Northumberland of the Whig ‘madman’ Thomas Wentworth Beaumont was first anticipated in 1823 had fuelled Grey’s ambition to bring in his son Lord Howick*; but they had vexed Grey by broaching the subject prematurely to the Tory 3rd duke of Northumberland, who opposed the scheme, and by confiding its details to Ridley’s neighbour Sir Charles Monck†. Despite Ridley’s formal declaration, 19 Mar. 1824, and early canvass for Howick, whom he introduced to the magistracy in 1825 and to the ‘county’ at a grand New Year ball at Blagdon in 1826, speculation that he sought the seat for himself or Monck persisted.53 Accounting for this, Grey’s brother-in-law Edward Ellice* explained that Ridley ‘is afraid of his bank suffering, which keeps him back in public, in private they say he is very active’ [for Howick].54 He voted tactically for the anti-Catholic Tory Matthew Bell* against the Canningite Henry Thomas Liddell* when Howick started prematurely for Northumberland at the February 1826 by-election; and, giving a second vote to Bell, he proposed Howick when he finished a poor fourth there at the general election of 1826.55 Attempts to jeopardize his own return, which he privately attributed to the Liddells and Beaumont, failed, and he came in unopposed with Ellison at a cost of £721. However, he was hard pressed on the hustings to defend his parliamentary conduct, and obligated to the shipping interest, who sought concessions on the reciprocity duties.56 He objected to the publication in July, by Grey’s agents, of correspondence showing his family’s dealings with Beaumont. He also maintained publicly and privately that Lambton’s sporadic intervention had undermined Howick’s canvass. On 24 Oct. 1826, before Parliament met, the Tyne ship owners openly expressed dissatisfaction with Ridley and looked elsewhere for a spokesman.57

Family illness, for which he eventually took six weeks’ leave, 8 Mar. 1827, kept Ridley away for most of the 1826-7 session, during which he cast no reported votes and the Tyne ship owners passed a resolution of dissatisfaction with his conduct, 5 Feb.58 He approved the admiralty’s decision to improve impressed seamen’s conditions, 22 June 1827.59 Responding to the new Wellington ministry’s address, 4 Feb. 1828, he criticized the too cautious endorsement of Admiral Codrington’s conduct at Navarino and praised him personally, although he could ‘not support the treaty behind the battle’. He agreed with the decision to omit Ireland from the address, but he urged action on the Catholic question and expressed qualified support for administration ‘if their measures are likely to promote the prosperity of the country’.60 He countered Sir John Sebright’s criticism of the Windsor Castle grant and defended the work of the architect and commissioners, 4 Feb., and intervened again to support ministers, 11 Feb. The compromise choice as chairman of the 1828 finance committee, 15 Feb., an appointment which governed his political conduct over the next three years, he warned that it was unrealistic to expect major expenditure cuts, 25 Feb., and gave a similar caveat when acknowledging John Calcraft’s suggestions to the committee, 24 Mar.61 Dismissing Calcraft’s criticism of delays to their report, he referred to the ‘obstacles and difficulties ... hourly thrown’ in their way and steered the debate elsewhere, 16 May. He joined Althorp in pressing for the abolition of the office of lieutenant-general of the ordnance, as the finance committee had recommended, 4 July, but, differing from his ‘friends’, he thought government expenditure on Canada entirely justified, 8 July 1828.

He presented favourable petitions, 6, 22 Feb., and voted for repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and was prepared to accept a ‘security declaration’ to see it effected, 18 Mar. 1828. He wanted the stamp duty on receipts repealed, 19 Feb., and spoke pragmatically on the maltsters’ differing opinions of the merits and demerits of the 1827 Act, 22, 27 Feb. He reviewed the testimony of the East Retford witness Fox in the same equivocal manner, 3 Mar. He preferred imprisonment to fines for offences under the Penryn disfranchisement bill, 24 Mar. Securing and chairing a select committee, 1 May, he embarked on a crusade to cut what he believed was the excessive cost of printing voluminous reports and petitions ‘containing no useful or valuable information whatsoever’ at Members’ whims (23 May, 6, 20 June 1828, 1 Mar., 20 May, 7 June 1830).62 He supported Graham’s campaign against the small notes bill, 5 May, and spoke of government’s ‘mistake’ in paying £28,000,000 in debts incurred in a paper currency in specie and of the impossible tax burden it imposed, 3 June 1828. He denied Frankland Lewis’s assertion that the ‘convulsion of 1825 was ... caused by the pressure of the country bankers on the Bank ... for gold’, criticized their shoddy treatment by the Bank and reaffirmed his resolve to prove that the Scottish banking system was no better than the English. He endorsed the borough polls bill and made several allusions to Newcastle, whose favourable petition he presented, 10 Mar., when advocating inquiry into the franchise in counties corporate, 11 Mar. He found much to fault in Alexander Baring’s tithes commutation bill, although he supported its principle, 17 Mar. He refuted charges made in justification of the Llanelli railroad and dock bill, that the northern coal owners were profiteering, 26 Mar., but deliberately refrained from opposing the Surrey land coal meters bill, 25 Apr., and a Sunderland petition making similar allegations, 9 May. In what Abercromby described as the ‘meanest speech of the night’, 13 May, he condemned the provision for Canning’s family and maintained that ‘his powers as an orator, great as they were, were frequently employed in dazzling rather than convincing the minds of his countrymen, and that they were sometimes employed in inculcating doctrines which were not becoming to the minister or the legislature’.63 He condoned discussion of Sir Edward Knatchbull’s resolutions, 24 Mar., and said that despite its poor provisions for taking averages, the ministry’s corn bill afforded ‘a fair and sufficient protection to the agriculturist’, there being no prospect of a permanent measure for corn while the currency question remained unresolved, 25 Apr. He echoed calls for protection for wool, 28 Apr., and tobacco, 27 June, but perceived Gascoyne’s inquiry motion on the decline of shipping as a cloak for an attack on the former president of the board of trade, the Canningite Charles Grant*, and a measure harmful rather than beneficial to the shipping interest. He declared his intention of dividing against it, despite constituency pressure to support it, and was glad to see it withdrawn, 17 June. He voted for inquiry into the Irish church, 24 June 1828. He left with his family on an extended tour of Italy the following month, of which he kept a journal.64 Leading Whigs suggested summoning Ridley home from Rome to vote for Catholic emancipation in 1829, and he was one of several who returned in April, with a view to capitalizing on divisions between the Tories and the Ultras.65 He presented and endorsed a petition from the architect John Nash, the designer of his £15,000 house in Carlton Terrace, for inquiry into his profiteering from crown land leases, 27 May 1829. (He thought it exonerated Nash and opposed further inquiry, 2 Mar. 1830). He was shut out of the division on Lord Blandford’s reform resolutions, 2 June 1829. He presented a petition for inquiry into the 1819 Bank Act that day, but said it could achieve no useful purpose as ‘the mischief is already done’. He objected to the Ultra Sir Robert Inglis’s defence of soldiers dismissed for refusing to participate in Catholic ceremonies in Malta, 12 June 1829.

Ridley returned to the House in late February 1830, having deliberately held aloof from the Northumberland distress meeting instigated by Liddell, 15 Feb., whose petition he declined to support, 8 Mar.66 He voted to transfer East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 Mar. Provoked by criticism of the banks, he attributed ‘any difficulty’ to the ‘hasty and inconsiderate ... abolition of small note circulation’ and insisted that distress was ‘partial, temporary and passing’, 8, 16, 25 Mar. He seconded the motion for and was appointed to the select committee on the London coal trade, 11 Mar., presented petitions for referral to it, 19, 22 Mar., but, to Howick’s annoyance, divided with government against repealing the Irish coal duties, 13 May.67 He was included on the select committee on superannuation, on which he had a bill prepared, 26 Apr.68 He continued to press ministers on taxation, 5 Mar., 27 Apr., and, believing that individuals should finance their own education to lighten the burden on the state, he opposed government spending on the Royal Military College, 26 Feb., and the Woolwich grant, 30 Apr. Yet his speeches were mainly favourable to government, 26 Mar., 30 Apr., 3 May, and he became increasingly impatient with Hume’s time-wasting tactics, 30 Apr., 3, 10 May. He refrained from casting a critical vote on Frankland Lewis’s appointment as navy treasurer, an issue on which opposition were divided, 12 Mar.; but he disputed Lewis’s claim that country banks could not supply the service with silver for wages, 22 Mar. He was selective in his support for the measures promoted by the revived Whig opposition which met in Althorp’s rooms. He divided with them on the Bathurst and Dundas pensions, 26 Mar., the ordnance salaries, 29 Mar., the public buildings grant, 3 May, and the assistant treasury secretary’s salary, 10 May, and for Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May. He suggested halving the number of bankruptcy commissioners, 14 May. Before voting for returns of privy councillors’ emoluments, 14 May, he defended his 1828 finance committee and criticized the manner in which their proposed reductions ‘were more rapidly turned out, than they had been introduced into the House’. He countered Daniel O’Connell’s case for postponing the administration of justice bill, 18 May. He opposed Slaney’s poor bill, 15, 16 Mar., called for legislation against the truck system, 20 Mar., and suggested, as a member of the relevant committee, that their initial recommendations should be enacted forthwith without further referral, 3, 5 July. His bill abolishing the merchant seamen’s levy (6d. a month) for Greenwich Hospital, first announced, 4 May, and supported on the 6th by a petition from its instigators, the Newcastle Merchant Seamen’s Society, was repeatedly postponed and withdrawn, pending inquiry, 17 June. He suggested imposing a 10 pm closing time under the sale of beer bill, 3 June, and established that licenses would be issued by the excise office, not magistrates, 4 June. According to Howick, he left the House early to avoid voting on its on-consumption proposals, which his constituents opposed, 21 June.69 He was a minority teller for an amendment introducing a two-year (probationary) delay before on-consumption licences could be issued, 1 July. (He afterwards opposed precipitate remedial legislation and recommended giving the Act a fair trial until after parliamentary reform was carried, 30 June, 24 Aug. 1831.) He persuaded Agar Ellis to postpone to the next Parliament his motion vesting the management of the Commons Library in the Speaker and a committee of four, 7 July 1830. He claimed that his vote against increasing recognizances under the libel law amendment bill was one of principle, unconnected with Lord Normanby’s hostile campaign, 9 July. Clashing frequently with Hume and O’Connell, he condemned the practice of detaining prisoners in unseaworthy hulks prior to transportation, and defended General Darling’s record as governor of New South Wales, 11 June, 8, 9 July 1830.

His agents had alerted Ridley on 30 May 1830 to the campaign to unseat him at Newcastle, where John Hodgson* of Elswick as third man was ready to poll at the general election. He now heeded criticism of his ‘hauteur’ and inattention to his constituents, corresponded with his agents daily and canvassed personally until the nomination. He categorically denied involvement in Ellison’s retirement, 8 June.70 His return was unopposed but not unchallenged, and replying to criticism that he had given ‘a liberal vote now and then to save his credit’ and none on reform, he attributed this to his unplanned absences from the House. He was also required to account for the vast sums expended on Windsor Castle, his defence of Nash and Darling, his failure to secure the repeal of the coal duties and the Richmond shilling, and his refusal to endorse the Northumberland distress petition. He promised to press for the extinction of all slavery.71 In September 1830 the corporation voted their confidence in him for resisting the transfer of the customs house to Shields.72 Ministers anticipated a ‘fierce battle’ with Ridley over access through his garden to the duke of York’s monument in St. James’s Park. His preference was that it should be by a flight of steps to Nash’s design.73

The ministry listed Ridley among their ‘foes’ and he divided against them when they were brought down on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. Speaking on the 12th, he had urged repeal of the coastwise coal duty and reductions in the taxes on soap, candles, houses and windows, with a ‘property tax to make good the difference’. Asked to manage election petitions, he tried, 15-17 Nov., but failed (by 156-95), to have all except double returns postponed until after Christmas, and regarded the adjournment caused by the ‘Swing’ disturbances, although he did not oppose it, as an unwelcome interruption to election committee ballots, 23 Nov. He resented and resisted postponing the decision on the Queenborough double return, 25 Nov. He took charge of the petition denying that the ‘tricolore’ was among the banners at the London trades procession, 17 Dec. 1830, and rallied strongly in defence of the Grey ministry’s budget, 7 Feb., 23, 25 Mar., and civil list proposals, 14 Apr. 1831. Arguing that it was not a case for the strict application of the ‘rules of political economy ... and principles of free trade’, he opposed a reduction in the barilla duties on behalf of the Newcastle alkali and glass producers, but stated that he had ‘no wish to throw any impediments in the way, or occasion any inconvenience to the present government’, 20 Dec. 1830, 7 Feb. 1831. For this, and for abandoning his superannuation bill in deference to ministers, he was rebuked by the Tory Portman, 7 Feb. 1831. Ridley pressed as hitherto for repeal of the coal duties, 8, 14 Dec. 1830, 7, 28 Mar., and the ‘Richmond shilling’, 12, 23 Feb. 1831, and claimed, when challenged at the general election in April, that he had mistakenly assumed that the latter had been conceded with the duties in March.74 On the Irish coal trade bill, 28 Mar., he quoted extracts of the 1830 committee report to contradict allegations that the northern cartel kept the London market undersupplied, called for sales exclusively by weight and asserted that tax reductions would not push up pithead prices. He also opposed, 9 Feb., and presented petitions against the registry of deeds bill on his constituents’ behalf, 28 Mar. Arbuthnot had suggested him for the East India select committee, but he was not appointed to it. He sought (as a committee member) to make some permanent provision for the Irish poor, 18 Mar. 1831.75 He sent a letter of support to the Newcastle reform meeting of 21 Dec. 1830 and published a notice approving the extension of the franchise to inhabitant householders, although it would affect the ‘privileges of some’ at Newcastle, 24 Jan. 1831.76 He presented and endorsed petitions for a general reform and in favour of the ministerial bill, 8, 23, 28 Feb., 2, 7, 18, 28 Mar., 18 Apr. He protested at the ‘wearisome’ language of its critics, 21 Feb., 3 Mar., and cautioned against permitting misgivings about the details of the government’s scheme to defeat the ‘great and essential measure’, 2 Mar. Even so, according to Creevey, ‘that goose Ridley was the only untractable hound with the exception of a growl or two from "Bum" Gordon’ at the ministerial meeting at Althorp’s where ‘the necessity of not dabbling in any amendments’ was urged, 17 Mar.77 He divided for the reform bill at its second reading, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. His personal preference, evident in the Newcastle merchants, bankers and manufacturers’ petition which he presented, 23 Feb., was for enfranchising ‘all households possessing sufficient property to give them an interest in the election of Members’ and transferring the franchise from corrupt boroughs to the larger unrepresented towns. He opposed the ballot, 8 Feb., called for the separate enfranchisement of Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland, 2, 25 Mar., and welcomed the modification of the bill to preserve certain freemen’s rights, 29 Mar. His conduct was locally acclaimed and he was returned unopposed with Hodgson at the 1831 general election.78

On 14 June 1831 Ridley seconded Manners Sutton’s re-election as Speaker and was praised in turn for his own ‘high standing, station, and character in the House’, where he intervened regularly on procedure and to regulate Members’ language and conduct throughout the session. He divided for the reintroduced reform bill at its second reading, 6 July, and complained when The Times omitted him from its list.79 He voted against adjourning its committal, 12 July, and to use the 1821 census to determine English borough representation, 19 July. He justified and voted in favour of the separate enfranchisement of Gateshead, 5 Aug. He cast a handful of wayward votes: against including Appleby in schedule A, 19 July, Sudbury in schedule B, 3 Aug., for Lord Chandos’s clause enfranchising £50 tenants-at-will, 18 Aug., and to extend the franchise to borough copyholders and leaseholders in counties corporate like Newcastle, 20 Aug. He presented petitions against disfranchisement from Newcastle’s Sunderland out-voters, 5 July, and certain other burgesses, 20 July, and voted in the minority for preserving freemen’s rights, 30 Aug. Before doing so he explained that he considered their destruction of minor importance compared with securing the bill’s passage; but he still believed that the ‘life’ provision for resident freemen should be permanent, ‘as in large corporations it gives equal control to the mechanic and to the merchant over the Members whom they elect’. He was absent through illness when the bill was passed, 21 Sept., and applied in vain to Grey that day for a peerage.80 He did not vote on Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. At the Northumberland reform meeting, 12 Oct., he refused to pledge outright support for the ‘rejected bill’ without leaving room for ‘improvement’, criticized Monck’s lurch to Toryism and defended the bench of bishops and Eldon, notwithstanding their votes.81 He chose not to vote on the revised reform bill at its second reading, 17 Dec. 1831, but he divided for its committal, 20 Feb., and provisions for Appleby, 21 Feb., Helston, 23 Feb., Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and Gateshead, 5 Mar. 1832, when, to the acclaim of the Newcastle press, he disputed the anti-reformers’ case for uniting it to Newcastle, to release a Member for Merthyr Tydfil or Toxteth.82 After dividing for the bill’s third reading, 22 Mar., he went to Newcastle, where he was fêted with his son at the mayor’s dinner, 4 Apr., and elected and installed as president of the chamber of commerce the following day ‘as a mark of approbation of his conduct’.83 He voted for the address requesting the king to appoint only ministers who would carry reform unimpaired, 10 May, for the Irish reform bill at its second reading, 25 May, and against a Conservative amendment to the Scottish measure, 1 June. He criticized the anti-reformer Lord Dudley Stuart for quibbling over boundaries, 4 June, but intervened himself to object to the commissioners’ proposal for adding suburban townships to Newcastle, 8 June. He voted against disqualifying the recorder of Dublin from Parliament, 24 July. He divided with government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12, 16 July, and paired, 20 July 1832.

Ridley defended Althorp’s decisions to levy tariffs on coal exports to Europe and treat the colonies preferentially, 1, 8, 18 July 1831. He wanted consular salaries to be derived partly from fees, according to an agreed scale, and acknowledged the foreign trade committee’s failure to resolve the matter, 25 July. He had commended the ministry’s regency bill, 10 Dec. 1830, and, undeterred by the laughter he knew it would excite, he suggested that when Princess Victoria was officially declared heir presumptive, she should change her name to one ‘more congenial to the feelings of Englishmen’, such as Elizabeth, 3 Aug. 1831. He had repeatedly deferred his bill abolishing the Greenwich Hospital levy to make way for the reform bill, 28 Mar., 9 Aug. 1831, 13 Feb. 1832, and was bitterly disappointed when Graham as first lord of the admiralty refused concessions. His proposal was abandoned, 8 Mar. 1832, having being portrayed as an attack on the hospital and a means to ‘put money into the hands of ship owners’.84 Opposing the locally unpopular registry of deeds bill, he presented hostile petitions, 27 Jan., and condoned its second reading only ‘on the clear understanding that the House is not pledged to the principle of the bill’, 18 July. Following his appointment to the secret committee on the Bank’s charter, 22 May, he spoke against including the currency question in their remit, warning that it would create uncertainty and ‘excite expectations which would never be realized’. His several interventions on the coroners bill were brief and ineffective, 20 June, 6 July. He spoke and was a minority teller against amending the sheriffs’ expenses bill, 20 July. He presented a petition for the South Shields and Monkwearmouth railway bill, 20 Feb., and assisted with one to refinance the Newcastle-Carlisle scheme, 13 Mar. Though of the committee, he avoided voting on the locally contentious Sunderland docks bill, 2 Apr. He waited until Kidson, the printer of their division list, had been found guilty of breach of privilege before speaking on his behalf, 7 May 1832.85 He voted in the minority against the quarantine duties, 6 Sept. 1831, and called for public finance to combat cholera, 14, 15 Feb. 1832. He was in favour of proceeding with the customs duties bill so that a pro-forma could be printed, 13 July, and joined Hodgson in pressing for extended warehousing facilities under it at Newcastle customs house, 25 July 1832.

Ridley resisted the temptation to declare his candidature for Northumberland South at the general election of 1832, lest he forfeit Newcastle, where he topped the poll.86 He had agreed to support Charles Williams Wynn in preference to the Whig Littleton for the expected vacancy in the Speakership, reserving himself ‘if others should start’. His allegiance was not tested.87 An increasingly unreliable supporter of Liberal reforms, he was returned in second place for Newcastle in 1835, and afterwards went over to the Conservatives.88 He died suddenly of apoplexy while staying at Richmond, Surrey, in July 1836.89 As stipulated in his will, dated 10 Jan. 1826 and proved under £35,000 in the province of Canterbury and £160,000 in that of York, he was succeeded in the baronetcy and to his estates, bank and businesses by his eldest son Matthew (1807-77), Conservative Member for Northumberland North, 1859-80. His youngest son George (1818-1887) represented Newcastle as a Liberal, 1856-60. His daughters and younger sons all became estranged from his increasingly eccentric widow (d. 1864) and were provided for by trust, with £10,000 marriage portions reserved for the seven who were unmarried at his death.90

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. Diaries and Corresp. of James Losh ed. E. Hughes (Surtees Soc. clxxi) [hereafter Losh Diaries, i], 190.
  • 2. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 311-12; v. 19-20.; P. Fraser, ‘Party Voting in the House of Commons, 1812-1827’, EHR, xciii (1983), 764, 783.
  • 3. Grey mss, Ridley to Grey, 11 Jan.; The Times, 31 Jan., 22 Feb., 5 May; Tyne Mercury, 1 Feb.; Newcastle Courant, 12 Feb., 11, 18 Mar. 1820; Northumb. RO, Ridley (Blagdon) mss ZRI25/39, 41; Newcastle Pollbook (1820), pp. vii-ix.; P.D. Brett, ‘Newcastle Election of 1830’, Northern Hist. xxiv (1988), 104, confuses Scott with his cousin William Henry John Scott, Member for Hastings.
  • 4. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/42, 55.
  • 5. Ibid. 25/51/1, 2.
  • 6. Newcastle Chron. 17 June 1826.
  • 7. The Times, 13, 26 May, 10 June 1820; Add. 36458, f. 109; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/37.
  • 8. The Times, 3 Mar. 1821.
  • 9. Ibid. 18 May 1823.
  • 10. Ibid. 17 Mar. 1821, 22 Apr. 1825.
  • 11. Brougham mss, Grey Bennet to Brougham [19 Sept. 1820].
  • 12. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/45, Grey to Ridley, 29 Nov.; Grey mss, Ridley to Grey, 30 Nov. 1820.
  • 13. Newcastle Chron. 12 Jan.; The Times, 15 Jan. 1821; Gent. Mag. (1836), ii. 322.
  • 14. Newcastle Chron. 16 Feb. 1821.
  • 15. Ibid. 10 Mar. 1821.
  • 16. Ibid. 1, 23 Feb., 16, 30 Mar., 14 Apr. 1821, 18 Mar. 1825.
  • 17. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/40; The Times, 20, 22 Feb. 1821, 31 Mar. 1825.
  • 18. The Times, 22, 27 Feb., 31 Mar. 1821.
  • 19. Ibid. 3, 13 Apr. 1821.
  • 20. Ibid. 27 Aug. 1821.
  • 21. Ibid. 23, 26 Feb. 1822.
  • 22. Ibid. 19 Feb., 1, 2, 6 Mar. 1822.
  • 23. Ibid. 19 Mar. 1822.
  • 24. BL, Althorp mss, Lord to Lady Spencer, 13 May 1822.
  • 25. The Times, 23, 29 Mar. 1822.
  • 26. Ibid. 1 June 1822.
  • 27. Ibid. 7 May, 5, 6 June 1822.
  • 28. Ibid. 2, 16 May 1822.
  • 29. CJ, lxxvii. 45, 103, 115, 161, 241, 244, 292; The Times, 7 Mar., 3 May, 12 June 1822.
  • 30. R.S. Watson, Hist. Lit and Phil. Soc. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 83; Reid, Lord Durham, i. 158; Losh Diaries, i. 169-71.
  • 31. Grey mss, Ridley to Grey, 14 Nov. 1822.
  • 32. The Times, 11 Mar. 1823.
  • 33. Ibid. 22 Mar. 1823.
  • 34. Ibid. 22, 29 Apr. 1823.
  • 35. Add. 51668, Bedford to Lady Holland [27 Feb. 1824]; Wellington mss WP1/790/21; 911/9; Newcastle Chron. 17 June 1826.
  • 36. The Times, 12 June 1826.
  • 37. Ibid. 24 Feb. 1825.
  • 38. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 35/25; Grey mss, Grey to Ridley, 4 Mar.; The Times, 27, 30 Mar. 1824.
  • 39. The Times, 6 Apr. 1824.
  • 40. Ibid. 12 Mar.; CJ, lxxix. 361, 427.
  • 41. The Times, 17, 28 June 1825.
  • 42. Ibid. 16 Feb., 5 Mar., 29 Apr. 1825.
  • 43. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/47; The Times, 7 Jan., 24 Mar. 1825.
  • 44. Ibid. 26 Apr. 1820, 29 Apr. 1825.
  • 45. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/61, Eldon to Ridley, undated.
  • 46. The Times, 10 June 1825.
  • 47. London Gazette, 18 Nov.; Newcastle Chron. 22 Nov. 1828.
  • 48. The Times, 28 Feb. 1826.
  • 49. Ibid. 18 Mar.; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Acc. 636, Denison diary, 19 May 1826.
  • 50. The Times, 13 Apr., 4 May, 15 June 1824, 31 Mar. 1825; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/57.
  • 51. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/45, notes and letters, 1824-6.
  • 52. The following paragraph draws additionally on P. Burroughs, ‘Northumb. Elections of 1826’, PH, x (1991), 78-104.
  • 53. Grey mss, Ridley to Grey, 25 Aug., 5 Sept., 14 Oct. 1823, 26, 27 Feb., 3, 11, 13, 16, 19, 24 Mar. 1824, 25 Sept., 10, 18 Nov. 1825, Tankerville to same, 8 Mar., Lambton to same, 16, 17 Mar. 1824, 20 Nov., 26 Dec. 1825; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/45, Grey to Ridley, 31 Aug. 1823, 28 Feb., 4, 6, 13, 18, 19, 21 Mar. 1824, 16 Sept., 14 Nov. 1825, Ridley Colborne to Beaumont, 18 Mar. 1824; Tyne Mercury, 14 Jan. 1826.
  • 54. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 3 June 1826.
  • 55. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/48, Grey to Ridley, 4, 6 Feb. 20 May, Liddell to same, 7 Feb., reply, 8 Feb.; Grey mss, Ridley to Howick, 4, 6, 7 Feb.; Northumb. RO, Middleton mss ZMI/B16/VI, Monck to Ridley, 15 Feb.; Newcastle Chron. 17, 24 June, 1, 15, 23 July 1826.
  • 56. Northumb. election pprs. [BL J/8133.i.13.], ii. 573-83, 587-9, 673; Durham Chron. 18 Mar.; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/52 (election expenses 1826); 25/53, Ravensworth to Ridley, 4, 6 Mar., Liddell to same, 21 Mar.; The Times, 26 May, 2, 12 June; Newcastle Chron. 27 May, 10, 17 June; Tyne Mercury, 13 June 1826.
  • 57. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/48, Ridley to Grey, 12, 26 July, Monck to Ridley, 21 July, Swinburne to same, 23 July and reply, 24 July; 25/53, bdle. Beaumont corresp.; The Times, 21 July; Globe, 22 July; Newcastle Chron. 23 July, 13 Aug.; Grey mss, Lambton to Grey, 17 Aug. 1826.
  • 58. Durham Chron. 10 Feb. 1827.
  • 59. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/54; The Times, 23 June 1827.
  • 60. Add. 52453, Mackintosh to Allen, 2 Feb. 1828.
  • 61. Add. 38761, f. 269; 40307, f. 50; 40395, ff. 219, 244; Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC12/85; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 4 Feb.; Hatherton diary, 15 Feb. 1828; B. Hilton, Corn, Cash, Commerce, 247.
  • 62. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/55.
  • 63. Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 17 May 1828.
  • 64. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 28/8, 32/3.
  • 65. Add. 51599A, Lady Cowper to Holland [28 Jan. 1829]; 60288, f. 122.
  • 66. Newcastle Chron. 20, 27 Feb., 7 Aug. 1830.
  • 67. Grey mss, Howick jnl. 13 May 1830.
  • 68. Newcastle Chron. 7 Aug. 1830.
  • 69. Howick jnl. 21 June 1830.
  • 70. Tyne and Wear Archives, Ellison of Hebburn mss DF/ELL/A66, passim; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/59, passim; Brett, 101-23.
  • 71. Newcastle Chron. 7 Aug. 1830.
  • 72. Tyne and Wear Archives MD/NC/2/11 (Newcastle corporation minutes, pp. 565, 569).
  • 73. Wellington mss WP1/1137/24, 35; 1141/27; 1143/53; 1182/10.
  • 74. Tyne Mercury, 3 May 1831.
  • 75. Add. 40340, f. 246.
  • 76. Newcastle Chron. 28 Dec. 1830; Durham Chron. 29 Jan. 1831.
  • 77. Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 17 Mar. 1831.
  • 78. Northumb. election pprs. ii. 773, 775, 787; Tyne Mercury, 26 Apr., 3, 10 May 1831.
  • 79. The Times, 8, 9 July 1831.
  • 80. Grey mss, Ridley to Grey, 21, 22 Sept., reply, 22 Sept. 1831.
  • 81. Newcastle Chron. 15 Oct.; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/61, Eldon to Ridley, 21 Oct. 1831.
  • 82. Tyne Mercury, 13 Mar. 1832.
  • 83. Ibid. 10 Apr. 1832.
  • 84. Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/59, T. Smith to Ridley, 1 July 1830.
  • 85. Durham Chron. 6, 13 Apr. 1832.
  • 86. Northumb. RO, Blackett-Ord (Whitfield) mss 324/A/36, W.H. Ord to fa. 18 Sept. 1831; Tyne Mercury, 24 July; Newcastle Courant, 8-22 Dec. 1832; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 25/63-4.
  • 87. NLW, Coedymaen mss bdle. 29, Williams Wynn to Phillimore [Dec. 1832].
  • 88. Newcastle Chron. 10 Jan. 1835; Add. 40415, ff. 219, 221; Greville Mems. iii. 219.
  • 89. Tyne Mercury, 19, 26 July; Gent. Mag. (1836), ii. 221-2.
  • 90. PROB 11/1866/506; IR26/1428/452; Ridley (Blagdon) mss 24/80; U. Ridley, Cecilia, 45-50.