LEVESON, Richard (1659-99), of Wolverhampton, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1685 - 1687
13 Dec. 1692 - 1695

Family and Education

b. 12 July 1659, 1st s. of Robert Leveson of Wolverhampton by Sarah, da. of John Povey of Hounslow, Mdx.  unm. 2s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Groom of the bedchamber 1685–8.2

Capt. R. Regt. of Drag. June–Aug. 1685, 3rd Hussars 1685, lt.-col. 1687, col. 1688–94; gov. of Berwick 1691–d.; col. 2 Drag. Gds. 1694–d.; brig. of Horse 1691; maj.-gen. 1696.


Having previously been a supporter of James II, Leveson had deserted to William in 1688, for which he was excepted from the amnesty issued by James in 1692. His timely change enabled him to retain his colonelcy of a regiment of horse, with which he served in Ireland 1690–1 with some distinction. The following year he was returned at a by-election for Newport on the government interest. He fought a duel in January 1691 with Sir Henry Belasyse*, whom he wounded and disarmed. He was listed as a placeman in the summer and autumn of 1693, and as a Court supporter by Grascome in his list of 1693 (which extended to 1695). On 26 Jan. 1694 he was appointed to the committee to draw up the address to the King on denying assent to the place bill. During the debate on the King’s answer on 1 Feb., he replied to criticism from Lord Digby (William*) that the answer was too general to be satisfactory, saying:

I observe an objection, ‘that the King’s answer may serve to anything’. Then why not to the representation? At such a rate of receiving the King’s answer, I think it the best way, that those that penned the representation, should have gone to have penned his Majesty’s answer.

Leveson attended the European campaign in the summer of 1694, did not stand at the 1695 election, and was again in Europe in 1696. In 1697 he petitioned the Treasury (with what success is not known) for the grant of part of the debt of the deceased sub-collector of tenths of the clergy in the diocese of Norwich. He died in March 1699, before his father, leaving the value of the estates in Staffordshire settled on him to his two brothers, plus £4,000 to one natural son and £500 to the other.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Wolverhampton Par. Reg. (Staffs. Par. Reg. Soc.), i. 234; Vis. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. v. pt. 2), 202–3; J. C. Wedgwood, Staff. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt. Arch. Soc.), ii. 161; Shaw, Staffs. ii. 169.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 144.
  • 3. Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 289; iii. 289, 395; iv. 68; Trinity, Dublin, Clarke mss 749/4/407, William Blathwayt* to George Clarke*, 22 Jan. 1691; Grey, x. 385; Wedgwood, ii. 161.