RIDER, Thomas (c.1648-by 1704), of Boughton Monchelsea, Kent

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



1690 - 1695
17 Feb. 1696 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1648, 1st s. of Sir William Rider of Bethnal Green, Mdx. by Priscilla, da. and coh. of Capt. Roger Tweedy of Mile End, Stepney, Mdx., commr. navy 1642–9.  educ. St. John’s, Oxf. matric. 26 July 1664, aged 15; M. Temple 1664.  m. lic. 17 Aug. 1682, aged ‘about 34’, Philadelphia, da. and coh. of Sir Robert Barnham, 1st Bt.†, of Boughton Monchelsea, 2s. 1da.  suc. fa. 1669.1

Offices Held

Member, R. African Co. 1672.2

Freeman, Rochester 1689.3


Rider’s father, a merchant and naval contractor under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, continued to prosper after the Restoration, being knighted in 1663. A friend of Pepys, he was involved in the Tangier committee and the committee to inquire into the affairs of Chatham’s chest, and was named in the charters establishing Trinity House (1660), the Company of Adventurers to Africa (1662) and the Royal Fishery Company (1663). Thomas Rider, together with his brother William and his mother, was included in the charter incorporating the Royal African Company, but does not seem to have been a merchant himself. Indeed, little is known of him until he married in 1682 and purchased his father-in-law’s estates in Romney Marsh. He also owned valuable sites in London including the Broad Street premises of the navy pay office which was let for a term of 21 years. The Boughton Monchelsea estate, inherited by his wife, was the basis for his political interest at nearby Maidstone, as it had been for Sir Robert Barnham before him.4

Rider’s career in local government began after the Revolution of 1688 with his appointment to the bench. He also served as a deputy-lieutenant and major in the militia. Upon his return for Maidstone in 1690 he was classed as a Whig by the Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). In the 1690–1 session he was named to several drafting committees and acted as a teller on 5 Dec. against allowing Sir William Ellys, 2nd Bt., two weeks’ leave of absence. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a Court supporter. On Samuel Grascome’s list of the spring of 1693, extended to 1695, Rider was similarly classed. In the light of this classification it is paradoxical that in July 1693 he should have been among several Kentish deputy-lieutenants rumoured to have resigned their militia commands. However, if orders were indeed issued to remove them from the lieutenancy the hiatus must have been short since Rider’s name appears on a list of appointments made in February 1694. The Journals for the years 1692–5 reveal nothing further of note apart from nomination to a few drafting committees and a week’s leave of absence granted on 22 Feb. 1695.5

Whether through an intention to retire or because he lacked the requisite political interest, Rider did not retain his seat at the general election of 1695. He returned to the Commons only at a by-election on 17 Feb. 1696, the day before a private bill on his behalf was sent down from the Lords confirming an exchange of property. It passed into law in March. In the Commons, Rider signed the Association, and in March voted for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In the following session, he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, and in 1698 he was classed as a Court supporter. Defeated at the 1698 election, he did not stand again. He was probably dead before September 1704, the date of an endorsement on a will he made in 1697, and was succeeded by his eldest son, (Sir) Barnham Rider†.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. Mar. Lic. Vicar-Gen. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 104; Pepys Diary ed. Latham, x. 354.
  • 2. Sel. Charters, 189.
  • 3. Info. from Medway Area Archs.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1649–50, pp. 310, 476; 1657–8, p. 343; Pepys Diary, iii. 238, 257; W. R. Chaplin, Trinity House, 50; Sel. Charters 179, 183, 189; PRO, DEL 10/97; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 150, 577; xx. 347.
  • 5. Info. from Prof. N. Landau; Add. 33923, f. 477; CSP Dom. 1693, p. 212; 1694–5, p. 20.
  • 6. DEL 10/97.