ONSLOW, Richard (c.1697-1760).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 16 Mar. 1760

Family and Education

b. c.1697, 2nd s. of Foot Onslow M.P. and yr. bro. of Arthur Onslow. m. (1) 9 Dec. 1726, Rose (d. Feb. 1728), da. and coh. of John Bridges, sis.-in-law of Arthur Onslow, s.p.; (2) Pooley, da. of Charles Walton of Little Bursted, Essex, niece and h. of Admiral Sir George Walton, 3s. 1da.

Offices Held

Receiver gen. of the Post Office 1720-7; accomptant to his bro. as treasurer of the navy 1734-42.

Capt. 11 Ft. 1716, 30 Ft. 1719, 15 Ft. 1721; capt.-lt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1724, capt. 1727; col. 39 Ft. 1731, 8 Ft. 1739, 1 tp. Horse Gren. Gds. 1745; brig.-gen. 1742; maj.-gen. 1743; lt.-gen. 1747.

Gov. Fort William 1752-9; Plymouth 1759-d.


Richard Onslow was left by his parents’ deaths in the charge of his elder brother, Arthur, the future Speaker, who, thinking him cut out for the army by ‘a courage and firmness in him’, combined with ‘a large and fine make in his person, and ... a very handsome and manly countenance’, gave him a start in life by raising the money to buy him a company in the Guards.1 In 1720 Arthur, on entering Parliament, turned over to Richard a £400 a year place in the Post Office, which was incompatible with a seat in the Commons. In 1722 Richard figured in an election brawl with James Oglethorpe at Haslemere, where the Onslows had an interest.2 Returned on his family’s interest at Guildford in 1727, he had to resign his Post Office place, obtaining another in 1734 under his brother as treasurer of the navy, which he held till Arthur Onslow resigned that place in 1742. Voting steadily with the Government, marrying two heiresses, and backed by the Onslow influence, he rose steadily to a high rank in the army. He died 16 Mar. 1760. Presumably as a compliment to his brother, the Speaker, Sir James Thornhill’s picture of the House of Commons, c.1730, contains a portrait of him by by Thornhill’s son-in-law, Hogarth.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 501-2.
  • 2. A. A. Ettinger, Oglethorpe, 81-82.