MONCKTON ARUNDELL, Robert, 4th Visct. Galway [I] (1752-1810).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - Feb. 1783
17 Nov. 1783 - 1790
1796 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 4 July 1752, 2nd surv. s. of William, 2nd Visct. Galway [I], and bro. of Henry William, 3rd Visct.  m. (1) 4 Mar. 1779, Elizabeth (d. 19 Nov. 1801), da. of Daniel Mathew of Felix Hall, Essex, 5s. 4da.; (2) 24 May 1803, Mary Bridget, da. and h. of Pemberton Milnes of Bawtry Hall, Yorks., wid. of P. A. Hay Drummond, s.p.  suc. bro. as 4th Visct. 2 Mar. 1774; K.B. 20 Dec. 1786.

Offices Held

P.C. 16 Apr. 1784; comptroller of the Household 1784-7.


Galway voted with Administration till the fall of North. Next he became associated with the movement for parliamentary reform, and on 29 Oct. 1782, at the Nottinghamshire meeting, said reform was

no party business, he was himself no party man, nor in any way connected with any body of public men. He acted from his own views of public measures, and by these should his conduct ever be directed. He was sensible that the House of Commons was not such a representation of the people as it ought to be, and though his own interests might be much affected by the reform which was in view, yet would he not suffer private motives to stand in the way of what was essential to the constitution, and necessary to the safety of the whole. He wished the people of this country to have what was their undoubted right, a pure representation, unmixed with other influence.

‘The generous example of yielding his personal interests’ brought him the thanks of the meeting. On 19 Dec., at York, he declared that ‘nothing should be wanting in his endeavours either in or out of the House, to promote the objects of these petitions’.1

In February 1783 Galway was appointed by Shelburne envoy to the Elector Palatine. The fall of the Government in March prevented his taking up the appointment, but he had already vacated his seat. At Pontefract it seems to have been expected that he would now yield his rights in the borough. In fact he put forward on the burgage interest Nathaniel Smith, an East Indian and a stranger, who was returned after a contest, but unseated on petition, when a committee of the House of Commons declared the right of election to be in inhabitant householders. Galway acquiesced in the efforts of his fellow proprietor John Walsh to re-establish the burgage right, but did little about it himself. He remained an active member of the Yorkshire Association; in November 1783 stood at York as an exponent of parliamentary reform; and was returned unopposed.

Galway spoke and voted against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. He spoke again on a motion to repeal the receipts tax, 4 Dec. 1783, having ‘received instructions to support the motion ... which he should readily obey, meaning on every occasion to pay the utmost deference to the opinion of those who did him the honour to appoint him their representative’.2 He was classed by Robinson, January 1784, and by Stockdale, 19 Mar., as ‘Administration’.

In 1784 Galway topped the poll at York. In a speech during the debate on the Westminster scrutiny, 9 Mar. 1785, he attacked Fox, who ‘was not the legal Member, for he was chosen by a mob’. But he ‘spoke in such heat that it was difficult to understand him; the House were out of all patience, and at last his Lordship sat down, amidst the disorder of the moment. Mr. Fox rose three times to begin his speech, and was often interrupted by Lord Galway.’3 Wraxall wrote that he had known Galway well, ‘of whom it would be difficult to commemorate anything very meritorious ... whenever he rose to address the House, as he sometimes did during long debates at very late hours, [he] was usually in a state which should have impelled him to silence’.4 Galway voted for Pitt’s proposals for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785. In 1787 his appointment as comptroller ended: it is not clear whether he resigned or was dismissed; but he voted with Opposition over the Regency, 1788-9.

He died 23 July 1810.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. C. Wyvill, Pol. Pprs. ii. 38-71, 184-9.
  • 2. Debrett, xii. 337.
  • 3. Ibid. xvii. 367.
  • 4. Mems. iii. 338.