RICH, Sir Thomas, 5th Bt. (1733-1803), of Sonning, Berks.

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



1784 - 1790

Family and Education

b. c.1733, 1st s. of Sir William Rich, 4th Bt., of Sonning by Elizabeth, da. of William Royall of Minstead, Hants.  m. Ann, da. and coh. of Richard Willis of Digswell, Herts., s.p.  suc. fa. 17 July 1762.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1758; cdr. 1769; capt. 1771; r.-adm. 1794; v.-adm. 1795; adm. 1801.


Rich, whose estate was not far from Marlow, successfully contested the borough in 1784. He was classed by William Adam in May 1784 as ‘Administration’; voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785; and with Administration on the impeachment of Impey, 9 May 1788, and on the Regency, 1788-9. His first reported speech was on 9 May 1785, when he

declared his wish that the tax on female servants might not be persisted in; and as it was generally held that when gentlemen disapproved of a tax proposed by the chancellor of the Exchequer they ought to come forward with another, he would suggest one that he thought would produce nearly as much, and that was a tax on all ladies who were married and put out their children to nurse.1

Only two other speeches by him are reported: on 7 July 1785 he recommended compensating certain American loyalists whose ship had been captured by the Royal Navy; and on 30 Mar. 1786 he spoke against Marsham’s bill for disfranchising all voters employed by the Navy and Ordnance Boards. Rich does not appear to have stood again in 1790.

He died 6 Apr. 1803, aged about 70.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Debrett, xviii. 225.