WALPOLE, Hon. Richard (1728-98).

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



1768 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 5 Dec. 1728, 3rd s. of Horatio Walpole (d. 1757) of Wolterton, and bro. of Hon. Horatio (d. 1809) and Hon. Thomas Walpole.  m. 22 Nov. 1757, Margaret, da. of Sir Joshua Vanneck, 1st Bt., 3s. 2da.

Offices Held


Walpole was captain of an East-Indiaman till 1758 when he changed to the ‘steady and profitable profession of banker’.1 He joined the London firm of Cliff, Walpole and Clarke, and in 1763 acted as agent for Clive and the East India Company opposition in creating voting qualifications. In 1763 on a vacancy at Lewes Richard Walpole’s brother, Thomas, suggested him to Newcastle as a candidate, but on 2 Feb. 1763 wrote to the Duke:2

I am extremely concerned to be obliged to retract my opinion of my brother’s intentions, which I had the honour to communicate to your Grace yesterday evening upon the joint assurance of my brother and Sir Joshua Vanneck ... they this morning have determined that my brother should not engage in a contest if that should happen to be the case at Lewes.

Lewes was not contested, yet Walpole did not stand. In 1768 he was returned unopposed for Great Yarmouth on his family interest. During this Parliament he regularly supported Administration. There is no record of his having spoken in this or any subsequent Parliament. In 1774 Walpole was re-elected for Yarmouth after a contest. On the outbreak of the American war he went into opposition, and constantly voted against Administration till the fall of North. He voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783; and was classed as an opponent of Pitt’s Administration by Robinson in January 1784, and in Stockdale’s list of 19 Mar. Walpole did not stand again in 1784.

He died 18 Aug. 1798.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Recs. of E.I. Co., Home Misc. 810, f. 66, quoted L. S. Sutherland, E.I. Co. in 18th Cent. Politics, 101.
  • 2. Add. 32946, f. 299.