RAINE, Jonathan (1763-1831), of 33 Bedford Row, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1802 - 1806
1806 - 1807
8 May 1812 - 1812
1812 - 14 May 1831

Family and Education

bap. 21 Jan. 1763, 2nd s. of Rev. Matthew Raine (d. 1807) of Hartforth, Yorks., rect. of Kirkby Wiske, and Esther, da. of William Varey of Cumb.1 educ. Eton 1776-82; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1782, fellow 1789; L. Inn 1785, called 1791. m. 24 June 1799, Elizabeth née Price of Knightsbridge, Mdx., s.p. d. 14 May 1831.

Offices Held

KC 8 Mar. 1816; bencher, L. Inn 1816, treas. 1821; solicitor-gen. co. pal. of Durham 1821-3; c.j. N. Wales circuit 1823-1830.


Raine, the son of a clergyman,2 owed his legal preferment and political career largely to the patronage of the 2nd and 3rd dukes of Northumberland, whose shifting political allegiances he had been obliged to follow. In 1820 he was returned for Newport for the third time, on the 3rd duke’s interest, after the candidates on a rival interest withdrew.3 He continued to attend occasionally and gave silent support to Lord Liverpool’s ministry. He voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb., and against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821. Having been appointed solicitor-general to the county palatinate of Durham he was granted an unspecified period of leave to go the northern circuit, 7 Mar. 1821. He divided against more extensive tax reductions, 11, 21 Feb., was again granted leave to go the circuit, 6 Mar., but returned to vote against the removal of Catholic peers’ disabilities, 30 Apr. 1822. In March 1823 Liverpool explained Raine’s appointment as a Welsh judge to the foreign secretary Canning by observing that ‘his station and standing in the profession afforded a better security that his nomination would be less likely to provoke an inconvenient motion in Parliament ... than that of any other person’, although he had received ‘a full explanation of the contingency to which the appointment might possibly be subject’. This was a reference to the controversy over Welsh judges being allowed to sit in the Commons. In the event Raine was re-elected for Newport, despite a strong local challenge, but it was around this time that he ‘retired from practice at the common law bar’.4 He divided against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., and inquiry into delays in chancery, 5 June 1823. He presented a Newport petition for repeal of the coal duties, 20 Feb.,5 and voted against the abolition of flogging in the army, 5 Mar. 1824. He divided for the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., and against Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He was returned unopposed for Newport at the general election of 1826.6

He continued to divide against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 10 May 1828. He was granted three weeks’ leave ‘on urgent business, having sworn off’, 29 Mar. 1827, and presented a Burford petition for repeal of the Small Notes Act, 2 June 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, listed him as being ‘with government’ on Catholic emancipation, which reflected the fact that Northumberland had recently been appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. Raine dutifully voted for the emancipation bill, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. Shortly after his unopposed return for Newport at the general election in 1830 his judicial position was abolished, and he was compensated with an annual pension of £1,000.7 The ministry regarded him as one of their ‘friends’, and he voted with them in the crucial civil list division, 15 Nov. 1830. He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He was returned unopposed for Newport at the ensuing general election, but died suddenly in May 1831.8 He left all his property, apart from a few small bequests, to his wife, and instructed that on her death (which occurred in 1843) it should pass to his sister Esther; his personalty was finally sworn under £60,000.9

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Terry Jenkins


  • 1. IGI (Cumb., Yorks.).
  • 2. Who named his wife and daughter in succession as the residuary legatees of his estate, which was sworn under £5,000. Raine was to receive £600 from the sale of stock on his mother’s death (PROB 11/1471/991; IR26/130/247).
  • 3. R. Cornw. Gazette, 11 Mar. 1820.
  • 4. Add. 38193, f. 190; 40311, ff. 13-15; R. Cornw. Gazette, 22, 29 Mar. 1823; Gent. Mag. (1831), i. 476.
  • 5. The Times, 21 Feb. 1824.
  • 6. West Briton, 9, 16 June 1826.
  • 7. Ibid. 7 Aug. 1830; W.R. Williams, Hist. Great Sessions in Wales, 27, 118-19.
  • 8. West Briton, 6, 20 May 1831.
  • 9. PROB 11/1787/355; IR26/1268/244.