RYDER, Hon. Richard (1766-1832), of Westbrook Hay, nr. Hemel Hempstead, Herts. and 37 Grovesnor Street, Mdx.

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



26 Feb. 1795 - 1830

Family and Education

b. 5 July 1766, 2nd s. of Nathaniel Ryder†, 1st Bar. Harrowby (d. 1803), and Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Rt. Rev. Richard Terrick, bp. of London. educ. Neasden, Mdx. by Rev. Richard Raikes; Harrow 1780; St. John’s, Camb. 1784; L. Inn 1788, called 1791. m. 1 Aug. 1799, Frederica, da. and h. of Sir John Skynner† of Great Milton, Oxon., l.c.b. 1777-87, 1 da. d.v.p. suc. 1st cos. once removed Thomas Ryder† to Westbrook Hay 1812. d. 18 Sept. 1832.

Offices Held

Dep. paymaster c. 1797-1800; solicitor to ordnance 1801-6, to bd. of control ?1804-6; second justice of S. Wales circuit 1804-7; commr. for nawab of Arcot’s debts until 1806; ld. of treasury Sept.-Dec. 1807; PC 25 Nov. 1807; judge adv.-gen. Nov. 1807-Nov. 1809; sec. of state for home affairs Nov. 1809-June 1812.

Jt. registrar, consistory ct. of Canterbury bef. 1808, sole registrar 1813-d.; bencher, L. Inn 1811, treas. 1819.

Capt. Staffs. supp. militia 1797; vol. London and Westminster light horse 1798.


Ryder had been hopelessly out of his depth as home secretary in Perceval’s ministry, and after his resignation in 1812 persistent ill health provided an additional reason for his retreat to the sidelines of politics. His wife had reputedly brought with her ‘a fortune of £100,000’, and he had inherited £2,000 and chambers in Lincoln’s Inn from his father in 1803, in addition to the unspecified provision already made on his marriage.1 In 1812 he inherited landed property in Hertfordshire from a cousin and was the residuary legatee of the estate, which was sworn under £10,000.2 Though it was claimed in 1820 that he received £5,060 per annum from the tenure of various legal offices, most of this related to the post of judge advocate-general, which he had resigned in 1809.3 He continued to sit for Tiverton on his brother Lord Harrowby’s interest, and he attended occasionally to give silent support to Lord Liverpool’s ministry. He voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He paired against Catholic relief, 28 Feb., and the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 23 May. He voted against repeal of the additional malt duty, 21 Mar., 3 Apr. 1821. He divided against more extensive tax reductions, 21 Feb., abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., and repeal of the salt duties, 28 June 1822. He voted against the removal of Catholic peers’ disabilities, 30 Apr. 1822. He divided against repeal of the tax on houses valued at under £5, 10 Mar., and inquiries into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., and delays in chancery, 5 June 1823. However, he voted for the motion condemning the trial of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June 1824. He divided against the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May, and the Irish franchise bill, 26 Apr. 1825. He voted for the financial provision for the duke of Cumberland, 30 May, 6 June 1825. Ill health caused him to be absent for much of the next session, but he was present to vote against reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 13 Apr. 1826.4

Following his unopposed return in 1826, Ryder became even less active and he was reportedly ‘still suffering from his headaches’. It appears that he would have retired in favour of his nephew Granville Ryder* in 1827, but for the fact that the latter’s pro-Catholic views made him unacceptable to Tiverton corporation.5 He divided against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, listed him as an absentee, but after being twice named as a defaulter, 5, 10 Mar., he attended to vote against emancipation, 18, 30 Mar. 1829. He divided against Jewish emancipation, 17 May 1830. At the dissolution that summer he was able to make way for his nephew, now that the Catholic question had been settled.6 He became increasingly infirm, owing to ‘oppressive asthma’, and died in September 1832 after an attack of influenza and ‘three weeks in acute dropsy’.7 He had no surviving children and left Westbrook Hay and the residue of his estate to Granville Ryder; his personalty was sworn under £140,000.8

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Terry Jenkins


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1799), ii. 716. His father’s will was proved ‘at the upper value’ (PROB 11/1396/630; IR26/77/74).
  • 2. IR26/558/817; VCH Herts. ii. 223.
  • 3. Black Bk. (1820), 440.
  • 4. Surr. Hist. Cent. Goulburn mss Acc 304/67A, Goulburn to wife, 9 Mar. [1826]; Add. 40386, f. 145.
  • 5. Goulburn mss 67A, Goulburn to wife, 20 Nov. 1826; Devon RO, Harrowby-Tiverton mss (xerox copy), xvi. 141.
  • 6. Harrowby-Tiverton mss, xvii. 43a.
  • 7. Duke Univ. Lib. Fazakerley mss, Sandon to Fazakerley, 18 Sept. 1832.
  • 8. PROB 11/1808/720; IR26/1302/684.