LIDDELL, Richard (?1694-1746), of Wakehurst Place, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



12 May - 11 Dec. 1741
18 Mar. 1742 - 22 June 1746

Family and Education

b. ?1694, 1st s. of Dennis Liddell, M.P., of Wakehurst Place by Martha, da. of Sir Richard Haddock, M.P., comptroller of the navy. educ. Ch. Ch. Oxf. 3 June 1712, aged 17; I. Temple 1712. unm. suc. fa. 1717.

Offices Held

Sec. to ld. lt. [I] 1745-d.; P.C. [I] 1745.


Liddell’s father, a commissioner of the navy and a friend of Pepys, bought Wakehurst for £9,000 in 1694.1 Liddell himself gained notoriety in November 1729 when he was surprised in adultery with Lady Abergavenny by her husband, who was awarded £10,000 damages against him.2 In order to avoid paying the damages, he appears to have made over his estates to his younger brother Charles.3 In December 1733 Lord Ailesbury reported from Brussels:

Mr. Liddell here is a very pretty gentleman and well bred ... No doubt he has a good estate, as one may judge by appearance in going to all countries to divert himself, and as he told me Lord Abergavenny should never have a shilling of his money.4

Returned for Bossiney as an opposition Whig in 1741, he was unseated on petition by 7 votes, including that of another wronged husband, Sir William Morice, gained by his kinsman, Lord Abergavenny, ‘for what reason is obvious enough’.5 Re-seated on a further petition after Walpole’s fall, he voted against the Hanoverians in 1742 and 1744, signing the opposition whip of 10 Nov. 1743.6 Lord Chesterfield states that ‘everybody was much surprised’ when he appointed Liddell his secretary on becoming lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1745,

and some of my friends represented to me, that he was no man of business, but only a very genteel, pretty young fellow. I assured them, and with truth, that that was the very reason why I chose him,7

telling Liddell:

Sir, you will receive the emoluments of your place, but I will do the business myself, being determined to have no first minister.8

He died shortly afterwards, 22 June 1746.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. G. W. E. Loder, Wakehurst Place, 69-71.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 50; Pol. State, xxxix. 217-20.
  • 3. Loder, 77-78, 125.
  • 4. HMC 15th Rep. VII, 235.
  • 5. Stuart mss 216/111; Coxe, Walpole, iii. 582.
  • 6. Owen, Pelhams, 198.
  • 7. Chesterfield Letters, 2090.
  • 8. M. Maty, Mems. of Chesterfield (1777 ed.), 151.