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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Ritchie of Dundee 

In office
12 November 1900 – 12 July 1902
Monarch Edward VII
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bt
Succeeded by Aretas Akers-Douglas

In office
11 August 1902 – 9 October 1903
Monarch Edward VII
Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
Preceded by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
Succeeded by Austen Chamberlain

Born 19 November 1838(1838-11-19)
Dundee, Scotland
Died 9 January 1906 (aged 67)
Biarritz, France
Resting place Kensal Green, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative

Charles Thomson Ritchie, 1st Baron Ritchie of Dundee PC (19 November 1838 – 9 January 1906) was a British businessman and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1874 until 1905 when he was raised to the peerage. He served as Home Secretary from 1900 to 1902 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1902 to 1903.

Background and education

Ritchie was born at Dundee, Scotland, the third son of William Ritchie, of Rockhill near Broughty Ferry in Forfarshire, head of the firm of William Ritchie & Sons, of London and Dundee, East India merchants, jute spinners and manufacturers. The Ritchie family had long been connected with the town of Dundee. His elder brother James Ritchie was Lord Mayor of London from 1903 to 1904 and was created a Baronet in 1903 (a title which became extinct on his death; see Ritchie Baronets). Ritchie was educated at the City of London School, after which he went into business.

He married Margaret Ower, daughter of Thomas Ower of Perth, on 7 December 1858.

Political career

In 1874 was returned to parliament as Conservative member for the Tower Hamlets. In 1885 he was made secretary to the Admiralty, and from 1886 to 1892 was President of the Local Government Board in Lord Salisbury's second administration, sitting as member for St Georges in the East. He was responsible for the Local Government Act 1888, instituting county councils; and a large section of the Conservative party always owed him a grudge for having originated the London County Council.

In Lord Salisbury's later ministries, as member for Croydon (1895–1906), he was President of the Board of Trade (1895–1900) and Home Secretary (1900–1902); and when Sir Michael Hicks-Beach retired in 1902, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in Balfour's cabinet. Though in his earlier years he had been a fair-trader, he was strongly opposed to Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain's movement for a preferential tariff, and he was sacked by Balfour in September 1903.

On 22 December 1905, he was created a peer as Baron Ritchie of Dundee, of Welders in the Parish of Chalfont St Giles in the County of Buckingham. However, he was in ill-health, and died at Biarritz in January 1906. He was succeeded in the title by his second but only surviving son, Charles.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda
Acton Smee Ayrton
Member of Parliament for Tower Hamlets
With: Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda (1874–1880)
James Bryce (1880–1885)
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for St George's
Succeeded by
John Benn
Preceded by
Hon. Sidney Herbert
Member of Parliament for Croydon
Succeeded by
H. O. Arnold-Forster
Political offices
Preceded by
James Stansfeld
President of the Local Government Board
Succeeded by
Henry Fowler
Preceded by
James Bryce
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Gerald Balfour
Preceded by
Sir Matthew Ridley, Bt
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Aretas Akers-Douglas
Preceded by
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Bt
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Austen Chamberlain
Academic offices
Last known title holder:
The Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Treves, Bt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Ritchie of Dundee
Succeeded by
Charles Ritchie


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