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Sir Richard Onslow


In office
1708 – 1710
Preceded by John Smith
Succeeded by William Bromley

In office
13 October 1714 – 12 October 1715
Preceded by William Wyndham
Succeeded by Robert Walpole

In office
5 June 1690 – 15 April 1693

In office
1716 – 1717
Preceded by John Campbell
Succeeded by Thomas Onslow

Born 23 June 1654(1654-06-23)
England Surrey, England
Died 5 December 1717 (aged 63)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain
Political party British Whig Party

Richard Onslow, 1st Baron Onslow, PC (23 June 1654 – 5 December 1717), was a British Whig Member of Parliament, known as Sir Richard Onslow, 2nd Baronet from 1688 until 1716. He served as the Speaker of the House of Commons from 1708 until 1710 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1714 until 1715. Onslow was a very unpopular figure amongst members of both political parties, particularly during his time as Speaker. He was extremely pedantic and showed an absolute devotion to principle, as a result he was given the nickname "Stiff Dick".[1]

Onslow's father, Arthur, was a politician, as was his maternal grandfather Thomas Foote, who had served as the Lord Mayor of London in 1649. He was born in Surrey and attended St Edmund Hall, Oxford before being called to the Inner Temple, however he entered Parliament as the Member for Guildford in 1679 before he could be called to the bar. One of Onslow's first actions as a member of Parliament was to support the Exclusion Bill, which aimed, unsuccessfully, to deny the Catholic James II of England the British throne.

Onslow was an active back-bencher during his early years in Parliament, and his increasing notoriety as a moderate Whig led to him being nominated for the position of Speaker in 1701. He was unsuccessful in this bid, losing out to the Tory candidate, Robert Harley. However, Onslow managed to attain the position of Speaker seven years later, in 1708. He proved to be a poor Speaker as he made no effort whatsoever to show any kind of neutrality, a fact which upset all but the most fervent Whigs. Onslow's pedantry as Speaker also enhanced his unpopularity. The most famous incident during his Speakership came during the trial of the preacher Dr. Henry Sacheverell, in which Onslow played a large part. When Onslow took the Commons to the House of Lords to hear their judgment on the case he challenged Black Rod on a trifling point of privilege, delaying the proceedings somewhat, which infuriated almost everyone in attendance. Onslow's unpopularity by this point was such that he failed to retain his seat in the 1710 election. In order to remain in the Commons he was forced to sit for a rotten borough.

Onslow regained much of his political favour four years later. Upon the death of Queen Anne in 1714 Onslow was a vocal advocate of a Protestant successor, in return for his support Onslow was rewarded by being named as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position he held for around a year before resigning.

References

External links

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Arthur Onslow
Thomas Dalmahoy
Member of Parliament for Guildford
with Thomas Dalmahoy 1679
Morgan Randyll 1679–1685
Heneage Finch 1685–1689

1679–1689
Succeeded by
Foot Onslow
John Weston
Preceded by
Sir Adam Browne, Bt
Sir Edward Evelyn, Bt
Member of Parliament for Surrey
with George Evelyn 1689–1690
Sir Francis Vincent, Bt 1690–1695
Denzil Onslow 1695–1689
John Weston 1698–1702
Leonard Wessell 1701–1705
Sir William Scawen 1705–1707

1689–1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Surrey
with Sir William Scawen

1707–1710
Succeeded by
Lord Guernsey
Sir Francis Vincent, Bt
Preceded by
John Smith
Speaker of the House of Commons of Great Britain
1708–1710
Succeeded by
William Bromley
Preceded by
Francis Godfrey
John Tredenham
Member of Parliament for St Mawes
with John Tredenham 1710–1711
John Anstis 1711–1713

1710–1713
Succeeded by
Edward Rolt
Francis Scobell
Preceded by
Denzil Onslow
Morgan Randyll
Member of Parliament for Guildford
with Morgan Randyll

1713–1714
Succeeded by
Morgan Randyll
Denzil Onslow
Preceded by
Lord Guernsey
Sir Francis Vincent, Bt
Member of Parliament for Surrey
with Lord Guernsey

1713–1715
Succeeded by
Lord Guernsey
Thomas Onslow
Preceded by
Thomas Strangways
Father of the House
1713–1715
Succeeded by
Thomas Erle
Political offices
Preceded by
William Wyndham
Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain
1714–1715
Succeeded by
Robert Walpole
Preceded by
The Lord De La Warr
Teller of the Exchequer
1715–1717
Succeeded by
The Lord Torrington
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Lord Lieutenant of Surrey
1716–1717
Succeeded by
The Lord Onslow
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Onslow
1716–1717
Succeeded by
Thomas Onslow
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Arthur Onslow
Baronet
(of West Clandon, Surrey)
1688–1717
Succeeded by
Thomas Onslow
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