CHILD, Sir Richard, 3rd Bt. (1680-1750), of Wanstead, Essex
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Family and Education
bap. 5 Feb. 1680, 3rd surv. s. of Sir Josiah Child, 1st Bt.†, being 1st s. by his 3rd w. Emma, da. and coh. of Sir Henry Barnard of Stoke, Salop and Aconbury, Herefs., Turkey merchant of London, wid. of Francis Willoughby of Wollaton, Notts. m. 22 Apr. 1703, Dorothy (d. 1744), da. and h. of John Glynne of Henley Park, Surr., 3s. 2da. suc. half-bro. Sir Josiah Child, 2nd Bt.*, 20 Jan. 1704; to part of estate of Frederick Tylney* and assumed name of Tylney by Act of Parliament 13 June 1733; cr. Visct. Castlemaine [I] 24 Apr. 1718, Earl Tylney [I] 11 June 1731.
Freeman, Maldon 1705.1
Ld. warden, Essex forest 1709–d.2
Child inherited wealth and a certain flexibility in politics from his father, who appointed him residuary legatee and executor. Sir Josiah’s death in 1699, before Richard’s majority, prompted the latter to petition on 12 Feb. 1700 for a bill to vest certain lands in trustees, so that settlements made on his half-brother’s marriage could be honoured. In 1704 he inherited the baronetcy and £4,000 p.a., bringing his total annual income to about £10,000. He stood unsuccessfully as a Tory candidate for Essex in 1705, with the backing of Bishop Compton of London, and in 1707 combined his commercial interests and loyalty to the Church by granting the rectory at Wanstead to a Mr Pound, ‘who had lately returned a great sufferer from the service of the East India Company’. Child was returned for Maldon in 1708, and was marked as a Tory on a list of Members. In the first session he acted as teller for the minority in favour of an adjournment during the debate on the Whitchurch election, but the House went on to resolve that Frederick Tylney, his wife’s uncle, had not been duly elected; and in the second session he voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. His Tory principles did not prevent him from investing in the Bank of England and at this time he owned some £4,000 worth of stock. He successfully contested the county for the Church party in 1710, with over 90 per cent of his vote consisting of ‘plumpers’, and was classed as a Tory in an analysis of the returns. In 1711 he was listed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the last administration, and as a member of the October Club. In June 1711 a rumour that he was about to purchase a peerage for £10,000 prompted Lord Windsor (Thomas*) to complain ‘that’s beginning too soon to be like the Duchess of M[arlborough] to do anything for money, making a man that’s no gentleman a lord’. Nothing came of the speculation, though the talk of a peerage was renewed in the winter of 1711 and again in early March 1713. Child remained in the Commons, and voted for the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713. He was returned for Essex, again with Compton’s support, in 1713, and was classed as a Tory on the Worsley list, though evidently not in the Harleyite mould since Lord Oxford (Robert Harley*) disdainfully referred to him as a jobber who had ‘made a prey of the poor’. After Anne’s death it was reported that there would be ‘great opposition’ to him, but he retained his seat, purchasing an Irish peerage in 1718 and becoming a government supporter. By 1722 his mansion at Wanstead had been completed, ‘the archetype of the Palladian great house’, and attracted so much attention that he felt obliged to shut the grounds for all but one or two days a week to stem the crowds. He died at Aix-en-Provence in March 1750, succeeded by his second son, John, who died unmarried in 1784.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Mark Knights
- 1. Essex RO, Maldon bor. recs. D/B3/1/24, f. 202.
- 2. VCH Essex, vi. 96.
- 3. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 383; Camb. Univ. Lib. Add. mss 5, f. 227; 7, f. 57; Lansd. 1013, f. 112; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 23; Add. 70421, Dyer newsletter 26 Oct. 1710; Wentworth Pprs. 203; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 273; Add. 17677 GGG, f. 94; Secret Hist. of White Staff (1714), pt.3, p. 38; Bodl. Ballard 31, f. 132; VCH Essex, 325; Essex Rev. vii. 220; PCC 111 Pett.