BRICKDALE, Matthew (1735-1831), of Clifton, Glos. and Taunton, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1774
1780 - 1790

Family and Education

b. 30 Apr. 1735, s. of John Brickdale, Bristol draper. educ. at Leicester.1 m. bef. 1759,2 Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Smith of Clifton, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1765.

Offices Held

Common councillor, Bristol 1767-84; elected mayor 1791 but refused to serve.


Brickdale, a Bristol clothier and undertaker,3 was said to have inherited £100,0004 on his father’s death in 1765, and retired from business before entering Parliament. In 1768 he was returned unopposed for Bristol as candidate of the Tory Steadfast Society, of which his father had been a leading member.

In Parliament, while paying attention to the requirements of the Bristol commercial interest, Brickdale followed his own independent line. He voted with the Opposition over Wilkes, 29 Jan. 1769; the Middlesex election, 15 Apr. and 8 May 1769; on the Address, 9 Jan. 1770, and again on the Middlesex election, 25 Jan. 1770. His maiden speech on 28 Feb. 1770 was in support of Grenville’s election bill, and though he spoke and voted for the attendance of the printers, 12 Mar. 1771,5 he advocated leniency towards the City officials, and on 25 Mar. seconded an unsuccessful motion that Alderman Oliver should merely be reprimanded by the Speaker. He again voted with the Opposition on the Middlesex election motion, 26 Apr. 1773, but when on 25 Feb. 1774 he voted for making Grenville’s Election Act permanent, he was included in the King’s list of dissenting friends; and in Robinson