JOHNSTONE, sometime JOHNSTONE VANDEN BEMPDE, Richard Bempde (1732-1807), of Hackness Hall, nr. Scarborough, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 21 Sept. 1732, 1st s. of Lt.-Col. John Johnstone of Netherwood, Dumfries, 2nd s. of Sir William Johnstone, 2nd Bt., of Westerhall, Dumfries, by Charlotte Van Lore, da. and h. of John Vanden Bempde of Hackness Hall, wid. of William, 1st Mq. of Annandale [S]. educ. Pembroke, Cambridge 1750. m. (1) Nov. 1756, Catherine (d. 1790), da. of James Agnew of Bishop Auckland, co. Dur., s.p.; (2) 26 Feb. 1795, Margaret, da. of John Scott of Charterhouse Square, London, 2s. 2da. suc. half-bro. 1792 and took additional surname of Vanden Bempde by Act of Parliament 28 Feb. 1793; resumed surname of Johnstone 9 June 1795; cr. Bt. 6 July 1795.

Offices Held

Ensign, 3 Ft. Gds. 1753, lt. and capt. 1758, res. by 1761.


Johnstone’s father, a soldier killed in action when he was a boy, had married the dowager Marchioness of Annandale, to whose Yorkshire estate Richard ultimately succeeded on the death of his childless half-brother George, 3rd Marquess of Annandale, in 1792; thereupon he for a while took his maternal grandfather’s name of Vanden Bempde. He was then in Parliament, having been returned for Weymouth on the Johnstone family interest. In April 1791 he was listed ‘doubtful’ on the question of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. His silent support of administration together with his inheritance obtained him a baronetcy in 1795,1 whereupon he resumed his original name and retired from Parliament in 1796. One of his chief interests was the volunteer infantry; he had in his youth served with the 3rd Foot Guards. He died 14 July 1807.2

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. With remainder in default of issue to his younger brother Charles (1736-1805), a retired Hamburg merchant, C. L. Johnstone, Hist. of Johnstone (1909), 302.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1807), ii. 781.