SULLIVAN, Richard Joseph (1752-1806), of Thames Ditton, Surr.

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



29 Jan. 1787 - 1796
1802 - 17 July 1806

Family and Education

b. 10 Dec. 1752, 3rd s. of Benjamin Sullivan of Dromeragh, co. Cork, and bro. of John Sullivan*. m. 3 Dec. 1778, Mary, da. of Thomas Lodge of Leeds, Yorks., 7s. 2da. cr. Bt. 22 May 1804.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I. Co. (Madras) 1768; sec. to military council, Fort St. George 1775; factor 1776, jun. merchant 1778; minister at court of nawab of Arcot 1781-3; sen. merchant 1782.

Dir. British Fire Office.


In 1790, Sullivan was returned again for New Romney on the Dering interest ‘by the particular recommendation of Mr Pitt’, at a reputed cost of £5,000. In 1791 he was listed hostile to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. He was marked ‘pro’ in the ministerial survey drawn up for the general election of 1796, when he was listed among ‘persons wanting seats’, but did not find one. At the general election of 1802 he successfully contested Seaford on the interest of Lord Pelham, Home secretary in the Addington ministry. Like his elder brother, he supported Addington, one of whose last official acts in 1804 was to secure him a baronetcy, and he became a recognized though inconspicuous member of Addington’s parliamentary squad. He opposed Pitt’s additional force bill in June 1804. Ministers listed him as one of ‘Addington’s friends on whom some impression might be made’ in September 1804, and when Addington (now Lord Sidmouth) joined the government in January 1805, Sullivan duly transferred his support to them and voted against the censure of Melville, 8 Apr. Although he was one of the Addingtonians who did not vote for Melville’s prosecution after Sidmouth’s rupture with Pitt, 12 June, he was listed as a follower of Sidmouth in July 1805. He presumably supported the Grenville ministry, of which Sidmouth was a member, but he did not vote for their repeal of the Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. He is not known to have spoken in the House. Sullivan died 17 July 1806.

PRO 30/8/129, f. 149; Morning Chron. 27 Jan. 1791.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. W. Anderson