BOLD, Richard (1678-1704), of Bold Hall, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701 - 21 Mar. 1704

Family and Education

bap. 20 May 1678, 1st s. of Peter Bold† of Bold Hall, by Anne, da. of Adam Beaumont of Whitley, Yorks.  educ. privately; Jesus, Camb. 1693.  m. settlement 2 Nov. 1699, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Norton of Barkisland, Yorks., 2s. 4da.  suc. fa. 1692.1

Offices Held

Burgess, Wigan 1698; freeman, Lancaster 1702.2


Bold’s father had been one of Lancashire’s leading Tories from the late 1670s until his death in 1692, and Bold followed closely in his father’s footsteps. Although his father’s marriage settlement dates from December 1679, Bold had been born over a year prior to this so that, as his father had been, Bold was left fatherless while still a minor, and the Leghs of Lyme, in the person of Thomas Legh†, took charge of the young Bold. His education under Legh does not appear to have been strenuous and in 1692 it was reported as being regularly interrupted by the 9th Earl of Derby, a friend and political ally of Bold’s father, taking Bold away from his tutor to attend various social events in Lancashire. After he left for university in 1693 nothing is known of Bold’s activities until 1700, when his political ambitions came to the fore. Added to the commission of the peace in August 1700, Bold began to pursue a seat in Parliament, and he at first thought of sitting for Newton, a borough under the control of the Leghs of Lyme. Bold wrote to Peter Legh†, nephew of his former guardian, that ‘I am resolved to applying myself as much as I can to the service of my country in general, my native county in particular, which I conceive cannot be better or more reasonably done than in the House of Commons’. He decided, however, to contest the county, writing to Sir Daniel Fleming† that his ‘only design is to serve you and his country without the least prospect of advantage’ and, with the support of Lord Derby, in January 1701 Bold was successful at the poll.3

Bold’s Tory allegiance soon became evident, as he was subsequently blacklisted as having voted during the 1701 session against the preparations for the war with France. In June he attended a Lords’ committee upon the estate bill of Sir Thomas Stanley, 4th Bt.*, in order to support the written consents of the concerned parties with verbal testimony. He was returned unopposed in the second 1701 election. His Toryism was confirmed by his favouring the motion of 26 Feb. vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachment of William III’s ministers in the previous session, and by April he was campaigning to retain his seat in Lancashire, complaining to one voter that ‘I have had the misfortune to serve you when one election has just trod on the heels of another’. Chosen again in 1702 Bold was no more active in the new Parliament. When a Liverpool merchant requested Bold’s assistance in dealing with the customs service, Liverpool’s Whig Member Thomas Johnson complained that ‘I never saw Mr B[old] two hours, nor I think once since I came except to serve some turn’. Bold died suddenly on 21 Mar. 1704, his early death mirroring that of his father. He left his estates in south Lancashire heavily encumbered with debts due to the need to find large sums to pay his mother’s and wife’s jointures and his sisters’ dowries. His widow petitioned on 17 Dec. 1705 for a bill to vest the estate in trustees, and such a measure passed later in the session. Bold was succeeded by his son Peter, who sat for Wigan and Lancashire as a Tory in George II’s reign.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. IGI, Lancs.; VCH Lancs. iii. 403; NRA report 306 (De Hoghton mss), p. 6; John Rylands Univ. Lib. Manchester, Legh of Lyme mss corresp. James Liptrott to Thomas Legh, 18 Oct. 1692.
  • 2. Wigan RO, Wigan bor. recs. AB/MR/10; Lancaster Freeman Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxviii), 16.
  • 3. Add. 22654, ff. 16–17; Legh of Lyme mss corresp. Liptrott to Legh, 18 Oct. 1692, Bold to Peter Legh, 27 Nov. 1700; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 284; Cumbria RO (Kendal), Le Fleming mss WD/Ry 5588, Bold to [Sir Daniel Fleming], 6 Dec. 1700; Lancs. RO, Stanley mss DDK 15/22, copy letters of Ld. Derby, 15 Jan. 1700–1.
  • 4. Legh of Lyme mss corresp. Bold to Peter Legh, 20 June 1701; Lancs. RO, Kenyon mss DDKe/HMC/1036, same to George Kenyon*, 2 Apr. 1702; Norris Pprs. (Chetham Soc. ser. 1, ix), 124; Add. 27440, f. 138; VCH Lancs. 406.