GLYN, Sir Richard (1711-73), of Grants, nr. Wimborne, Dorset.

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



30 Nov. 1758 - 1768
1 Dec. 1768 - 1 Jan. 1773

Family and Education

bap. 13 June 1711, 2nd s. of Robert Glyn, drysalter, by Ann Maynard, niece of Sir William Lewen, ld. mayor of London 1717-18. educ. poss. Westminster. m. (1) 8 June 1736, Susanna (d. 5 Feb. 1751), da. and h. of George Lewen of Ewell, Surr., 3s.; (2) 23 Mar. 1754, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Robert Carr, silk mercer, of Ludgate Hill, 3s. suc. fa. 1746; kntd. 22 Nov. 1752; cr. Bt. 29 Sept. 1759.

Offices Held

Alderman of London 1750- d., sheriff 1752-3, ld. mayor 1758-9; original director, Equitable Life Ass. Soc. 1762, vice pres. 1762-4, pres. 1764; director, Million Bank 1764.


Glyn1 at first followed his father’s profession as a drysalter or oilman, and carried on a successful business in Hatton Garden. At the end of 1753 he entered into partnership with Joseph Vere, banker, and with Thomas Hallifax, chief clerk at Martin’s bank, and founded the banking firm of Vere, Glyn, and Hallifax in Lombard Street.2

Glyn unsuccessfully contested London at the general election of 1754. In 1758-9, as lord mayor, he led the City in support of the Administration, and the same year was returned unopposed for London at a by-election. In 1761 he came out fourth on the poll. Lady Grey wrote to Lord Royston after the election: ‘I have heard it supposed that when Beckford was secure himself, he made common cause with, and assisted Sir Richard.’ In Bute’s list he is marked as ‘Tory’ with a query, and as ‘Pitt’. He was among the aldermen who in October 1761 supported a proposal in common council that Pitt should be thanked for his ‘eminent and great services’.3 But early in December 1762 he appears in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries; and he did not vote with the minority on 9 and 10 Dec. Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 classed him as ‘pro’; he was absent from the division of 6 Feb. 1764 on general warrants, but voted with Opposition in the divisions of 15 and 18 Feb. The political leaders did not know what to make of him: he was classed as ‘doubtful’ by Newcastle on 10 May 1764, by Rockingham in July 1765, and by Townshend in January 1767; but as ‘Tory’ by Rockingham in November 1766, and by Newcastle, on 2 Mar. 1767. He voted with Opposition on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767.

When at the general election of 1768 Glyn again stood for the City in opposition to Wilkes and Barlow Trecothick, his former colleagues, Beckford, Harley, and Ladbroke, canvassing jointly, seem to have formally dissociated themselves from him. In a fierce election campaign he was attacked as a follower of Bute, and ridiculed as ‘a man of heavy temper, rotundity of form, and vacuity of look, and therefore not a proper person to represent the City of London in Parliament’; while his speech before the livery was condescendingly reported: ‘There was not much in what he said, but upon the whole it was very well, and exactly what might be expected from such a good-natured little man.’4 Glyn was defeated by a narrow margin. In December 1768 he contested the expensive borough of Coventry with the support of the Treasury in opposition to the corporation interest, and was returned by a large majority. In Parliament he voted with Administration over the expulsion of Wilkes, 3 Feb. 1769, and the Middlesex election, 15 Apr. and 8 May 1769; he does not appear in any of the minority lists 1769-1772 and was listed by Robinson as ‘pro, present’ in both his surveys on the royal marriage bill in March 1772. Glyn’s only reported speech was on 27 Feb. 1771 when a stranger found voting in a division claimed to know him; he replied ‘I knew him at the general election ... originally a merchant of Bermuda.’5

In 1772 Glyn’s bank was seriously affected by the Ayr bank failure and stopped payment on 22 June. He and his partners were able to restore their credit, and re-opened on 6 Aug. But when Glyn died on 1 Jan. 1773, his death, so soon after the failure of 1772, gave rise to rumours of suicide, which were denied in the press by his physician.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. We are indebted to Mr. S. W. Shelton, archivist of Glyn Mills Co., for biographical information about this Member.
  • 2. R. Fulford, Glyn’s, 1753-1953.
  • 3. Add. 35376, f. 47; 32929, f. 442.
  • 4. Gazetteer, 16, 19 Mar. 1768.
  • 5. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 225, f. 136.