SUTTON, Sir Richard, 1st Bt. (1733-1802), of Norwood Park, nr. Southwell, Notts.

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



1768 - 1780
1780 - 1784
1784 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 31 July 1733, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Robert Sutton of Broughton, Lincs. by Judith, da. and coh. of Benjamin Tichborne, 3rd w. and wid. of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland. educ. Westminster 1744-9; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1749; M. Temple 1754; I. Temple 1759, called 1759. m. (1) 28 June 1765, Susanna (d. 12 June 1766), da. of Philip Champion de Crespigny, proctor of ct. of Admiralty, of Camberwell, Surr., s.p.; (2) 7 Feb. 1767, Anne (d. 2 Dec. 1787), da. and coh. of William Peere Williams of Cadhay, Devon, 4s. 3da.; (3) 8 Apr. 1793, Margaret, da. and coh. of John Porter of Wandsworth, Surr., s.p. suc. bro. John to Norwood Park 1772; cr. Bt. 14 Oct. 1772.

Offices Held

Under-sec. of state Aug. 1766-Oct. 1772; counsel to board of Ordnance; ld. of Treasury Sept. 1780-Apr. 1782.

Recorder, St. Albans 1763.


Sutton, a government pensioner with £500 p.a. since 1772, went over to Pitt during the Parliament of 1784 after following Lord North into opposition. His parliamentary patron the 2nd Duke of Newcastle, who returned only supporters of Pitt’s administration in 1790, retained him as Member for Boroughbridge. Described by Wraxall as ‘a man of coarse and almost rugged exterior’, but with considerable powers of mind, he was a spent force in his last Parliament. Between 1789 and 1794 in four applications to Pitt for patronage for an old servant of his, he emphasized his support of administration for many years to back up ‘the only request I ever made to a minister’. He was listed hostile to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. On 4 Mar. 1793 he took leave of absence from the House for illness: he was latterly ‘much afflicted with gout’. He spoke only in his last session. On 20 Mar. 1796 he seconded a motion on the waste lands bill and on 24 Mar. opposed the Caldon canal bill, which was of local interest to him. On 29 Apr. 1796 he opposed the revision of the Game Laws as a mouthpiece for ‘aristocratical opinion’ and on 14 May opposed Quaker relief, lest ‘real or pretended’ scruples become ‘a pretext for disobedience to the laws of the country’. He now had the reputation of being ‘a warm hearty man, who hated liberal politics from the bottom of his heart’.1

Sutton died 10 June 1802. Lord Spencer commented, ‘I think it too probable that he has in some degree fallen a victim to the affliction which his daughter’s conduct produced in his mind’.2 This presumably refers to his eldest daughter’s desertion of her husband, Rev. George Markham, for another man.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Winifred Stokes


  • 1. Wraxall Mems. ed. Wheatley, v. 107; PRO 30/8/181, ff. 219-25; CJ, xlviii. 318; Gent. Mag. (1802), ii. 687; Francis Mems. ii. 268.
  • 2. Spencer mss, Earl Spencer to his mother, 10 June 1802.