VYSE (afterwards HOWARD VYSE), Richard William Howard (1784-1853), of Stoke Place, Bucks. and Boughton House, Northants.

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



1807 - 1812
1812 - 1818

Family and Education

b. 25 July 1784, o.s. of Richard Vyse* by 2nd w. m. 13 Nov. 1810, Frances, da. of Henry Hesketh of Newtown, Cheshire, 8s. 2da. suc. mat. gdfa. Sir George Howard* of Stoke Place 1796 and took name of Howard before Vyse by royal lic. 14 Sept. 1812; fa. 1825.

Offices Held

Cornet, 1 Drag. 1800; lt. 15 Drag. 1801, capt. 1802, half-pay 1802-15, brevet maj. 1813; capt. 87 Ft. 1815, 2 Life Gds. 1816; maj. 1 W.I. Regt. 1819, 2 Life Gds. 1819; brevet lt.-col. 1819, half-pay 1825, brevet col. 1837; maj.-gen. 1846.

Equerry to Duke of Cumberland 1813-37.

Sheriff, Bucks. 1830-1.


Vyse owed his first commission in the dragoons and his promotion to the rank of captain at the age of 18 to his father’s patron, the Duke of Cumberland, who in 1803 urged him to take lessons in languages, geography and fortifications, ‘so necessary for a young man’. Later in the year Cumberland put an end to the ‘farce and idleness’ of his involvement with a corps of volunteers and secured his transfer to his father’s staff in Scotland, but he was not put back on the full pay list as the duke hoped he would be.1

At the general election of 1807 Vyse, professing himself ‘perfectly independent and unconnected with any party’,2 topped the poll at Beverley where his father, now stationed in Yorkshire, had won a seat the previous year. Perceval reported that he spoke against the addition of Burdett to the finance committee, 30 June 1807, but the speech escaped the notice of the parliamentary reporters.3 He voted with government on the address, 23 Jan.; the Scheldt inquiry, 26 Jan., 23 Feb., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, when the Whigs classed him ‘against the Opposition’, and the Regency resolutions, 1 Jan. 1811. He was chosen to second the address, 7 Jan. 1812, and, according to Perceval, delivered a ‘very good’ speech praising the Regent and the progress of the war, and was ‘not at all put out’ by Burdett’s manoeuvre, which made it necessary to move the official address as an amendment.4 He voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810, and against Catholic relief, 22 June 1812.

At the general election of 1812 he gave up Beverley and stood for the venal borough of Honiton, where he came in unopposed. He was expected to support the Liverpool ministry and generally did so, but his vote could not be taken for granted and he was probably a laggard attender. He voted against Catholic relief, 2 Mar., ‘declined voting’ in the decisive division of 24 May 1813,5 but again cast hostile votes on 21 May 1816 and 9 May 1817. In the summer of 1813 he was on the Continent with Cumberland, who was at the head of the Hanoverian army, but he returned home in September after the birth of his second son.6 Vyse spoke in favour of the expulsion of Lord Cochrane, 5 July, and on 17 Nov. 1814 defended the decision of the court martial on Colonel Quentin, at which his father had presided. He voted to reduce the protecting price of corn from 80s. to 72s., 23 Feb. 1815, and in the debate on the corn bill, 6 Mar., stated his preference for a lower price than 80s., though he was convinced of the necessity of a substantial measure of protection. He voted with government on the Regent’s grant, 31 May 1815; the army estimates, 6 and 8 Mar.; the civil list, 6 and 24 May 1816; the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817, and the domestic spy system, 5 Mar. 1818; but spoke, 11 Mar., and voted, 18 Mar. 1816, against the property tax and also cast independent votes in favour of naval economies, 20 and 27 Mar. 1816; on the Speakership, 2 June; against the civil services compensation bill, 10 June 1817, and for a reduction in the Duke of Clarence’s marriage allowance, 15 Apr. 1818. He voted against Brougham’s motion for an inquiry into the education of the poor, 3 June 1818.

Vyse did not seek re-election in 1818. He subsequently achieved some distinction as an Egyptologist and in 1840 published an account of his researches at Giza. He died 8 June 1853.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Bucks. RO, Howard Vyse mss B/32/44, 48, 50, 51, 53, 55.
  • 2. E. Riding RO, Beverley borough recs. DDBC/11/54/75, Vyse’s address, 8 May 1807.
  • 3. Geo. III Corresp. iv. 3487.
  • 4. Prince of Wales Corresp. viii. 3320.
  • 5. Morning Chron. 1 June 1813.
  • 6. Geo. IV Letters, i. 318.