Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley
|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Ridley
Bt DL PC
29 June 1895 – 12 November 1900
|Prime Minister||The Marquess of Salisbury|
|Preceded by||Herbert Henry Asquith|
|Succeeded by||Charles Ritchie|
25 July 1842|
|Died||28 November 1904
Blagdon, Northumberland, England
|Spouse(s)||Hon. Mary Marjoribanks
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley PC, DL (25 July 1842 – 28 November 1904), known as Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bt from 1877 to 1900, was a British Conservative politician and statesman. He notably served as Home Secretary from 1895 to 1900.
Background and education
Ridley was born in London, the eldest son of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 4th Baronet and his wife the Hon. Cecilia Anne, daughter of James Parke, 1st Baron Wensleydale and his wife Cecilia Arabella Frances Barlow. He was educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1865, he was a Fellow of All Souls for nine years.
In 1868, he was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Northumberland North, and held this seat for seventeen years before being returned as member for the Blackpool Division of North Lancashire in 1886. Having been Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department for two years in Disraeli's administration, Sir Matthew Ridley (as he became when he succeeded his father as fifth baronet in 1877) was Financial Secretary to the Treasury in Lord Salisbury's interim government of 1885 to 1886. In 1895, after the fall of Lord Rosbery's ministry, and having already failed in April of that year to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons, Ridley became Home Secretary, and held this post until his retirement in 1900. He was that same year created Viscount Ridley and Baron Wensleydale, of Blagdon and Blyth in the County of Northumberland.
Lord Ridley married Mary Georgiana Marjoribanks (1850 – 14 March 1909), daughter of Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth and his wife Isabella Weir-Hogg, on 10 December 1873. They were parents to five children:
- Matthew White Ridley, 2nd Viscount Ridley (6 December 1874 – 14 February 1916)
- Cecilia Marjorie Ridley (1879 – 16 August 1896)
- Hon. Stella Ridley (born 1884), married Rupert Gwynne
- Hon. Sir Jasper Nicholas Ridley (6 January 1887 – 1 October 1951). He was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
- Hon. Grace Ridley (1889 – 22 September 1959), married Roundell Palmer, 3rd Earl of Selborne.
Lord Ridley died aged 62 at his Blagdon home, and was buried there.
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- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Ridley