Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley

Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley, PC, DL (25 July 1842 – 28 November 1904), known as Sir Matthew White Ridley, 5th Baronet from 1877 to 1900, was a British Conservative statesman. He notably served as Home Secretary from 1895 to 1900.[1]

The Viscount Ridley

Home Secretary
In office
29 June 1895  12 November 1900
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byH. H. Asquith
Succeeded byCharles Ritchie
Personal details
Born(1842-07-25)25 July 1842
London, England
Died28 November 1904(1904-11-28) (aged 62)
Blagdon Hall, Northumberland
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Hon. Mary Georgiana Marjoribanks
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

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.[2]

Political career

In 1868, he was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Northumberland North, and held this seat until the 1885 general election, when he was defeated in his attempt to stand for the new seat of Hexham. At the 1886 general election he contested Newcastle-upon-Tyne, again unsuccessfully, but returned to Parliament in an 1886 by-election at Blackpool. 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 Rosebery'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.[3]


Lord Ridley married Mary Georgiana Marjoribanks (1850 – 14 March 1909), daughter of The 1st Baron Tweedmouth and his wife, Isabella Weir-Hogg, on 10 December 1873.[1] They were parents to five children:

Lord Ridley died aged 62 at his Blagdon Hall home in Northumberland, and was buried there.[4]


  1. Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1895). Armorial Families: A Complete Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. p. 1033. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. "Ridley, Viscount (UK, 1900)". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  3. "No. 27257". The London Gazette. 18 December 1900. p. 8538.
  4. "Ridley, Viscount (UK, 1900)". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Matthew Ridley, Bt
Lord Henry Percy
Member of Parliament for North Northumberland
With: Earl Percy
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Hon. Frederick Stanley
Member of Parliament for Blackpool
Succeeded by
Henry Wilson Worsley-Taylor
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson, Bt
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Succeeded by
Arthur Peel
Preceded by
Sir Henry Holland, Bt
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
William Jackson
Preceded by
H. H. Asquith
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Charles Ritchie
Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Matthew Ridley
(of Blagdon) 
Succeeded by
Matthew White Ridley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Ridley
Succeeded by
Matthew White Ridley
Baron Wensleydale
Business positions
Preceded by
Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, Bart
Chairman of the North Eastern Railway
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Grey, Bart
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