Matthew White Ridley, 2nd Viscount Ridley

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Ridley

"Tariff Reform League"
Viscount Ridley as caricatured in Vanity Fair, October 1910
Personal details
Born (1874-12-06)6 December 1874
London, England
Died 14 February 1916(1916-02-14) (aged 41)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

Matthew White Ridley, 2nd Viscount Ridley JP DL (6 December 1874 – 14 February 1916) was a British peer and Conservative politician. His political career was most noted for his support of Tariff Reform.[1]


Ridley was the son and heir of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley and the Hon. Mary Georgiana Marjoribanks (1850 – 14 March 1909), daughter of Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth.[1] He was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated as BA in 1897, taking Honors in Greats.[2]

He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Stalybridge at the 1900 general election. While in parliament he also served as parliamentary private secretary to the Home Secretary, Charles Ritchie from 1900 to 1902, and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Austen Chamberlain from 1902 to 1904.[3] He was Chairman of the Tariff Reform League,[1] in succession to its founder, Arthur Pearson.

On 21 May 1901, he was appointed a DL of the County of Northumberland,[4] and in 1904 a JP.[3]

He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Northumberland Hussars in 1897,[5] was promoted Captain on 12 April 1902,[6] then Major in 1904,[7] becoming Lieutenant Colonel in command in 1913.[3] He was in command of the regiment in the early months of the First World War but did not go abroad[8] and relinquished command in 1915, remaining on the Territorial Force reserve of officers.[3] He was also honorary Colonel of the 5th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers from 1910.[3]

Illness and death

Ridley suddenly fell ill at his home at Blagdon Hall on 28 January 1916 and required a "severe operation." The Times reported Lord Ridley had been "in indifferent health since his last grave illness three or four years ago, when an operation was also necessary," but did not offer specifics. Ridley had entertained Field Marshal John French at Blagdon two days before his illness and was scheduled to go to France with the Northumberland Hussars.[9] He underwent a second operation on 13 February and died the following day in hospital, aged 41. His son succeeded him as viscount.[1]


He married in London, on 8 February 1899, Rosamond Cornelia Gwladys Guest, daughter of Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron Wimborne and Lady Cornelia Henrietta Maria Spencer-Churchill. Through her mother, she was a first cousin of Sir Winston Churchill. The Viscountess Ridley was invested as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918, and died 2 December 1947. They had three children:

Styles of address

  1. Although The Viscount Ridley is the 6th Ridley Baronet of Blagdon, by custom the post-nominal of Bt is omitted, since Peers of the Realm do not list subsidiary hereditary titles.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Death of Lord Ridley". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 16 February 1916. p. 7.
  2. The Complete Peerage, Volume XI. St Catherine's Press. 1949. p. 1.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1916. Kelly's. p. 1249.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27317. p. 3562. 24 May 1901.
  5. Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Official and Landed Classes, 1900. Kelly's. p. 1147.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 27424. p. 2424. 11 April 1902.
  7. Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Official and Landed Classes, 1906. Kelly's. p. 1275.
  8. The Complete Peerage, Volume VIII. St Catherine's Press. 1932. p. 812. Appendix F - Peers and Sons of Peers who served in the Great War 1914-18, lists him as having done "Home Service", without entitled campaign medals.
  9. "Illness of Lord Ridley". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 1 February 1916. p. 11.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Harrop Sidebottom
Member of Parliament for Stalybridge
Succeeded by
John Frederick Cheetham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Matthew White Ridley
Viscount Ridley
Succeeded by
Matthew White Ridley
Baron Wensleydale
Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Matthew White Ridley
(of Blagdon)
Succeeded by
Matthew White Ridley
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