The Viscount Ridley
Matthew White Ridley sketch.jpg
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
Parent(s)Sir Matthew White Ridley, 4th Baronet
Hon. Cecilia Anne Parke
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

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]

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.[2]


  1. ^ a b Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1895). Armorial Families: A Complete Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. Jack. p. 1033. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Ridley, Viscount (UK, 1900)". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  3. ^ "No. 27257". The London Gazette. 18 December 1900. p. 8538.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded bySir Matthew Ridley, BtLord Henry Percy Member of Parliament for North Northumberland 18681885 With: Earl Percy Constituency abolished Preceded byHon. Frederick Stanley Member of Parliament for Blackpool 18861900 Succeeded byHenry Worsley-Taylor Political offices Preceded bySir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson, Bt Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 1878–1880 Succeeded byArthur Peel Preceded bySir Henry Holland, Bt Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1885–1886 Succeeded byWilliam Jackson Preceded byH. H. Asquith Home Secretary 1895–1900 Succeeded byCharles Ritchie Baronetage of Great Britain Preceded byMatthew Ridley Baronet(of Blagdon)  1877–1904 Succeeded byMatthew White Ridley Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Viscount Ridley 1900–1904 Succeeded byMatthew White Ridley Baron Wensleydale 1900–1904 Business positions Preceded bySir Joseph Whitwell Pease, Bart Chairman of the North Eastern Railway 1902–1904 Succeeded bySir Edward Grey, Bart