Richard Godson

1st Jun 1797 - 1st Aug 1849

Claimant or beneficiary


Richard Godson, barrister and MP, son of William Godson attorney of Tenbury, Worcs. He has a recent entry in the ODNB as 'barrister and politician.'

  1. Richard Godson Barrister of the Inner Temple married Mary Hargreaves 'spinster of this town' at St Mary's Lancaster, 11/08/1825. Baptisms of Gertrude Louisa (born 03/03/1827), William Henry (born 23/07/1828) and Arthur Richard (born 23/08/1830), children of Richard and Mary Godson of Woburn Place all at St George's Bloomsbury 15/10/1830, and of George St Alban (born 01/02/1832) son of Richard and Mary Godson of Woburn Place 27/02/1832. Will of Richard Godson MA and MP Barrister at Law of Grosvenor Place Middlesex proved 11/12/1849.

  2. 'Of Woburn Place and Inner Temple'. Educated Caius Camb., 1814; Lincolns Inn 1818; called to the Bar 1821; Inner Temple 1822.

    Married 11/08/1825 Mary, daughter and heiress of James Hargreaves of Springfield Hall nr Lancaster.  

    On this marriage, he said in a speech at Kidderminster in March or April 1831, he had been 'forced to take possession of' a £50,000 mortgage on a West Indian estate.  'I scorn the idea of having property in my fellow subjects. The government may declare the black population free upon any conditions that may be thought reasonable; I only ask that the lives of the white people, resident on the islands, may be protected.  I shall therefore vote for an emancipation which will protect our colonial possessions, and the best emancipator is the man who is willing to sacrifice his own interests'.  

Voted in the minority against the government's temporising amendment on the abolition of slavery May 24 1832; defended the loan of £1MM for hurricane damage to Jamaica, Barbados,  St Lucia and St Vincent. Deplored the rancour against the planters, and appealed to the ministers to decide once and for all whether they wanted to retain the British colonies in the West Indies. 'If they are worth having, they must be treated in a kindlier spirit, and the planters must be enabled to cultivate their estates, not less for their own sakes than for the sake of the slaves themselves, whose emancipation, nevertheless, I should be glad to see' (29th June 1832).

Free trade conservative.  His nephew Sir Augustus Frederick Godson (1835-1906), was Conservative MP for Kidderminster 1886-1906.   

  1. In 1833 he was still listed at 22 Woburn Square; by 1835 he was shown at 30 Grosvenor Place and Inner Temple.

  2. According to the Morning Post, Godson died at his home, Springfield Hall, Lancaster.

  3. The portrait of Godson is a stipple engraving (published December 1832) by Benjamin Holl, published by Martin Colnaghi, after Eugenio H. Latilla, and is from the National Portrait Gallery. (NPG D34585) Other portraits include one in oils at Bewdley Museum and 'The Godson brothers at Eton' (1841) by Martin Archer Shee, which shows the three eldest sons of Richard Godson posing as cricketers.


McClelland, Keith. "Godson, Richard (1797–1849), barrister and politician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 6 Oct. 2016; Accessed 23 Jan. 2020.

  1. Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project [accessed 26/04/2011];, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online]; PROB 11/2104.

  2. D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), Vol 5, pp. 294-6.

  3. Robson's Court Guide 1833; Boyle's Court Guide 1835.

  4. Morning Post, 3 August 1849.

  5. Godson portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.
    Bewdley Musuem portrait, The Godley sons at Eton

We are grateful to Celia Dodd and David Godson for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Mary Hargreaves
Gertrude Louisa (1827-1834), William Henry (1828-1869), Arthur Richard (1830-1905), George St Alban (1832-1900)
Lawyer and politician

Associated Claims (1)

£5,018 7s 11d

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1829 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

Liberal Conservative 
election →
St. Albans Hertfordshire
1831 - 1832
election →
Kidderminster Worcestershire
1832 - 1835
election →
Kidderminster Worcestershire
1837 - 1849

Relationships (2)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (4)

Pedmore, Worcestershire, West Midlands, England
22 Woburn Place, London, Middlesex, London, England
30 Grosvenor Place, London, Middlesex, London, England
Springfield Hall, Lancaster, Lancashire, North-west England, England