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Temple, Richard (1634-1697) (DNB00)

TEMPLE, Sir RICHARD (1634–1697), politician, born on 28 March 1634, was the son of Sir Peter Temple, second baronet of Stowe, by his second wife, Christian, daughter and coheiress of Sir John Leveson of Walling in Kent (Parish Register of Kensington, Harl. Soc. p. 70).

Although in the visitation of Leicestershire in 1619 the family of Temple is traced back to the reign of Henry III, the first undoubted figure in their pedigree is Robert Temple, who lived at Temple Hall in Leicestershire in the middle of the fifteenth century. He left three sons, of whom Robert carried on the elder line at Temple Hall, to which belonged Peter Temple [q. v.] the ‘regicide,’ while Thomas settled at Witney in Oxfordshire. Thomas Temple's great-grandson Peter became lessee of Stowe in Buckinghamshire, and died on 28 May 1577. He had two sons—John, who purchased Stowe on 27 Jan. 1589–90, and Anthony, father of Sir William Temple (1555–1627) [q. v.] John was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, who was knighted in June 1603 and created a baronet on 24 Sept. 1611. He married Hester, daughter of Miles Sandys of Latimer, Buckinghamshire, by whom he had four sons. Of these the eldest was Sir Peter Temple, father of Sir Richard (Nichols, Hist. of Leicestershire, iv. 958–62; Hannay, Three Hundred Years of a Norman House, 1867, pp. 262–88; Herald and Genealogist, 1st ser. iii. 385–97; Notes and Queries, III. viii. 506).

Sir Peter Temple (1592–1653), who was baptised at Stowe on 10 Oct. 1592, represented the borough of Buckingham in the last two parliaments of Charles I, and was knighted at Whitehall on 6 June 1641 (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 196; Official Returns of Members of Parliament, i. 480, 485). He espoused the cause of the parliamentarians, and held the commission of colonel in their army. But on the execution of Charles he threw up his commission, and exhibited so much disgust that information was laid against him in parliament for seditious language (Journals of the House of Commons, vii. 76, 79, 108). He died in 1653, and was buried at Stowe (Stowe MSS. 1077–9).

In 1654 Sir Richard Temple, although not of age, was chosen to represent Warwickshire in Cromwell's first parliament, and on 7 Jan. 1658–9 he was returned for the town of Buckingham under Richard Cromwell. At that time he was a secret royalist, and delayed the proceedings of parliament by proposing that the Scottish and Irish members should withdraw while the constitution and powers of the upper house were under discussion (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. pp. 171–2, 7th Rep. p. 483; Lingard, Hist. of England, 1849, viii. 566). After the Restoration he was again returned for Buckingham, and retained his seat for the rest of his life, except in the parliament which met in March 1678–9, when he was defeated by the influence of the Duke of Buckingham (Hist. MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. vi. 13, 20). On 19 April 1661 he was created a knight of the Bath. He became a prominent member of the country party, and in 1663 the king complained of his conduct to the House of Commons, who succeeded in effecting an accommodation (Journals of the House of Commons, viii. 502, 503, 507, 511–515; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663–4, p. 190; Pepys, Diary, ed. Braybrooke, pp. 175, 179, 182, 185). In 1671 a warrant was made out appointing him to the council for foreign plantations, and in the following year he was nominated senior commissioner of customs (ib. 1671 passim; Haydn, Book of Dignities, pp. 273–4; Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. ii. 33). He distinguished himself by his zeal against those accused of participation in the popish plot, and on account of his anxiety to promote the exclusion bill was known to the adherents of the Duke of York as the ‘Stoe monster.’ In February 1682–3 Charles removed him from his place in the customs. He was reinstated in the following year, but was immediately dismissed on the accession of James II (Luttrell, Brief Relation, 1857, i. 251, 329). After the Revolution he regained his post on 5 April 1689, and held it until the place bill of 1694 compelled him to choose between his office and his seat in parliament (ib. i. 523, iii. 300, 353; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1689–90, pp. 53, 514, 516). Temple was a prominent figure in the lower house in William's reign. In 1691 he was the foremost to assure the king of the resolution of the commons to support him in the war with France, and in the following year he opposed the triennial bill; his speech is preserved among the manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont (Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. pp. 204–5, 207, 245). He died in 1697, and was buried at Stowe on 15 May.

By his wife Mary, daughter of Henry Knapp of Rawlins, Oxfordshire, he had four sons: Richard [see Temple, Sir Richard, Viscount Cobham], Purbeck, Henry, and Arthur, who all died without issue. By her he had also six daughters, of whom Hester married Richard Grenville of Wootton, Buckinghamshire, ancestor of the dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. She was created Countess Temple in her own right on 18 Oct. 1749, and died at Bath on 6 Oct. 1752.

Temple was the author of: 1. ‘An Essay on Taxes,’ London, 1693, 4to, in which he opposed the land tax, and also the project of an excise on home commodities. 2. ‘Some short Remarks upon Mr. Lock's Book, in answer to Mr. Launds [i.e. William Lowndes [q. v.] ], and several other books and pamphlets concerning Coin,’ London, 1696, 4to, in which he attacked the new coinage. The latter pamphlet called forth an anonymous answer entitled ‘Decus and Tutamen; or our New Money as now coined, in Full Weight and Fineness, proved to be for the Honour, Safety, and Advantage of England,’ London, 1696, 8vo.

A folio volume containing collections from Temple's parliamentary papers, and another in his handwriting containing ‘An Answer to a Book entitled the Case Stated of the Jurisdiction of the House of Lords on the Point of Impositions,’ were formerly among the Earl of Ashburnham's manuscripts, and are now in the Stowe collection in the British Museum.

[Gibbs's Worthies of Buckinghamshire, p. 377; Collins's Peerage of England, ed. Brydges, ii. 413; Prime's Account of the Temple Family, New York, 3rd ed. 1896; Clarendon's Life, 1857, ii. 321; Stowe MSS.; Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 28054, f. 186; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1689–90, pp. 53, 514, 516.]

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