Richard Barwell MP
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Richard Barwell MP (abt. 1741 - 1804)

Richard Barwell MP
Born about in Calcutta, Bengal, Indiamap
Husband of — married 13 Sep 1776 (to 1778) in Calcutta, Bengal, Indiamap
Husband of — married 24 Jun 1785 (to 2 Sep 1804) in Stoughton, Sussex, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 62 in Stanstead House, Sussex, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Jun 2016
This page has been accessed 1,442 times.


Notables Project
Richard Barwell MP is Notable.
Richard Barwell MP was part of the history of the British Honourable East India Company

Richard Barwell was born in Calcutta on 8 October 1741, the second son of William Barwell and his second wife, Elizabeth (Mrs Pierce) and was baptised on 31 October. [1] He was educated in England at Westminster School then joined the East India Company and returned to Calcutta in 1758. Vast fortunes could be made in India and Richard did not scruple to benefit from his position within the company.

He married Elizabeth Jane, daughter of Robert Sanderson, an official of the company on 13 September 1776, [2] but she died in 1778 having borne him two sons. Richard, his fortune made, decided to leave India which he did, sailing for England on 3 March 1780 spurred on, perhaps, by the fact that he was facing charges of fraud.

Stanstead House.

In England Richard bought Stanstead House in Sussex in 1781 from the estate of the 2nd Earl of Halifax [3]for £102,500. He had the house reconstructed and employed Capability Brown to improve the gardens. He also bought Thomas Panton's life interest in the nearby Manor of Warblington at around this time. [4]

Richard was first returned to Parliament as Member for Helston in Cornwall in 1781, at a by-election to replace Jocelyn Deane who had died. [5] Then at the 1784 election he stood for St Ives and was returned with William Praed. [6]

Well set up in Sussex with a mistress[7] nearby Richard surprised people when he married the fifteen year old Catherine Coffin on 24 June 1785 at Stoughton in Sussex. [8] Catherine was the daughter of deceased loyalist, Nathaniel Coffin of Boston, Massachusetts and his wife, Elizabeth Barnes. At least ten children were born of this marriage.

He switched his parliamentary seat in 1790 being returned for Winchelsea with William Harry Vane, Viscount Barnard and with William Currie in 1796. [9]

Richard died at Stansted House on 2 September 1804 and was buried at St John the Baptist at Westbourne in Sussex. (India Office says he was son of William Barwell died 1804 Ormond St, London)[10]

Richard Barwell Memorial.

"This monument is dedicated to the memory of Richard Barwell Esq. of Stanstead Park in the County of Sussex who in the service of the Hon East India Company during a period of twenty three years attained to such situations of high trust and emolument as his talents and unblemished reputation most justly entitled him. With an understanding strong and cultivated and a mind open and honourable were united other qualities rare and estimable; and by all who could appreciate affection towards his family, attachment to his friends and benevolence widely spread around he was respected when living and died lamented, on the second day of September 1804, in the sixty second year of his age." [11]


  1. India Office Family History Search Baptisms, Calcutta (31 October 1741 Richard Barwell son of William and Elizabeth Barwell) [1]
  2. India Office Family History Search: Marriages, Calcutta 13 September 1776 (Richard Barwell married Elizabeth Jane Sanderson [2]
  3. British History Online: Westbourne
  4. British History online: Warblington
  5. History of Parliament online 1754-1790: Helston
  6. History of Parliament online 1754-1790: St Ives)
  7. The mistress was likely Rebecca Lyne of Westbourne. They had at least one child - possibly as many as four children - together
  8. England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 FHL Film Number 0416723, 0716749, 0918261, 0416755, 416723, 416749 (Stoughton, Sussex 24 June 1785 Catherine Coffin married Richard Barwell) viewed at Ancestry. Text only
  9. History of Parliament online 1790-1820: Winchelsea
  10. India Office Family History Search [3]
  11. Memorial in St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne

  • Dictionary of National Biography: T. H. Bowyer, ‘Barwell, Richard (1741–1804)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 25 Oct 2016
  • Google Books: The House of Commons [4]
  • Google Books: The Transition in Bengal [5]
  • Google Books: The Cambridge History of the British Empire [6]


At the time of writing the links at India Office Family History Search do not appear to work but the entries can be found by searching at [7]

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