Richard Rigg (British politician)

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Richard Rigg

Richard Rigg (27 August 1877 – 29 August 1942)[1] was a British Liberal Party politician who defected to the Conservatives.

Born in Kendal, Cumberland, Rigg was elected at the 1900 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Appleby division of Westmorland.[2] Aged only 23, his majority of 11% was a surprise, since Appleby had returned only Conservatives since 1885.

However, Rigg resigned from the Liberal party in November 1904 because he found himself in agreement with the Conservative government on so many key issues. The Liberals then selected Leif Jones as their candidate for the imminent by-election, and although campaigning began before Christmas, there was as yet no vacancy. Rigg claimed that the "ruffianism" of Liberals angry at his defection of the party had made him ill, and he went to an unnamed continental health resort to recover.[3] He returned to England in February 1905, and resigned his seat 11 February 1905 by becoming Steward of the Manor of Northstead,[4] telling the annual dinner of the Carlisle Conservative Club "I am proud to be one of you now ... I have the satisfaction of feeling that what I have done was conscientious and right."[3] At the resulting by-election on 2 March 1905, Jones held the seat, though with a reduced majority.[2]

Rigg subsequently served as a councillor on Westminster City Council, representing Great Marlborough ward from February 1924 to November 1925, and St Margaret ward from February 1930 until his death. He was elected Mayor of Westminster for 1939–40. He was a member of the Municipal Reform Party, the local government wing of the Conservatives.

He died at Hove, East Sussex in 1942, aged 65.


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)
  2. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 412. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  3. ^ a b "When election fever gripped Appleby". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. 12 March 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  4. ^ Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2009.

Andrew Connell, 'The Strange Case of Mr Rigg' Journal of Liberal History 60 (Autumn 2008), pp. 14–22

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Joseph Savory, Bt
Member of Parliament for Appleby
Succeeded by
Leif Jones