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Richard Godolphin Long
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Birth: Oct. 2, 1761
Wiltshire, England
Death: Jul. 1, 1835
Wiltshire, England

plaque in church


Dates: 1806 - 1818

Family and Education

b. 2 Oct. 1761, 1st s. of Richard Long of Rood Ashton by Meliora, da. of Sir John Lambe of Coulston, wid. of Joseph Polden of Imber. educ. M. Temple 1780. m. 28 Mar. 1786, Florentina, da. of Sir Bourchier Wrey†, 6th Bt., of Tawstock, Devon, 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 1787.
Offices Held

Sheriff, Wilts. 1794-5; capt. Wilts. yeomanry 1794, maj. 1805, lt.-col. 1817.


Mr Richard Long of Rood Ashton was a fox-hunting country squire, without any other qualifications to be a Member of Parliament than that of belonging to an ancient family of the county, in fact, he was proverbially a man of very inferior knowledge, remarkable only for being a stupid country squire, who, although a sportsman, scarcely knew how to address his tenants on his health being drunk on a rent day.

Thus a hostile witness, Henry Hunt of Chisenbury, who criticized the choice of Long to replace Ambrose Goddard as county Member in 1806. Hunt addressed the freeholders to the effect that Long ‘was to be foisted upon the county by an arrangement made between two clubs, without consulting the freeholders' and that he owed his return to ‘his uncle's long purse' (i.e. John Long of Monkton Farleigh). Despite this, Sir John Methuen Poore of Rushall claimed that Long was ‘not a favourite' of the club junto, ‘but at the time of his election they could not maintain their scheme to bring in their man'.1 In any case, he retained the seat unopposed.

Long's conduct in Parliament was independent, though only one speech by him is reported. On 13 Feb. 1807 he voted against the Grenville ministry on the Hampshire election petition. No further minority vote is known until 1810; early in January he was reported to have declared himself strongly against the ministry2 and after voting with them on the address, 23 Jan., he voted against them on the Scheldt expedition, 5 and 30 Mar.; against Burdett's imprisonment, 5 Apr., and for Brand's motion for parliamentary reform on 21 May. The Whigs were ‘hopeful' of him. He was in the opposition majority on the Regency amendment, 1 Jan. 1811, and likewise on the sinecures bill, 4 May 1812. He opposed the Catholic claims, 2 Mar. 1813 (being absent ill on the other divisions that session) and 21 May 1816. He was listed a friend of government after 1812, but they still could not count on him. Thus after a month's leave of absence for illness from 19 Mar. 1816, he was in their majority against a select committee on the civil list, 6 May, but on 7 May intended to vote with opposition for a committee on retrenchment and on 24 May did so against the civil list bill. His last known minority vote, Feb. 1817, was for Ridley's motion on the lords of Admiralty.

Long announced his retirement from Parliament on 20 Feb. 1818; as this threatened to produce a contest, he professed his willingness to resign before the dissolution to preserve the peace, but found no encouragement to do so.3 When his colleague Methuen, with whom he had come to terms in 1812 to discourage opposition in the county, asked for his support and that of his son Walter (later Member for Wiltshire North), the latter replied that any hasty promise of his father's must be qualified, since their friends believed that

as long as he contrives to be the Member for the county, he should not appear to take any conspicuous part in canvassing for any candidate, as it is precisely in opposition to the principles on which he was brought into Parliament, and any act of mine would be considered the same as if he did it himself.

Long did in fact support Methuen and Pole Tylney Long Wellesley, much to the indignation of the third candidate's wife Mrs Lucy Benett, who would have it that Long was ‘that old fox ... who has been the cause of all this trouble'.4 Long died 1 July 1835, ‘after a lingering and distressing illness'.5
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne


Richard Godolphin Long

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Godolphin Long (2 October 1761 – 1 July 1835)[1] was an English banker and Tory politician.


Baptised at West Lavington, Wiltshire a month after his birth, he was the son of Richard Long and his wife Meliora, descendant of Sir John Lambe. Long was a partner in the Melksham Bank, together with his younger brother John Long, John Awdry and Thomas Bruges. In 1799, he purchased Steeple Ashton Manor House and farm, which remained in the family until 1967, and commissioned architect Jeffry Wyattville to build Rood Ashton House in 1808.

In 1794, he was appointed High Sheriff of Wiltshire. Long entered the British House of Commons in 1806, sitting for Wiltshire until 1818. He was the founder of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry.


On 27 March 1786, he married Florentina Wrey, third daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th Baronet, and had by her four daughters and two sons. After a lingering illness Long died aged 73, at Rood Ashton House in his favourite chair, just six weeks after his wife, and was buried in the family's crypt at St John's Church, Steeple Ashton. His older son Walter was himself a member of parliament, representing North Wiltshire. His second daughter Florentina (Flora), having been previously engaged to Henry Cobbe (uncle of Frances Power Cobbe), who had died the day before the proposed marriage, formed a strong attachment to the then elderly poet George Crabbe. Flora and her aunts were frequent visitors of novelist Jane Austen, who referred to Flora as her 'cousin', though their exact relationship is not known. Austen never met Crabbe, but nursed a fantasy of becoming his wife.


I have been to St Mary the Virgin's in Steeple Ashton and have photographed the two memorial plaques for you.

I then found their burial site at St John the Evangelist and have photographed that too. I believe that while the actual bodies are within the underground Crypt at St John they also have a large stone alter burial above ground - but I need to enhance the images of the writing around the edge of this to confirm it as I could only make out the odd word due to a hard-to-read script and several hundred years of weathering!

On top of that I visited "Long's Park Castle", which is a Lodge/Folly attached to what was Roode Ashton House, the Long's residence for a number of generations. The House was destroyed in the 20th C but this little gatehouse remains and is a holiday home for rent.

Information Provided by: Samuel Byford (#47367247)
Family links: 
  Florentina Wrey Long (1760 - 1835)
Note: plaque in church
St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard
Steeple Ashton
Wiltshire Unitary Authority
Wiltshire, England
Created by: Our Family History
Record added: Sep 28, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 117780959
Richard Godolphin Long
Added by: Samuel Byford
Richard Godolphin Long
Added by: Samuel Byford
Richard Godolphin Long
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Samuel Byford
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In memory of Richard Godolphin Long ~ RIP
- Laurel Robson
 Added: Jan. 17, 2014
Richard, Rest in Peace. My 10th Cousin 4x removed.
- Donna, Wayne, Tonee, Terrence
 Added: Sep. 28, 2013

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