Dudley Ryder (judge)

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Sir Dudley Ryder PC (1691 – 25 May 1756) was a British politician, judge and diarist.


The son of a draper, Ryder studied at a dissenting academy in Hackney and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Leiden University in The Netherlands. He went to the Middle Temple in 1713 (where he kept a diary from 1715–16, in which he minutely recorded “whatever occurs to me in the day worth observing”). He was called to the Bar in 1719. Ryder was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1733 to 1754. He was also made Solicitor General by Sir Robert Walpole in 1733, and in 1737, he was appointed as Attorney General.

At the creation of the Foundling Hospital in London in 1739 he was one of the founding governors. In 1740, he was knighted and on 2 May 1754 he was made a Privy Councillor and Chief Justice of the King's Bench, a post he held until his death. A patent creating him a peer was signed by the King but on the day he was due to kiss hands he was taken ill and therefore it was not passed due to his subsequent death.

Horace Walpole thought Ryder "a man of singular goodness and integrity; of the highest reputation in his profession, of the lowest in the House, where he wearied the audience by the multiplicity of his arguments; resembling the physician who ordered a medicine to be composed of all the simples in a meadow, as there must be some of them at least that would be proper".[1]

His son was Nathaniel Ryder, 1st Baron Harrowby.



  1. ^ Horace Walpole, Memoirs of King George II: Volume I (Yale, 1985), p. 83.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bt
James Nelthorpe
Member of Parliament for St Germans
With: Richard Eliot
Succeeded by
The Lord Baltimore
Charles Montagu
Preceded by
Arthur Arscott
James Nelthorpe
Member of Parliament for Tiverton
With: Arthur Arscott 1734–1747
Sir William Yonge, Bt 1747
Henry Conyngham 1747–1754
Succeeded by
Sir William Yonge, Bt
Henry Pelham
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Talbot
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
John Strange
Preceded by
Sir John Willes
Attorney General
Succeeded by
William Murray
Preceded by
William Lee
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench