Richard Arden, 1st Baron Alvanley
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Alvanley
|Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas|
22 May 1801 – 19 March 1804
|Preceded by||The Lord Eldon|
|Succeeded by||Sir James Mansfield|
|Master of the Rolls|
|Preceded by||Sir Lloyd Kenyon|
|Succeeded by||Sir William Grant|
|Prime Minister||William Pitt the Younger|
|Preceded by||Lloyd Kenyon|
|Succeeded by||Sir Archibald Macdonald|
20 June 1744|
|Died||19 March 1804(aged 59)|
|Spouse(s)||Anne Dorothea Wilbraham-Bootle (m. 1784)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Religion||Church of England|
Richard Pepper Arden, 1st Baron Alvanley PC KC (20 May 1744 – 19 March 1804) was a British barrister and Whig politician, who served as the Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He was a Member of Parliament from 1783 to 1801.
He was born on 20 May 1744 in Bredbury, the son of John Arden (1709–1787), and Mary Pepper, and baptised on 20 June 1744 in Stockport. Educated at The Manchester Grammar School, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in November 1761 and received his BA in 1766. Arden was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1769, and received his MA from Trinity the same year.
Invested as a King's Counsel in 1780, he was Solicitor General during the ministry of Shelburne, and again for a year under Pitt. At this time he entered Parliament, as the Whig MP for Newtown from 1783 to 1784. In 1784 he became MP for Aldborough, and was appointed Attorney General and Chief Justice of Chester, posts he would hold until 1788.
On 4 June 1788, he was again advanced to become Master of the Rolls, and was knighted on 18 June 1788. He was also appointed to the Privy Council that year. In 1790, he left Aldborough to become MP for Hastings until 1794, and then for Bath until 1801.
In May 1801, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and on 22 May 1801, was created Baron Alvanley, of Alvanley, in the County of Chester. Alvanley died on 19 March 1804 and was buried a week later in Rolls Chapel, London. His will was probated in April 1804.
Quoting from Cokayne, The Complete Peerage: "He was not a man of great oratorical powers, but possessed the qualities of intelligence, readiness and wit... It would be vain to claim any great distinction for Lord Alvanley. He was a learned lawyer and a successful politician... the few productions that remain from his pen evince refinement, taste and facility of expression."
On 9 September 1784, Arden married Anne Dorothea Wilbraham-Bootle, daughter of Richard Wilbraham-Bootle and Mary Bootle. They had six children:
- Hon. Sarah Arden (b.c.1787)
- William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley (1789–1849), died unmarried.
- Hon. Frances Henrietta Arden (1792–1852), married Sir John Warrender of Lochend, 5th Baronet, son of Sir Patrick Warrender of Lochend.
- Richard Pepper Arden, 3rd Baron Alvanley (1792–1857), married Lady Arabella Vane, daughter of William Henry Vane, 1st Duke of Cleveland and Lady Catherine Margaret Powlett.
- Hon. Katherine Dorothea Arden (1792–1853)
- Hon. Fanny Emma Arden (1794–1871), married Charles Davenly, son of Major Augustus Davenly and Lady Harriet Belasyse.
- Ricard Parkinson,The Private Journal and Literary Remains of John Byrom,Vol II Part II, Chetham Society, Printed for the Chetham society, 1857. p. 642
- Arden's DNB entry has him at Manchester Grammar from 1752 to 1763, and entering Trinity College in October 1763. However, these dates do not agree with Venn's Alumni Cantabrigienses or with ODNB.
- "Arden, Richard Pepper (ARDN761RP)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Edmund Lodge, The Peerage of the British Empire as at Present Existing (Saunders and Otley, 1833), 17.
- George Smith, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Cornhill Magazine,vol. 77, Smith, Elder and company., 1898 p. 72
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Axon, W. E. A., 'Arden, Richard Pepper, Baron Alvanley (1745–1804)', Dictionary of National Biography, 1885
- Lemmings, David, ‘Arden, Richard Pepper, first Baron Alvanley (1744–1804)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 29 December 2008