Matthew Brickdale

1735 - 1831


Matthew Brickdale of Clifton and Taunton (1735-1831) was MP for Bristol 1768-1774 and 1780-1790. Son of John Brickdale, a Bristol wool merchant and slave-trader. In 1807 Matthew Brickdale 'county of Somerset' paid £950 for seven enslaved people on St Vincent. In 1817 and 1822 Messrs Osborne and Ward, as trustees for Mathew or Matthew Brickdale, registered the enslaved people on the Hope estate in St Andrew's St Vincent. Mathew Brickdale was a partner with his son John Brickdale in a bank at Taunton which failed in 1819.

  1. The will of Matthew Brickdale (the MP) proved 24/01/1834 is 4 lines long and leaves everything to his daughter Anna Maria, also the executrix.


There is an account of the slave-connections of the Brickdales of Bristol, Somerst & Devon in Madge Dresser, 'Slavery and West Country Houses', in Madge Dresser & Andrew Hann (eds.) Slavery and the British Country House (2013) pp. 12-29, at pp. 20-21, which refers to documents in the Somerset Record Office showing annuities from plantations on Nevis and Jamaica, 'regarding the Hampstead and Retreat estates in Jamaica' [these latter were the estates in Trelawny of Robert McGhie, q.v.], and 'a reference to "the 90 negroes at St Andrew on Isle of St Vincent."'; p. 16 [accessed 12/09/2016] shows the 1807 purchase; London Gazette 16752 13/07/1813 p. 1390 shows the continuation by Matthew Brickdale and his son John of a banking partnership at Taunton previously operating as a partnership between Matthew Brickdale, Edmund Trowbridge Halliday and George Shephard. The History of Parliament entry for Brickdale quotes W. R. Williams as saying that he ‘spent enormous sums of money in his electoral contests, which left him in reduced circumstances in his old age’: the entry makes no reference to the failure of the bank or the linkages to slavery. The diaries of Matthew Brickdale for 1770-1774 are held by the University of Bristol, Matthew Brickdale Diaries, 1770-1774. University of Bristol Special Collections. GB 3 DM 129.

  1. PROB 11/1826/58.

Further Information


Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1817 [EA] - 1825 [LA] → Other

Trustees for Matthew Brickdale registered the enslaved people on Hope in 1817 and 1822: by 1825 the estate had been transferred to John Inglett Fortescue (the brother-in-law of Matthew Brickdale's son John Brickdale).

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

election →
Bristol Somerset
1768 - 1774
election →
Bristol Somerset
1780 - 1790

Relationships (1)

Father → Son

Addresses (1)

Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England