HONYMAN, Richard Bempde Johnstone (1787-1842), of Armadale, Sutherland and Graemsay, Orkney.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 4 May 1787, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Honyman, 1st Bt., SCJ (Lord Armadale), of Armadale and Graemsay by Mary, da. of Robert Macqueen, SCJ (Lord Braxfield), of Braxfield, Lanark; bro. of Robert Honyman II*. educ. Eton 1796-1802. m. Elizabeth Campbell, 1da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 5 Jan. 1825.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I. Co. (Madras) 1806; asst. in secret and foreign dept. and asst. to collector of Coimbatore 1807; dep. commercial resident, Ramnad 1809; home 1811; out of service 1816.


The death in 1808 of his elder brother made Honyman heir apparent to his father, an eminent judge with a leading electoral interest in Orkney. He returned from India in 1811 and at the general election of 1812 successfully contested the county. At the time his father, who had quarrelled with Henry Dundas in 1801, was aligned with opposition and Honyman was supported by the retiring Whig Member, but his only recorded vote in the 1813 session was for Grattan’s motion to consider Catholic claims, 2 Mar.

In August 1813 it was reported that a reconciliation had taken place between Lord Armadale and Henry Dundas’s son, a member of the Liverpool ministry. Honyman, who is not known to have spoken in the House and was clearly an indifferent attender, voted with them on the army estimates, 8 Mar., the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, and the suspension of habeas corpus. 23 June 1817. On 9 May 1817 he reversed his previous vote on Catholic relief. At the general election of 1818 he was defeated by a Whig after a shift in the electoral alignments in Orkney. He died 23 Feb. 1842.

SRO GD51/5/364/20, Watt to Melville, 28 Aug. 1813.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher