Ralph Bernal Osborne

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Caricature by ATn published in Vanity Fair in 1870. Ralph Bernal Osborne, Vanity Fair, 1870-05-28.jpg
Caricature by ATn published in Vanity Fair in 1870.

Ralph Bernal Osborne of Newtown Anner House, County Tipperary, MP (26 March 1808 – 4 January 1882), born and baptised with the name of Ralph Bernal Jr., was a British Liberal politician.



He was the eldest son of London Sephardic Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Parliamentarian Ralph Bernal, himself an MP, who died in 1854, and his wife Ann Elizabeth (née White). The younger Bernal entered the military in 1831, as an Ensign of the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot. He later served with the 7th (Royal Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot, and finally left the army in 1844 with the rank of Captain.

He had already been elected to Parliament in 1841 as a member for Chipping Wycombe, in the Liberal interest, and later sat for Middlesex (1847–1857), Dover (1857–1859), Liskeard (1859–1865), Nottingham (1866–1868), and Waterford City (1870–1874).

In the Railway Times of 21 June 1845, he is the first person listed in the provisional committee for the Leicester, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Burton-upon-Trent and Stafford Junction Railway: Ralph R. Bernal Osborne, MP for Wycombe, address: Albemarle Street. The railway was never built.

Beside being a Parliamentarian, he was also Secretary of the Admiralty.

When he died, his house at Newtown Anner, Clonmel, County Tipperary, Munster, Ireland, was surrounded by more than 13,000 acres (53 km2) of land.


On 20 August 1844 he married Catherine Isabella Osborne (30 June 1819 – 20 June 1880), from an Anglo-Irish landed family, the daughter of Sir Thomas Osborne, 9th Baronet, and Catherine Rebecca Smith, and on the same day he took her name and his name was legally changed by royal licence, becoming Ralph Bernal Osborne. [1]

His two daughters shared his estate. His older daughter, Edith Bernal Osborne, married Sir Henry Arthur Blake; [2] [3] His younger daughter, Grace Bernal Osborne (d. London, 18 November 1926), married William Beauclerk, 10th Duke of St Albans. [4] His grandson was Osborne Beauclerk, 12th Duke of St Albans.


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  1. "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2234.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. "Edith Blake: Journal of journey in China, Korea and Japan - Archives Hub".
  3. Irish Women Artists: From the eighteenth century to the present day, Wanda Ryan, Jenni Rogers, National Gallery of Ireland, 1987, p. 150.
  4. Derek Beales, 'Osborne, Ralph Bernal (1808?–1882)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, May 2007, accessed 28 March 2009.
Political offices
Preceded by First Secretary of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Chipping Wycombe
With: Sir George Dashwood, Bt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Middlesex
With: Lord Robert Grosvenor
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Dover
With: Sir William Russell, Bt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Liskeard
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Nottingham
With: Viscount Amberley
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Waterford City
With: James Delahunty
Succeeded by