Lord Richard Onslow III became MP for Guildford in 1679. He was elected Speaker in 1708, at the second attempt. Richard was responsible for improving the old Tudor Clandon Park. It was Richard’s son, Thomas, who was responsible for completely rebuilding Clandon Park in the English Palladian style we see today.
Arthur Onslow, later known as the Great Speaker, became secretary to his Uncle Lord Richard III when Richard became Chancellor. Arthur was elected Speaker in 1728 and then unanimously re-elected in 1735, 1741, 1747 and 1754, setting a record for long service. Arthur was an outstanding Speaker, well deserving of the title Great and was widely eulogised when he eventually resigned.
A fine dining room
The Speakers' Parlour was a celebration of parliamentary achievement and this important family's pride in their ancestry. To celebrate the Onslow earldom in 1801 the new Earl redecorated and refurbished the room. The room remained themed around the Speakers and much of their memorabilia could be seen here right up until the fire in April.
Saved from the blaze
We were delighted to discover that, as one of our most important and storied rooms, the Speakers’ Parlour had miraculously survived April's devastating fire almost intact, enabling access to the collections inside.