CECIL, Richard (c.1495-1553), of Little Burghley, Northants; Stamford, Lincs. and Westminster, Mdx.
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Family and Education
Page of the chamber by 1517, gent. by 1540; groom of the robes by 1528, yeoman by 1539; jt. (with fa.) keeper, Kings Cliffe park, Northants. 1517; bailiff, Bourne 1525, Whittlesea Mere, Cambs., Hunts., Lincs. and Northants. 1536; porter, Warwick castle 1548, keeper 1532; steward, Nassington, Upton and Yarwell, Northants. 1542; steward for Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, unknown property by 1548; sheriff, Rutland 1539-40; j.p. Northants. 1539-d., Lincs. (Holland, Kesteven and Lindsey) and Rutland 1547; commr. chantries, Northants., Oxon., Rutland and Oxford 1548, relief, Lincs. (Holland and Kesteven), Northants. and Rutland 1550, goods of churches and fraternities, Lincs. (Kesteven) and Northants. 1553.3
Under his father’s will Richard Cecil received household furniture and an interest in some chantry land, but he had to await his stepmother’s death before entering upon his patrimony. His own acquisitions had begun with his leasing of property in Lincolnshire in 1519, about the time of his marriage, and continued with his purchase of the reversion of Little Burghley and neighbouring lands from Sir William Compton in 1527; but his real opportunity came with the Dissolution, which in five years yielded him in succession Stamford nunnery, priory and friary, to which in 1544 he added the manor of Essendine, Rutland. These transactions Cecil presumably financed out of the income from his posts in the Household and his other offices. In the first of these capacities he had accompanied Henry VIII to the