CORNWALL, Richard (by 1502-69), of Burford, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1502, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Cornwall. m. 15 Aug. 1523, Jane, da. of Sir Henry Wogan of Wiston, Pemb. 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 20 Aug. 1537.2

Offices Held

J.p. Salop 1542-64; commr. musters 1542, 1563, relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; sheriff 1548-9, 1554-5, 1561-2.3


Richard Cornwall obtained livery of his lands in the marches, Essex and Kent, but he failed to secure the share in the inheritance of the last Lord Grey of Codnor over which his father had spent much time and money. Cornwall begged Cromwell to help him in this respect and Bishop Lee interceded for him with the minister ’to have some end of his great matter, by which he is ruined’, yet in 1539 the King gave the Grey lands in exchange to Sir Thomas Wyatt I, whose title to them was confirmed by private Act (32 Hen. VIII, no. 78). Despite his straitened circumstances Cornwall continued to be a considerable figure in Shropshire. He followd his forbears in styling himself Baron of Burford.4

Cornwall’s election to the last Parliament of Henry VIII’s reign answered to his standing and connexions. His home was more than 20 miles distant from Much Wenlock, but his cousin Reginald Corbet and another relative, William Blount, had sat for the town in the previous Parliament, and the sheriff Sir Richard Mainwaring was another kinsman. Ten years later, when Cornwall was himself sheriff, he returned several relatives, including Sir Andrew and Reginald Corbet. Debarred by his office from returning himself within his own shire, he must have found a seat elsewhere, and there is every probability that he did so in Pembrokeshire, where John Wogan was the leading figure. As sheriff in the previous year he had twice returned his own son-in-law Arnold Butler as knight of the shire and he could well have persuaded his successor to do the same for Cornwall. Wogan’s name together with that of another son-in-law Thomas Cathern heads the list of freeholders on the damaged indenture for the shire election of 1555. It is as the ‘Baron of Birport’ that Cornwall appears on the list of those who voted against one of the government’s bills in this Parliament, and his place on that list, immediately after John Bolton, the Member for Haverfordwest, bears out the likelihood that they had been elected in the same shire. The two Corbets are also on the list.5

In 1564 Bishop Scory of Hereford judged Cornwall ‘neuter’ in religion but on the recommendation of the justices of assize he was removed from the bench. He died on 14 June 1569, apparently without having made a will. He was buried at Burford, where a monument painted by Melchior Salubuss was erected in 1588 with an inscription giving his age, perhaps erroneously, as 75.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Harding


  • 1. Unknown constituency but probably Pembrokeshire; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/60/38, 73, 82/63. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 147; Ld. Liverpool and C. Reade, House of Cornewall, 209-73 passim.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xvii; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), ii. 232; CPR, 1550-3, pp. 395, 413; 1553, p. 358.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xiii-xv.
  • 5. C219/330/28, pt. ii; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 6. Cam. Misc. ix(3), 15; Lansd. 1215, f. 90v; Liverpool and Reade, 210, 273; C142/152/161; Pevsner, Salop, 91-92.