TEMPEST, Sir Richard (c.1480-1537), of Bracewell and Bowling, Yorks.

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. c.1480, 1st s. of Nicholas Tempest of Bracewell by Cecily or Margaret, da. of Sir John Pilkington of Pilkington, Lancs. and Sowerby, Yorks. m. settlement 13 July 1497, Rosamund (d. 1 Feb. 1554), da. and h. of Tristram Bolling (d. 30 May 1502) of Bowling, at least 5s. 1da. suc. fa. 1483, uncle 1 July 1507. Kntd. 25 Sept. 1513.1

Offices Held

Steward, duchy of Lancaster, Bradford 1505-?d., Blackburn hundred 1511-d., Rochdale in 1527, Barnoldswick by 1537, master forester, Bowland by 1526-d., keeper, Quernmore park in 1527; esquire of the body by 1509, knight by 1521; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1511-21, Yorks. 1530, (E. Riding) 1532, 1536, (N. Riding) 1536; commr. musters, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1511, 1512, subsidy Yorks. 1512, 1514, 1515, (W. Riding) 1524, for redress of outrages, west marches 1531; other commissions 1530-5; feodary, Yorks. 1514; sheriff 1516-17; receiver, 3rd Earl of Derby’s lands in Lancs. in 1523; steward, Wakefield and constable, Sandall castle by 1530.2


Richard Tempest’s father was a younger son in a leading Yorkshire family who were tenants and kinsmen of the great baronial house of Clifford. On his father’s death Tempest was probably entrusted to the guardianship of his uncle Sir Thomas Tempest who arranged his marriage to an heiress and bequeathed him the family seat at Bracewell, where Richard Tempest is said to have built a new house. It may have been to another relative, Thomas Lord Darcy of Temple Hurst, that he owed his advancement in the service of the crown and at court: Tempest was later to say that he would take Darcy’s part against any lord in England. He received his first office, a duchy of Lancaster stewardship, as early as 1505, attended the funeral of Henry VII as an esquire of the body, apparently fought in the French campaign of 1513 and was knighted at Tournai (although according to some accounts he had also fought at Flodden earlier in the same month), and seven years later attended the Field of Cloth of Gold, where he was one of three knights charged with scouting the countryside in the interests of security; he was also present at the meeting of Henry VIII and the Emperor at Gravelines. In 1527 the Duke of Richmond expressed his gratification with Tempest as one ‘at all times ... ready to do unto me all the pleasure he can’. Less satisfactory were his constant feuds and quarrels with his neighbours: in 1523, when he was serving against the Scots, the Earl of Surrey tried to reconcile him with Sir Henry Savile, and in November 1530 at Cawood the fallen Wolsey made a similar attempt to make peace between Tempest and Brian Hastings, ‘between whom was like to ensue great murder’.3

Tempest evidently owed his return to the Parliament of 1529 to Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons but he may have taken advantage of his presence there to commend himself to Cromwell: in June 1532 he thanked the minister for being good to his son-in-law Thomas Waterton I, and among the matters on which they corresponded was Tempest’s continuing feud with Sir Henry Savile, which in 1534 reached such a pitch that both men risked removal from the Yorkshire bench. His involvement in border warfare caused Tempest to miss at least the beginning of the fifth session (1533) of the Parliament, and on 3 Nov. 1534, the day the seventh session opened, he was still at Bowling. He was probably returned for Appleby again in 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, but the ‘Mr. Tempest’ whose name appears with three others on the dorse of an Act concerning expiring laws which was passed by this Parliament is likely to have been his kinsma