BIRDE, Richard II (d.1614), of Whitminster, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

3rd s. of Peter Birde of Wootton-under-Edge by Mary, da. of Humphrey, Forster of Boys in Dymock. educ. ?Corpus, Camb. 1573; ?I. Temple 1577. m. Margaret, 1da.

Offices Held

Town clerk, Gloucester 1579-95.


As town clerk of Gloucester Birde received an annual fee of 53s.4d. In 1579 his services were rewarded with an additional £6 2s.6d. He handled many of the city’s lawsuits and, on one occasion, was himself sued in Chancery for recovery of documents. In 1584 he served as collector for the subsidy. Before being elected to the 1593 Parliament he promised to renounce his wages. When Birde surrendered the town clerkship, the corporation noted that he had ‘carefully and substantially’ performed his duties. As burgess for Gloucester in 1593 Birde was appointed to one committee on 15 Mar. concerning cloth.

His estate included land in Whetenhurst, Standish, Moreton and Erlingham and leases of property within Gloucester itself. In 1608 he was mentioned as one of the lords of Salle, Gloucestershire. In the manor of Powlton, Wiltshire, Birde acquired a lease, his right to which was challenged by a copyholder. He disposed of his lands some time before his death, which occurred between 10 Jan., when he made his will, and 12 July 1614, when it was proved.

Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 20; C142/671/171; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 459; Gloucester Guild Hall mss 1451, ff. 142, 153; 1500, ff. 198, 199, 205, 208, 212, 219, 232; C2 Eliz./M8/25, M13/35, S22/50; D’Ewes, 501; Gloucester Recs. ed. Stevenson, 443-4; Men and Armour for Glos. in 1608, ed. J. Smith, 315; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxxi. 243; xxxiii. 115; lvi. 224, 225; PCC 71 Lawe.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.