BULKELEY, Sir Richard (by 1524-72), of Beaumaris, Anglesey.

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



Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1524, 1st s. of Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris by Catherine, da. of Sir William Gruffydd of Penrhyn, Caern.; bro. of Rowland. m. (1) Margaret, da. of Sir John Savage of Clifton, Cheshire, 6s. inc. Richard Bulkeley I and Thomas 2da.; (2) Agnes, da. of Thomas Needham of Shenton, Salop, and Cranage, Cheshire, 4s. 2da. suc. fa. Jan. 1547. Kntd. Oct. 1547.2

Offices Held

Sheriff, Anglesey 1547, 1551-2, 1560-1, 1569-70, Caern. 1549-50, 1557-8; j.p. Anglesey from 1555, custos rot. from 1559 and j.p.q. by 1564; v.-adm. N. Wales by 1551; commr. collection of relief, Anglesey and Caern. 1550, for church goods, Anglesey 1553; dep. constable, Beaumaris castle by 1548-61, capital burgess, Beaumaris 1562; commr. defences of Anglesey 1569, musters, Cheshire 1570.3


The heir to extensive estates in Anglesey, Caernarvonshire and Cheshire, Bulkeley increased his family’s standing in Anglesey and was instrumental in obtaining a charter of incorporation for Beaumaris in 1562. At the 1570 musters his was the highest assessment in the island. He represented the county in Parliament on four occasions, and in 1571 he was a member of the committee on navigation (8 May).4

Although the family had profited from the dissolution of the monasteries, and a relative was the first protestant bishop of Bangor, a Catholic claim of 1574 that ‘all the Bulkeleys are Catholic’ is supported by Sir Richard’s connexions. One of his aunts was the last abbess of Godstow, and another married Sir William Norris of Speke. Bulkeley was taken ill early in 1572, and died 7 Sept. According to his heir he was poisoned by his second wife, whom the court of arches found had been committing adultery with one William Kenrick who ‘did use to walk under the said Agnes her window in the night time, play upon an instrument and make love to her when Sir Richard was from home in the Parliament’. Poison was found in a chest in her room, under a pair of velvet slippers, but a Beaumaris jury acquitted her of murder.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: P. S. Edwards / A.H.D.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Griffith, Peds. 42; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 134; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 204; C142/84/1, 7, 9.
  • 3. Trans. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. 1948, p. 16; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 3; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, 363, 419; 1560-3, pp. 130, 347; 1563-6, p. 31; E. Breese, Kalendars of Gwynedd, 123; HMC Welsh, i. 291; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 56-7.
  • 4. Trans. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. 1940, pp. 48-61, 63-70; 1961, pp. 15, 106; Augmentations ed. Lewis and Davies (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xiii), 179; UCNW, Baron Hill 2415; Flenley, 50, 56-7, 74; CPR , 1560-3, p. 347; CJ , i. 88.
  • 5. Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 109; D. Mathew, Celtic Peoples and Renaissance Europe , 41-4; Augmentations , 16, 188, 194; HMC Welsh , i. 291; Wards 7/15/53; Trans. Anglesey Antiq. Soc. 1948, pp. 17-20; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 7; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales , 218; C168/14.