LOVELACE, Richard (c.1560-1622), of West Drayton and Hillingdon, Mdx.; formerly of West Kingsdown, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

bap. 14 Sept.1560,1 2nd s. of Thomas Lovelace (d.1591) of Hever, Kent and Elizabeth, da. of Sir Richard Clement of Ightham, Kent.2 m. (1) by 1595, Mary, da. of William Lovelace of Bethersden, Kent, 2da. (1 d.v.p.);3 (2) Jane (d.1630), da. of Francis Monke and wid. of Roger Day, s.p.4 d. 21 Feb. 1622.5

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Mdx. 1609,6 j.p. 1617-d.7


The Lovelace family had been established in Kent since the late fourteenth century. The West Kingsdown branch was of gentry status, with a record of legal service and local office-holding. Lovelace’s father was attended on his deathbed by a recusant practising medicine without a licence, who called upon the Virgin Mary to intercede for his soul.8 In his will he made more generous provision for his sons Thomas and Leonard than he did for Richard, to whom he left two small annuities issuing out of Hever, Kingsdown and Maplescombe manors in recompense for Maplescombe parsonage, which had previously been assured to him.9

Nothing is known of Lovelace’s education, or the circumstances behind his two marriages. He apparently avoided becoming involved in the Star Chamber dispute between his brothers over family property at West Kingsdown,10 although he was evidently closer to his brother Leonard,11 who served as town clerk of Canterbury after 1600 and county treasurer for maimed mariners and soldiers in 1601-2.12 By 1602, Lovelace himself was living outside Kent13 - at West Drayton, in Middlesex by 160914 and at Hillingdon, in the same county, by 161615 - before gaining possession of Leonard’s Kentish properties.16

Lovelace held no public office before being appointed a commissioner for sewers in 1609 and a magistrate in 1617. A friend of George Gosse, who served as agent for lord keeper Egerton (Sir Thomas Egerton†) in 1601-2,17 he rented land in Colham, Middlesex from Egerton, perhaps from 1613, but certainly from 1616.18 The legal connections of the Lovelace family may help to explain the marriage of Lovelace’s daughter to Henry Coke*, one of the sons of Sir Edward Coke*, in August 1619.19

Lovelace almost certainly owed his return for Chipping Wycombe in 1621 to Sir Edward Coke, who lived nearby at Stoke Poges and who may have been honorary high steward of Wycombe.20 He apparently did not speak in the Commons, nor was he appointed to any committees. However, he was enlisted by his brother Leonard’s widow, Margaret Clerke, to take action in Parliament on behalf of her heavily indebted nephew, Sir John Molyneux of Tevershal, Nottinghamshire, and his children. From an undated letter written by her, it is clear that she, at least, believed he subsequently acted in the interests of her extended family, although no other record of any such activity exists.21

Lovelace died in February 1622, leaving his Kentish properties to his widow for life, with remainder to his daughter and her husband. His annual income from this source and from his leases is unlikely to have exceeded a few hundred pounds. His widow died in June 1630, bequeathing her estate to her stepdaughter and her husband.22

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Christopher Thompson


  • 1. Reg. St. Alphage, Canterbury 1558-1800 ed. J.M. Cowper, 2.
  • 2. A.J. Pearman, ‘Kentish Fam. of Lovelace’, Arch. Cant. x. 194.
  • 3. Ibid; Elizabeth, da. of Richard Lovelace, was buried in St Alphage, Canterbury on 12 Apr. 1596: Reg. St. Alphage, 205.
  • 4. A.J. Pearman, ‘Kentish Fam. of Lovelace’ Arch. Cant. xx. 60.
  • 5. C142/396/139.
  • 6. C181/2, f. 90v.
  • 7. C231/4, f. 45v.
  • 8. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, DCb/PRC/44/3, p. 184
  • 9. C142/363/193.
  • 10. STAC 7/13/30.
  • 11. Salters’ Hall, London, deeds H1/11/1/18-20.
  • 12. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC-A/Z/C/6. Cent. Kent. Stud. Q/SR/2, mm. 4d, 11, 11d.
  • 13. He was still in Kent in 1591-2. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC-J/B/1/391/iii, ff. 3v-4. His niece’s letter indicating that Lovelace resided outside Kent (reproduced in Pearman, Arch. Cant. xx. 59) should be dated no later than November 1602, when her father died.
  • 14. LMA, Acc/0539/055a-b.
  • 15. Warws. RO, CR 229/Box 18/4/19.
  • 16. Leonard Lovelace’s will did not envisage any property passing to his brother Richard. PROB 11/128, ff. 245-6. Cf. C142/396/139 for the settlement in reversion in June 1620 on Margaret Lovelace and her husband, Henry Coke, of the manors of Kingsdown, Hever, and Maplescombe, etc.
  • 17. Pearman, Arch. Cant. xx. 59-60; Lancs. RO, DDX 88/8; DDFZ 52.
  • 18. Pearman, Arch. Cant. xx. 60.
  • 19. C142/396/139. Lovelace was described as being of Colham, Mdx. when the marriage took place. Egerton and Sir Edward Coke were, nonetheless, enemies.
  • 20. HMC 9th Rep. ii. 374. The formal office of high steward had been abolished by the June 1609 charter. J. Parker, Early Hist. and Antiqs. of Wycombe in Bucks. 58, 71. A son, Edward, was born to Henry Coke and his wife Margaret, neé Lovelace at Stoke Poges on 3 Aug. 1620: Coll. Top. et Gen. vi. 113.
  • 21. Pearman, Arch. Cant. xx. 59. For Sir John Molyneaux’s debts, see PROB/11/128, ff. 245v-6; HLRO, HL/PO/JO/10/1/36; HL/PO/JO/13/9.
  • 22. Pearman, Arch. Cant. x. 196.