TICHBORNE, Sir Richard (c.1578-1652), of Winchester Castle, Hants and Drury Court, Westminster.

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



17 Jan. 1625

Family and Education

b. c.1578, 1st s. of Sir Benjamin Tichborne†, 1st bt., of Tichborne, Hants and Amphillis, da. of Richard Weston†, j.c.p. 1559-72, of Skreens, Roxwell, Essex; bro. of Sir Walter*.1 educ. M. Temple 1595.2 m. (1) c.1598, Ellen (d. 18 May 1606),3 da. and coh. of Robert White of Aldershot, Hants, 1da.;4 (2) 7 July 1608,5 Susannah, da. and coh. of William Waller of Stoke Charity, Hants 3s. 5da. (2 d.v.p.).6 kntd. 11 May 1603;7 suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 6 Sept. 1629.8 d. Apr. 1652.9

Offices Held

Kpr., Winchester Castle (jt.) 1604-29, (sole) 1629-42;10 j.p. Hants 1608-42;11 ranger, West Bere forest, Hants by 1610;12 commr. gaol delivery, Winchester 1616, 1629-35, Hants 1617-28,13 sewers 1617, Hants and Wilts. 1629-30;14 freeman, Winchester 1617,15 Newport and Yarmouth I.o.W. 1634;16 commr. to disarm recusants, Hants 1625,17 Forced Loan 1626-7,18 martial law 1626-8;19 dep. lt. Hants 1626-42,20 col. militia ft. 1629-?42;21 commr. oyer and terminer, Hants 1628-30,22 Western circ. 1630-42,23 swans, Hants, Wilts. and Dorset 1629,24 knighthood fines, Hants 1630-1,25 piracy Hants and I.o.W. 1635-6,26 maltsters, Hants 1636,27 assessment 1641,28 array 1642,29 rebels’ estates 1643.30

Gent. of the privy chamber extraordinary to Prince Henry 1610-12;31 commr. recovery of mortgaged Crown lands 1618;32 member, embassy to Span. Neths. 1622-3;33 servant to Chas. I by 1635.34


The Tichbornes, who claimed to trace their descent to before the Conquest, were in possession of the property from which they took their name by 1135.35 Although long established among the Hampshire gentry, the family was tainted with a reputation for Catholicism; nevertheless Tichborne’s father, who was sheriff in 1602-3 earned the favour of James I by his promptness in proclaiming the new dynasty.36 He was rewarded with a grant of Winchester Castle, which became Tichborne’s own residence until he succeeded to the estate in 1629.37 Like his father and brothers, Tichborne outwardly conformed to the established church, though his second wife ultimately damaged his career by her recusancy.38 More ruinous was his inability to stay out of debt, a state of affairs caused partly by his attempts to shine at the Jacobean Court.

In 1614 Tichborne stood for the county in a contested election, with the support of Hampshire’s lord lieutenant, the 3rd earl of Southampton. Sir Henry Wallop* stood against him, mobilizing puritan voters on the grounds that there was ‘never more need [to elect] persons well affected in religion’, a point obviously intended to count against Tichborne.39 The election was held at Winchester Castle, which gave Tichborne the advantage, and he was eventually returned top of the poll, with Sir William Uvedale*. However, Wallop queried the count; on 31 May William Beecher informed the House that Wallop had preferred a bill in Star Chamber against the sheriff, but no action was taken.40 In the meantime Tichborne was appointed to attend the Palatine marriage conference (14 Apr.) and to consider a bill to abolish non-residence and pluralism among the clergy (12 May).41 In his only speech he informed the Commons on 14 May that a Hampshire man who had entered the House illegally out of curiosity was a simpleton.42 He was among those ordered to inquire into the constitutional position of baronets (23 May), and to explain the ‘forbearance’ of business to the king on 29 May.43

Tichborne entertained the king at Winchester in 1615 and again in 1618.44 At the general election of 1620 Tichborne was returned for Winchester. His appointments included the committee for privileges (8 Feb. 1621), a committee to draft a petition for freedom of speech (12 Feb.), the subsidy bill (7 Mar.), and to help manage conferences on recusancy (15 Feb.), monopolies (12 Mar.), and informers (19 April).45 As one of the magistrates who had objected to the inns patent he offered on 8 March to give evidence before the Lords against (Sir) Giles Mompesson*.46 Nine days later he demanded to know how thousands of writs enforcing the patent had been issued in the name of Thomas Fanshawe*, who denied all knowledge of the matter.47 When complaints were made against his brother Sir Walter’s patent for two-thirds of the compositions taken from the holders of mortgaged Crown lands, on 21 Mar. Tichborne undertook to bring in the patent.48 His attendance was recorded at the committee meeting for a private bill concerning Viscount Montagu (15 March), the same days as he was appointed to consider another private bill for a Roman Catholic landowner, Sir Francis Englefield.49 Tichborne was appointed to help draft the charges against Sir John Bennet*, accused of corruption as a judge in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (21 April), and was among those instructed on 26 Apr. to report on the state of business.50 He was appointed to the committee on the unlawful imprisonment bill (5 May), and to a conference on the punishment of Edward Floyd for slandering Elizabeth of Bohemia (8 May).51 Tichborne was chosen to serve on the joint delegation of both Houses to the king about the adjournment on 3 June.52 He left no mark upon the records of the autumn sitting.

Tichborne accompanied his cousin Sir Richard Weston* on a diplomatic mission to Brussels in 1622-3, and may also have visited The Hague, returning with a portrait of Elizabeth of Bohemia, which he presented to Winchester corporation.53 He did not stand at the next general election, and was therefore unable to defend himself when Sir Daniel Norton* denounced him in the Commons on 27 Apr. 1624 for the recusancy of his wife and children.54 This did not prevent him from being returned at a Winchester by-election in January 1625, although he was unable to take up his seat before the Parliament was automatically dissolved upon the death of James I.55 Re-elected for borough to the first three parliaments of the new reign, Tichborne left no trace on the records in 1625. In 1626 his appointments included the committee for privileges (9 Feb.), and a committee to consider the procedure for selecting committees (3 Mar.); his attendance was noted at only one of the latter’s three meetings.56 He was again presented for his wife’s recusancy on 20 Mar., but the king nevertheless appointed him to the Hampshire lieutenancy during the session.57 His final appointment was to the delegation to present a Remonstrance to the king (5 April).58 Ahead of the third Caroline Parliament Tichborne helped Sir Henry Whithed* to solicit the support of the lord lieutenant (Sir Edward Conway I*) in the general election.59 Re-elected for Winchester himself, he was again a member of the committee for privileges (20 Mar. 1628), and was also appointed to consider a bill against corruption in judicial appointments (23 Apr.), and to examine the complaints against the deputy lieutenants of Cornwall (9 May).60 His wife’s recusancy was complained of once more on 14 June.61 His only committee appointment in the 1629 session was for the bill concerning Somers Island (Bermuda) on 10 February.62

Tichborne was a conscientious local official, trusted by Conway to oversee the billeting of troops around Portsmouth, which was unpopular; he was rewarded with several grants of recusants’ lands.63 Weston, on his deathbed in 1635, asked the king to remember Tichborne, ‘whose honesty and abilities he much commended, and said further that he had a heart right set for His Majesty’s services’; but by this time Tichborne was seriously mired in debt.64 He and Sir Walter owed thousands of pounds and had to be given royal protection.65 On conveying his estate to his third brother, Sir Benjamin, in 1630 he was awarded an annual pension of £100.66 Although neutral during the Civil War, his financial position did not improve: he owed some £15,000 by 1650.67 He died in April 1652, and was succeeded by his son Sir Henry, an open Catholic.68 No other member of the senior branch sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Her. and Gen. iv. 64.
  • 2. M. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. H.N. Cole, Aldershot, 286.
  • 4. PROB 11/93, f. 271v.
  • 5. C142/374/87.
  • 6. Berry, Hants Gen. 30; Hants Par. Regs. ed. W.P.W. Phillimore, iv. 9.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 107.
  • 8. C142/456/69.
  • 9. Her. and Gen. iv. 64.
  • 10. C66/1613.
  • 11. SP14/33, f. 55v; Hants RO, 44M69/G3/1164.
  • 12. C66/1880; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 634.
  • 13. C181/2, f. 261; 181/3, f. 241v; 181/4, ff. 22v, 178v; 181/5, f. 26.
  • 14. C181/2, f. 296v; 181/4, ff. 17v, 49.
  • 15. Hants RO, W/B1/4, f. 2.
  • 16. I.o.W. RO, NBC 45/2, f. 197v; Add. 5669, f. 97v.
  • 17. Add. 21922, f. 38.
  • 18. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 506; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii, pt. 2, p. 145.
  • 19. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 419; 1627-8, p. 440.
  • 20. APC, 1626, p. 36; Add. 21922, passim.
  • 21. Add. 21922, f. 206, passim.
  • 22. C181/3, f. 241; APC, 1627-8, p. 318; CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 233, 238, 243-4, 246.
  • 23. C181/4, ff. 43, 193v; 181/5, ff. 5, 221.
  • 24. C181/4, f. 2.
  • 25. E401/2450; Cornw. RO, ME 2880.
  • 26. C181/5, ff. 24, 58.
  • 27. PC2/46, p. 273.
  • 28. SR, v. 88.
  • 29. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 30. Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 107.
  • 31. Govt. of Royal Household (Soc. of Antiquaries, 1790), p. 324.
  • 32. CD 1621, vii. 412.
  • 33. Her. and Gen. iv. 119-20.
  • 34. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 562.
  • 35. VCH Hants, iii. 337.
  • 36. HMC Hatfield, xviii. 276.
  • 37. Her. and Gen. iv. 116.
  • 38. Hants Regs. ed. R.E. Scantlebury (Cath. Rec. Soc. xliii), 170-1.
  • 39. Whithed Letter Bk. (Hants Rec. ser. i), 113-15; Hants RO, 19M61/1317.
  • 40. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 392, 397; STAC 8/293/11; T.L. Moir, Addled Parl. 35-6.
  • 41. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 82, 218.
  • 42. Ibid. 237.
  • 43. Ibid. 322, 377.
  • 44. J. Nichols, Progs. of Jas. I, i. 116.
  • 45. CJ, i. 514a, 518a, 523a, 544a, 551a, 582b.
  • 46. CD 1621, ii. 182, 235; iv. 86; v. 48; vi. 69.
  • 47. CD 1621, vi. 253.
  • 48. CJ, i. 567b.
  • 49. Ibid. 554a, 556b; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 187.
  • 50. CJ, i. 586b, 592b.
  • 51. Ibid. 610a, 614b.
  • 52. Ibid. 637b.
  • 53. HMC 4th Rep. 299; Her. and Gen. iv. 119-20.
  • 54. CJ, i. 776b; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 181.
  • 55. Hants RO, W/B1/4, f. 39v.
  • 56. Procs. 1626, ii. 7, 186; Kyle, 232.
  • 57. Procs. 1626, ii. 139, 321, 323; iii. 140, 146; iv. 214.
  • 58. Ibid. ii. 430.
  • 59. Procs. 1628, vi. 166.
  • 60. CD 1628, ii. 29; iii. 44, 336.
  • 61. Ibid. iv. 319, 324.
  • 62. CJ, i. 928a.
  • 63. C66/2410; CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 233, 238, 243-4, 246; 1629-31, p. 259.
  • 64. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 389.
  • 65. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 512; 1637, p. 278; 1635-6, p. 547; 1637, pp. 118-20, 172, 345, 465, 478, 551, 570; 1637-8, pp. 7, 38, 79, 193; CSP Dom. Addenda, 1625-49, pp. 558, 560.
  • 66. VCH Hants, iii. 337; SP16/180/17; CSP Dom. 1639-40, pp. 175, 231.
  • 67. Winchester Cathedral Docs. ed. W.R.W. Stephens and F.T. Madge (Hants Rec. Soc. xii), 53; CCC, 105, 2531-2; G.N. Godwin, Civil War in Hants, 4, 46.
  • 68. Her. and Gen. iv. 64.