LONG, Sir Richard (by 1494-1546), of Southwark, Surr. and Shingay, Cambs.

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. by 1494, 3rd s. of Sir Thomas Long of Draycot Cerne, and bro. of Sir Henry. m. settlement 10 Nov. 1541, Margaret, da. of John Donington of Stoke Newington, Mdx., wid. of Sir Thomas Kitson (d. 11 Sept. 1540) of London and Hengrave, Suff., 1s. 3da. Kntd. 18 Oct. 1537.2

Offices Held

King’s spear, Calais 1515; esquire of the stable 1533; keeper, Eltham park 1534, Southwark palace and Paris garden 1536, St. Thomas’s hospital Southwark 1538, Otford and Knole, Kent 1542; gent. usher 1535 gent. privy chamber 1536; master of the buckhounds and hawks 1538; j .p. Surr. 1538-43, Calais 1541, Yorks. 1542-3; steward of the Household 1540; capt. Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks. 27 Feb. 1542, Alderney, Guernsey, and Sark 1541-Mar. 1545; member council in the north 1542; commr. benevolence Surr. 1544/45, Kent 1546, array, Kent 1545, chantries Kent, Canterbury, Rochester 1546.3


Richard Long must be distinguished from a namesake who was admitted to the Mercers’ Company in 1502 and who died on 12 Jan. 1552. As a younger son Long received but a minor, albeit substantial, part of his father’s possessions, inheriting a half-share in all the land purchased by Sir Thomas, and 300 sheep. While his brother Robert was trained as a lawyer, Long followed a military career; his name appears among the ‘great retinue’ at Calais in 1513 and two years later as a spear there. Until the King’s visit to Francis I in 1532 when Long evidently came to the attention of Cromwell, he appears to have remained at Calais without any advancement; shortly afterwards his eldest brother thanked Cromwell for his favour to Long. He retained his post in the pale for several years more, but under Cromwell’s aegis he became established in the royal household and attended the principal state occasions. When Cromwell fell, Long did not share his disgrace but continued to rise in the King’s esteem. Long’s kinsmanship with the Seymours probably stood him in good stead during the last decade of his life; his later military appointments were probably supported by the Earl of Hertford with whom he was on good terms, and in the performance of his duties he had to co-operate with many of Hertford’s most intimate associates. In 1537 Long had been one of the canopy-bearers at the christening of Prince Edward and three days later he had been knighted with, amongst others, Sir Thomas Seymour II.4

As keeper of the recently acquired royal palace in Southwark, Long was in 1536 petitioned together with Robert Actonagainst numerous alleged abuses by the members of St. Thomas’s hospital. It was presumably this office which gave the pretext for Long’s nomination as a Member for the borough three years later. Early in the Parliament Long and his ‘cousin’ Sir Thomas Seymour obtained an Act assuring certain lands to them (31 Hen. VIII, no. 24). Apparently Long took his obligation to his constituents seriously for on 12 May 1540 during the third session he and Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, went before Sir Richard Rich, the chancellor of augmentations, and were bound in a recognizance for 50 marks so that the parishioners of Southwark could buy the church of St. Mary Overy. Long subsequently defended Southwark against the efforts of the city of London to assert its rights in the borough. In 1538 Long’s growing affinity with Henry VIII had been implicit in a letter written by Thomas, 9th Lord la Warr, asking him to use his influence with the King to have certain poachers questioned before the Privy Council. Several months after Cromwell’s execution he was chosen to order affairs in Calais, being described on the occasion by Marillac as a person ‘of authority and bearing’.5

Long invested his considerable profits as a royal official in property which at his death was found to be worth £510 a year in Cambridgeshire alone. He served with a large company in France in 1544, but in November he was so seriously ill, perhaps as the result of an injury received during the campaign, that Sir William Paget wrote to Secretary Petre about the devolution of his numerous offices. Long recovered but his continuing poor health forced him to resign his command in the Channel Islands. He was present at the reception of the French ambassador in 1546, but was a sick man when he made his will on 27 Sept. of that year, dying three days later. He appointed his wife his sole executrix, stating that he had settled on her one third of his possessions. His heir was his son Henry (then aged two years and nine months) who became a royal ward and to whom he left his disposable land in tail. Long begged in his will that the King would be content with the land set aside for the maintenance of his heir since he had been obliged to sell so much to raise money for service in the war in France. In 1548 Long’s widow married John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: D. F. Coros / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2].
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first office. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 117; Surr. Arch. Colls. iv. 24-25; C142/74/11, 13; PCC 18 Alen.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i, ii, vii, ix, xii-xvii, xix-xxi.
  • 4. List of mercers (T/S Mercers’ Hall), 300; PCC 6 Bennett; LP Hen. VIII, i-xxi; C142/97/89.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xi, xiii-xvii; Survey London, xxii. 67n; Greater London RO, P92/SAV/463; D. J. Johnson, Southwark and the City, 106; Corresp. Politique de MM. de Castillon et de Marillac ed. Kaulek, 262; SP1/164, ff. 188 seq.; 165, ff. 9-16.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xiii-xxi; PCC 18 Alen; C142/74/11, 13, 106.