BIRKHEVED, Richard, of Manley, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
Illegit. s. of John Birkheved, recorder of Chester 1548-51. m. Margaret, da. of Peter Leycester of Tabley.1
J.p. Cheshire from 1573; recorder, Chester c.1575-1601.
No record has been found of Birkheved’s attendance at an inn of court, though his recordership suggests that he had some legal training. Several members of his family held legal office in Chester during the sixteenth century, and Birkheved was recorder for over 25 years. In 1586 when he and Peter Warburton were the city’s MPs they were commissioned to obtain certain suits. One of these, concerned with the levying of fines for assurances of lands, was evidently expected to be profitable: before the 1589 Parliament, to which the same two Members were returned, a rate of £100 was raised in Chester for the furtherance of the project in London. Through his marriage Birkheved was connected with several landed families in Cheshire, including the Leycesters and the Holfords, and he was of sufficient social standing to be included in the county commission of the peace: at the 1587 purge of justices he was described as ‘of good religion and discretion, but defective in the rate of the subsidy’, for which he was assessed on £6 in lands. He retired from the recordership in 1601 because of ill health. No date of death, and no will or inquisition post mortem has been found.2