TEMPEST, Richard (1534-83), of Bowling and Bracewell, Yorks.

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



Family and Education

b. 1534, 1st s. of Nicholas Tempest of Bracewell by his 1st w. Beatrice, da. and h. of John Bradford of Heath, nr. Wakefield. m. (1) by 1567, Helen or Eleanor, da. of John, 8th Lord Scrope, s.p.; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Wentworth of Elmsall, s.p. suc. fa. 1571.1

Offices Held

J.p.q. Yorks. (W. Riding) from c.1577.


There were several branches of the Tempest family in Elizabethan Yorkshire. Richard was a popular christian name among them, and Richard of Bowling had at least two cousins and namesakes living in 1572—Richard of Tong, son of Henry Tempest of Tong by Ellen Mirfield, and Richard of Thornton Hall in Bradford Dale. It is easy to confuse the careers of the three, but the parliamentary return is explicit that the Aldborough Member was of Bowling. His sole known contribution to the business of the House is his asking (27 June 1572) for privilege for a servant who had been arrested. He presumably owed his nomination to his local connexions. He came of an old-established family in the West Riding, and was a considerable landowner, described on a list of 1572 as one of the principal protestant gentry in Yorkshire. His brother-in-law, Henry, Lord Scrope, was warden of the west march and a member of the council in the north, and the Tempests were also connected by marriage with Sir Thomas Gargrave and with other leading Yorkshire families.2

The absence of Tempest’s name from more than a few lists of Yorkshire officials is probably accounted for by the short time that he was the head of his family, dying in 1583 when still under 50. Most of the references found to him are connected with conveyances. Since he had no children, he may have felt less need to keep his property intact, but the multiplicity of sales and re-sales, many of them involving the Savile family, probably covers a number of marriage settlements or agreements under the Statute of Uses. As usual, these elaborate arrangements led to a good deal of litigation. In his will, dated February and proved in September 1583, Tempest asked his widow, the sole executrix, to arrange for his burial in Bradford church near his ancestors. She was to have most of the non-entailed property, except for the lease of a farm in Waddington, reserved for John Banister (the son of Tempest’s sister), described in the will as ‘my man and cousin’. The ‘household stuff’ at Bracewell was bequeathed to the testator’s brother and heir Robert. Among lands descending to the executrix was a new ‘intake of the common’ near Wilsden. The supervisors of the will were her father, and Thomas Wentworth of Woodhouse, styled ‘my friend and cousin, now sheriff of York[shire]’. The widow married as her second husband John Savile I.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. R. Glover, Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 319, 357; Surtees Soc. cvi. 60 n; Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. ser. ii), 342; C142/156/51.
  • 2. J. J. Cartwright, Chapters in Yorks. Hist. 68; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl., f. 67.
  • 3. Yorks. Fines, passim; Ducatus Lanc. iii. 232, 249, 307; iv. 37, 42, 50; CPR, 1569-72, p. 353; Cartwright, 83; York prob. reg. 22/447; Foss. Judges, vi. 187.