Sir Richard BULKELEY of Beaumaris and Anglesey, Knight
Born: ABT 1515, Baron Hill, Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales
Died: 7 Sep 1572
Father: Richard BULKELEY of Beaumaris
Mother: Catherine GRIFFITH
Married 1: Margaret SAVAGE
1. Richard BULKELEY of Beaumaris (See his Biography)
2. John BULKELEY
3. Thomas BULKELEY
4. Rowland BULKELEY
5. Charles BULKELEY
6. Jane BULKELEY
7. Daniel BULKELEY
8. Margaret BULKELEY
Married 2: Agnes NEEDHAM
(b. 1546 - d. Jan 1623) (dau. of Thomas Needham of Cranage
and Anne Talbot)
(dau. of Thomas Needham of Cranage and Anne Talbot)
9. Elizabeth BULKELEY
10. Mary BULKELEY
11. Arthur BULKELEY
12. Tristam BULKELEY
13. George BULKELEY
14. Edward BULKELEY
15. Lancelot BULKELEY of Dublin
16. Grissel BULKEKEY
17. Agnes BULKEKEY
18. Phoebe BULKEKEY
The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.
Born by 1524, first son of Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris by Catherine, dau. of Sir William Gruffydd of Penrhyn, Caern.; bro. of Rowland (d. 1592). Married first Margaret, dau. of Sir John Savage of Clifton; and second, Agnes, dau. of Thomas Needham of Shenton, Salop, and Cranage, Cheshire and Anne Talbot. Suc. family Jan 1547. Kntd. Oct 1547. Sheriff, Anglesey 1547, 1551-2, 1560-1, 1569-70, Caern. 1549-50, 1557-8; j.p. Anglesey from 1555, custos rot. from 1559 and j.p.q. by 1564; v.-adm. N. Wales by 1551; commr. collection of relief, Anglesey and Caern. 1550, for church goods, Anglesey 1553; dep. constable, Beaumaris castle by 1548-61, capital burgess, Beaumaris 1562; commr. defences of Anglesey 1569, musters, Cheshire 1570.
The heir to extensive estates in Anglesey, Caernarvonshire and Cheshire, Bulkeley increased his family's standing in Anglesey and was instrumental in obtaining a charter of incorporation for Beaumaris in 1562. At the 1570 musters his was the highest assessment in the island. He represented the county in Parliament on four occasions, and in 1571 he was a member of the committee on navigation (8 May).
Although the family had profited from the dissolution of the monasteries, and a relative was the first protestant Bishop of Bangor, a Catholic claim of 1574 that ‘all the Bulkeleys are Catholic’ is supported by Sir Richard's connexions. One of his aunts, Catherine, was the last Abbess of Godstow, and another married Sir William Norreys of Speke. Bulkeley was taken ill early in 1572, and died 7 Sep.
Early in 1572, Sir Richard was taken ill. When he died later that year, his oldest son, another Richard took charge of the household. Apparently Richard and his stepmother Agnes had long been at odds as had her children and Richard and his siblings. Things came to a head over a rivalry for the hand in marriage of a wealthy local heiress, Jane Coeden. Richard instructed his younger brother John to propose to Jane, but at Agnes’s urging, Richard’s half brother, Arthur, had already proposed and been accepted. It was at this point that Richard accused his stepmother of poisoning her husband. Poison was found in a chest in her room, under a pair of velvet slippers. At the trial, Agnes seems also to have been accused of committing adultery with William Kendrick or Kenericke, “a young gallant” who ‘did use to walk under the said Agnes her window in the night time, play upon an instrument and make love to her when Sir Richard was from home in the Parliament’. One source says that a Beaumaris jury acquitted her of murder. Another says that litigation dragged out for three full years before the charges were dropped. Arthur Bulkeley married Jane Coeden. Agnes married Lawrence Cranage, Esquire, as his second wife. Cranage had a son by his first wife who was a London grocer and a daughter, Dorothy, by Agnes. Cranage predeceased his second wife. Agnes’s will was made on 12 Mar 1622 and proved 14 Mar 1623 in Canterbury. She was buried, at her request, in Holmes Chapel in Chester on 24 Jan 1623.
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