Richard TEMPEST (Sir)

Born: ABT 1480

Died: 25 Aug 1537, Fleet Prison, London, England

Father: Nicholas TEMPEST of Bracewell

Mother: Cecily (Margaret) PILKINGTON

Married: Rosamund BOWLING (d. 1 Feb 1554) (dau. of Tristram Bowling of Bowling and Beatrice Calverley) 13 Jul 1497


1. Thomas TEMPEST (Sheriff of Yorkshire) (m. Margaret Tempest)

2. John TEMPEST (Sir) (m. Anne Lenthall)

3. Nicholas TEMPEST (m.1 Isabel Keighley - m.2 Beatrice Bradford)

4. Tristram TEMPEST (m. Alice Methley)

5. Henry TEMPEST (m. Helen Mirfield)

6. Elizabeth TEMPEST (m. Sir Peter Frescheville of Staveley, sheriff of Derbyshire)

7. Jane TEMPEST (m. Sir Thomas Waterton)

8. Anne TEMPEST (m. John Lacy of Cromwell Bottom)

9. Beatrice TEMPEST (b. 1510) (m. William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe)

10. Christopher TEMPEST

11. George TEMPEST

12. Robert TEMPEST

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

First son of Nicholas Tempest of Bracewell by Cecily or Margaret, dau. of Sir John Pilkington of Pilkington, Lancs. and Sowerby, Yorks. Married, settlement 13 Jul 1497, Rosamund (d. 1 Feb 1554), dau. and h. of Tristram Bolling of Bowling (d. 30 May 1502) and his wife Beatrice, daughter of Walter Calverley and his wife Elizabeth Markenfield, at least 5s. 1da. suc. fa. 1483, uncle 1 Jul 1507. Kntd. 25 Sep 1513.

Steward, duchy of Lancaster, Bradford 1505-?d., Blackburn hundred 1511-d., Rochdale in 1527, Barnoldswick by 1537, master forester, Bowland by 1526-d., keeper, Quernmore park in 1527; esquire of the body by 1509, knight by 1521; j.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1511-21, Yorks. 1530, (E. Riding) 1532, 1536, (N. Riding) 1536; commr. musters, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1511, 1512, subsidy Yorks. 1512, 1514, 1515, (W. Riding) 1524, for redress of outrages, west marches 1531; other commissions 1530-5; feodary, Yorks. 1514; sheriff 1516-17; receiver, 3rd Earl of Derby’s lands in Lancs. in 1523; steward, Wakefield and constable, Sandall castle by 1530.

Richard Tempest’s father was a younger son in a leading Yorkshire family who were tenants and kinsmen of the great baronial house of Clifford. On his father’s death Tempest was probably entrusted to the guardianship of his uncle Sir Thomas Tempest who arranged his marriage to an heiress and bequeathed him the family seat at Bracewell, where Richard Tempest is said to have built a new house. It may have been to another relative, Thomas Lord Darcy of Temple Hurst, that he owed his advancement in the service of the crown and at court: Tempest was later to say that he would take Darcy’s part against any lord in England. He received his first office, a duchy of Lancaster stewardship, as early as 1505, attended the funeral of Henry VII as an esquire of the body.

Richard was one of the 13 gentlemen, amongst whom were Thomas Howard, Thomas Boleyn, Charles Brandon, etc. signed the reply challenge, at Westminster, for the tourney in honor of the birth of the new prince, Henry, Duke of Cornwall on 12 Feb 1511 at England

Henry Pudsey of Bolton, the elder, accused one of Richard Tempest's servants, of having on Ash Wednesday, 11 Apr 1512, slain Robert Sothron, under keeper of the king's woods at Barnoldswick, Tempest denied the charge and states he farms the Wapentake of Staincliffe and pays for it 20 marks yearly. Henry Pudsey also challenged Richard Tempest's right to a farmhold in Barnoldswick; in his defence Richard states he is "present daily in Westminster Hall", and that he inherited the farm from his uncle Sir Thomas Tempest which his "Auncesters occupied before him" on 22 Apr 1512 at Barnoldswick, Lancashire, England.

Apparently fought in the French campaign of 1513 and was knighted at Tournai (although according to some accounts he had also fought at Flodden earlier in the same month), and seven years later attended the Field of the Cloth of Gold, where he was one of three knights charged with scouting the countryside in the interests of security; he was also present at the meeting of Henry VIII and the Emperor at Gravelines. In 1527 the Duke of Richmond expressed his gratification with Tempest as one ‘at all times ... ready to do unto me all the pleasure he can’. Less satisfactory were his constant feuds and quarrels with his neighbours: in 1523, when he was serving against the Scots, the Earl of Surrey tried to reconcile him with Sir Henry Savile, and in Nov 1530 at Cawood the fallen Wolsey made a similar attempt to make peace between Tempest and Brian Hastings, ‘between whom was like to ensue great murder’.

In Oct 1522, he was at Berwick with Thomas Manners, Lord Roos, the warden of the East and Middle Marches, and Sir William Paston, Sir Ralph Ellerker, Sir William Evers, and Arthur Darcy. In Nov 1522, Lord Mounteagle, the uncle and guardian of Edward Stanley, earl of Derby, consented to abide arbitration in the matters of variance between himself and Sir Richard Tempest as the king's feodary and paid to him the moneys due to the king in 1522.

Tempest evidently owed his return to the Parliament of 1529 to Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons but he may have taken advantage of his presence there to commend himself to Thomas Cromwell: in Jun 1532 he thanked the minister for being good to his son-in-law Thomas Waterton, and among the matters on which they corresponded was Tempest’s continuing feud with Sir Henry Savile, which in 1534 reached such a pitch that both men risked removal from the Yorkshire bench. His involvement in border warfare caused Tempest to miss at least the beginning of the fifth session (1533) of the Parliament, and on 3 Nov 1534, the day the seventh session opened, he was still at Bowling. He was probably returned for Appleby again in 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, but the ‘Mr. Tempest’ whose name appears with three others on the dorse of an Act concerning expiring laws which was passed by this Parliament is likely to have been his kinsman Sir Thomas Tempest, a lawyer and servant of the crown.

Richard was on the borders with Thomas Percy of Northumberland, who writes that he, with Sir Richard TempestHenry Clifford and Thomas Darcy have consulted with Thomas Stewart, 2nd Earl of Angus, who they find is true to the king and James V of Scotland writes to Henry VIII on Nov 20 calling Sir Richard Tempest, Darcy and Evers to testify to his good intentions on 7 Oct 1532.

Richard is mentioned by Henry Percy, 6th earl of Northumberland, who wrote to Henry VIII announcing a most successful raid into Scotland, having sent two "forays" on 12 Dec, who destroyed the towns of Aldhamstokes, Cobbirsbeth etc:, and that he had sent Sir Richard Tempest with his retinue of 500 "being so near unto my battle that his strength did lie unto the said fleying stale and me", for the relief of Sir Arthur Darcy's "fleying stale" or Column, and the Earl desires Sir Richard may have the king's thanks.

On Monday 23 Dec, he accompanied Northumberland and laid siege to a "pele called Cawe Mylls" within the Scotch borders outside Berwickshire, which after long defence, was taken and early in Jan 1532/3 he was ordered to make further raid on the borders.

In Feb 1533 he was still in the North, having charge of a noted rebel named Dande Carr of Gradon, at Norham and on Sunday 14 Feb he was at Etall expecting an attack from the Scots, while Sir George Lawson urges Cromwell that Sir Richard Tempest should be sent for by the king "as he can explain everything" relating to the difficulties on the borders in Dec 1532.

Joined his son-in-law, Thomas Waterton of Walton Sandal, in obtaining the wardship and marriage of Edward Percy of Beverley (b. 1524 – d. 1595), son and heir of Joscelyn Percy, and married him to Waterton's daughter Elizabeth in 1533.

Richard was at York in Apr, when he along with Sir William Gascoigne and Sir Robert Neville examined various Rothwell inhabitants who, in spite of a decree made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, threatened to pull down the gates and fences of Rothwell park set up by Lord Thomas Darcy in Apr 1533.

On the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 Tempest offered to join Thomas, Lord Darcy at Pontefract against the rebels, but Darcy (who was to be executed for his behaviour in the crisis) told him to stay at Wakefield. When Tempest did come to Pontefract it was to join the rebellious commons and in Nov he was among their captains at York. He was to be described as ‘neither good first nor last’ and was certainly less committed than his younger brother Nicholas, but his failure to rally to the crown contrasted ill with the vigour he had shown in the previous year when faced with a smaller insurrection in Craven.

The Pilgrims hoped to have gained Richard for their side, Stapleton stating it was proposed to offer him the Command of the Middle ward.

In Jan 1536-7, Lord Darcy wrote praising Sir Richard Tempest's work in "staying the Commons from fresh commotions" in the West Riding Yorkshire.

In Feb 1536/7, Sir Richard delivered Cromwells letter to the abbot of Salley and compelled him to surrender the Abbey for Sir Arthur Darcy. In Mar, Robert Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex and Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby wrote to the Duke of Norfolk that Sir Richard is suspected of siding with the Commons, but as far as they could gather, "he was neither good first, nor last, & might, if he would, have stayed his brother Nicholas from" going into Lancashire. He certainly less committed than his younger brother Nicholas.

But his failure to rally to the crown contrasted ill with the vigour he had shown in the previous year when faced with a smaller insurrection in Craven.

Nicholas Tempest was executed on 25 May 1537 and a week later Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, thanked Cromwell for advising him of Henry VIII’s suspicion of Sir Richard Tempest and John Neville, 3rd Lord Latimer. Summoned to court to answer the charges brought against him, Tempest was imprisoned in the Fleet. His plea to Cromwell to be released on bail for fear of infection was not entertained but was evidently justified, for he died on 25 Aug 1537. He had made a will on 6 Jan 1536, presumably before setting out to attend the last session of the Parliament of 1529, and had then asked to be buried in Bradford church if he died in the parish. According to John Gostwick he willed before his death that his heart should be taken north and buried in the place he had prepared for himself and his wife, whom he had appointed executrix. Tempest’s heir was his son Sir Thomas, then 40 years of age, and the will was proved on 29 Jan 1538.

Sir Thomas, a sheriff of Yorkshire, married Margaret, daughter of his great-uncle Sir Thomas Tempest (d. 1507) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Bosvile of Chevet, and died in 1545 without children. his heir was his younger brother Sir John, also a sheriff of Yorkshire, who married Anne, widow of Sir Thomas Tempest and of George Smith and daughter of William Lenthall, and died in 1565 without children. The third son of Sir Richard, Nicholas, inherited Bracewell after the deaths of his two elder brothers, married first Isabel, daughter of Henry Keighley of Inskip and secondly Beatrice, daughter of John Bradford of Heath, and had two sons Richard and Robert.


Davidson, Alan: TEMPEST, Sir Richard (c.1480-1537), of Bracewell and Bowling, Yorks.

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