Sir Richard LONG

Born: ABT 1494

Died: 29 Sep 1546

Father: Thomas LONG of Draycot (Sir) (See his Biography)

Mother: Margery DARRELL

Married: Margaret DONNINGTON (C. Bath) (b. 1509 - d. 12 Jan 1561) (dau. of John Donnington and Elizabeth Pye) (w. of Thomas Kytson - m. 3 John Bourchier, 2 E. Bath) 1541


1. Jane LONG (b. ABT 1541)

2. Mary LONG (b. ABT 1543)

3. Catherine LONG (b. ABT 1546)

4. Henry LONG (b. 1542 - d. 15 Apr 1573) (m. Dorothy Clarke)

Politician and courtier, for many years a member of the privy chamber of Henry VIII.

Long was the third son of Sir Thomas Long of Draycot, Wiltshire landowner, and his wife, Margery (d. in or after 1508), daughter of Sir George Darrell of Littlecote House in Wiltshire. Brother of Sir Henry Long, Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Long was among the retinue of Sir Gilbert Talbot in 1512, who went as deputy to Calais, and by 1515 he was one of the spears of Calais, a post that he seems to have held for the rest of his life. How he came to be appointed to the court is not clear, but Long was listed by the Treasurer of the Chamber as working in the stables in Dec 1528, and certainly by 1533 he was an esquire of the stable. He had come to the attention of Cromwell by this time, who, with the exception in times of war, arranged for him to be non-resident in Calais. In 1532 Cromwell received a letter from Long's brother, Henry, to thank him for his favour to Richard. In 1535 Long was appointed to the privy chamber as Gentleman Usher, possibly through the influence of Cromwell. He quickly rose in prominence, gaining the favour of the King.

In 1537 he was knighted, on 15 Oct in the celebrations following the baptism of Prince Edward, in which he was one of the bearers of the canopy held over the infant in the baptismal procession, and the same day that his kinsman Edward Seymour was created earl of Hertford. In 1538 Long was appointed Master of the Buckhounds (an office in the Master of the Horse Department) and Master of the Hawks. By 1539, he was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and was present at the reception of Anne of Cleves, also in 1539. He was MP for Southwark the same year. Surviving the fall of his patron Cromwell, Long became a prominent servant of the government throughout the 1540s. He was one of the most senior members of the privy chamber during these years and his intimacy with the King made him a useful agent for secret and covert affairs.

Arriving in Jan 1541 at Calais to put its affairs in order, Long was described by the French ambassador, Charles de Marillac, bishop of Vienne, as a person of authority and conduct (LP Henry VIII, 16.466). On his return he was instructed to arrest Sir John Wallop, a diplomat suspected of colluding with Cardinal Pole. This was a sensitive mission, and its failure was blamed not on Long, but on his kinsman Hertford. Later that year he worked on various commissions and juries dealing with the treason of Catherine Howard.

Making use of Long's military experience, the government appointed him governor of Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark in 1541, a post that he held until retirement due to illness in 1545, and in 1542 he was appointed captain of Kingston upon Hull with power to levy forces whenever occasion required, and with a place on the king's council of the north.

In a letter written by Henry VIII, he referred to Long as 'our trusty & right well-beloved Councillor, Sir Richard Long, Knt'. In 1542 Long gave the King a gift of a pair of purple satin stockings 'embrauded all over with pirles of damask gold and damask silver', and the following year the King granted Long the manor of Shingay in Cambridgeshire.

On 10 Nov 1541 he obtained the marriage settlement of Margaret, only daughter of John Donington of Stoke Newington in Middlesex, and widow of Sir Thomas Kitson of Hengrave. They had one son, Henry, to whom the King stood as godfather in 1544, and three daughters. His granddaughter Elizabeth married William Russell, 1st Baron Russell of Thornhaugh.

He received large grants of Abbey lands from Henry VIII, in Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk and elsewhere, and together with his marriage, meant that like his fellow courtiers Welsbourne and Walsh, he was a rich man at his death on 30 Sep 1546. His widow married John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath, on 11 Dec 1548. She died on 20 Dec 1561 at Stoke Newington and was buried at Hengrave on 12 Jan 1562. Margarets monument in Hengrave Church is to herself and all three husbands.

For more information see: Long family of Wiltshire
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