BUNNY, Richard I (by 1525-84), of Bunny Hall, Wakefield and of Newland and Normanton, 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. by 1525, 1st s. of Richard Bunny of Bunny Hall by Rose, da. of Sir John Topcliffe. educ. G. Inn 1539, m. 1538, Bridget, da. of Edward Restwold of The Vache, Bucks., 3s. inc. Richard Bunny II. suc. fa. 1535.2

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1554, q. from 1573; sewer of the chamber by 1546; receiver of augmentations, Richmond and bpric. of Durham 1546-50; treasurer of Berwick 1550-4, of northern garrisons 1550-4.3


After a period of exile under Queen Mary, due not to his religious views (which were protestant) but to the discovery of his peculation and forgery while treasurer of Berwick (charges he denied some 30 years later), Bunny came into Elizabeth’s first Parliament for a duchy of Lancaster borough, no doubt through the influence of the chancellor Sir Ambrose Cave. Bunny was farmer of the duchy manors of Altofts and Warmfield, which had been leased to him by Edward VI. He claimed that the jurisdiction of the courts leet and of the duchy chamber would have been lost by the incursions of John Freaston and Sir Martin Frobisher if he had not spent £200 to frustrate them. The Privy Council ordered the president of the north and the chancellor of the duchy to ‘examine the matter and take order agreeable to law and justice and the maintenance of the Queen’s rights’. No doubt Bunny’s interest was in the timber and coal mines of these manors.4

In 1571 Bunny brought a suit before the ecclesiastical commissioners at York against one Charles Jackson who had erected a pew in the choir of Normanton church. Bunny claimed that only he, as lord of the manor of Newlands, was entitled to a seat in the choir and that Jackson’s proper place was in the nave. Bunny died at Bolton Percy, where his son Edmund was rector, on 30 Apr. 1584 and was buried at Normanton. His will was proved at York 3 Aug. 1584. Bunny left Edmund plate, explaining that he had ‘put away’ his lands ‘from my son Edmund ... not from any displeasure conceived against him’ but only ‘to rid me out of trouble and wrongful molestation’ and ‘I heartily repent of that which I have done therein’.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Genealogist n.s. x. 42-3; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. iii. 8-15; C142/57/90.
  • 3. CPR, 1549-51, p. 178; 1553-4 p. 26; 1558-60, p. 194; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Egerton 2345 f. 13.
  • 4. C. H. Garret, Marian Exiles, 99-100; Wood, Ath. Ox. ed. Bliss, ii. 223-4; DL1/54/6B, 106/1A, 110/12, 116/18B; APC, xi. 86, 136.
  • 5. Yorks. Arch. Jnl. iii. 16; xxxvii. 185-7; York wills 22, f. 551.