BELLINGHAM, Richard II (c.1592-1672), of Manton and Boston, Lincs.; later of Boston, Mass.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

b. c.1592, o.s. of William Bellingham of Manton and Frances, da. of Alexander Amcotts of Aisthorpe, Lincs.1 educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1609, aged 17; L. Inn 1612.2 m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of Samuel Backhouse* of Swallowfield, Berks., 1s., at least 2 other ch. d.v.p.;3 (2) 1641, Penelope (d. 28 May 1702), da. of Herbert Pelham of Swineshead, Lincs., at least 2s., 2da.4 suc. fa. 1620.5 d. 7 Dec. 1672.6

Offices Held

Recorder and freeman, Boston 1625-33;7 commr. sewers, Lincs. (Holland) 1626, Lincs. and Notts. 1629-31;8 j.p. Lincs. (Holland) 1628-34;9 judge of Admlty. Boston by 1633-4;10 dep. gov. Massachusetts, 1635, 1640, 1653, 1655-65, asst. 1636-40, 1642-53, treas. 1637-40, gov. 1641, 1654, 1665-d.11

Member, Massachusetts Bay Co. 1628.12


Bellingham’s family had been settled at Manton since the late fifteenth century. Bellingham himself, a staunch puritan, succeeded Anthony Irby* as recorder of Boston in 1625; he was described in the corporation minutes as ‘learned in the law’, although it does not appear that he was ever called to the bar. He was elected to the third Caroline Parliament in 1628, but left no trace on its records.13 One of the original patentees of the Massachusetts Bay Company, Bellingham emigrated in 1634, together with the inspirational vicar of Boston, John Cotton, and other prominent puritans from the surrounding area. His decision to leave was taken primarily for reasons of religion, but he may also have been spurred on by losing a trespass suit in which he had to pay £800 damages to the 2nd Lord Brooke (Robert Greville*) for infringement of pasture and fishery rights on his Lincolnshire property.14

Bellingham became politically active in Massachusetts soon after his arrival. His second marriage became a cause célèbre when he performed the ceremony himself.15 Having served many terms as deputy-governor and governor, he died in office on 7 Dec. 1672. His will, which provided for the eventual reversion of his estate to the clergy, was the subject of litigation for over 100 years.16

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Paula Watson / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 117-18.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; LI Admiss.
  • 3. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 118.
  • 4. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lii), 767-8.
  • 5. C142/784/27.
  • 6. Dict. Amer. Biog.
  • 7. Boston Corp. Mins. ed. J.F. Bailey, ii. 485, 488-9, 668.
  • 8. C181/3, f. 199; 181/4, ff. 17, 31, 85, 94v.
  • 9. C231/4, f. 239; SP16/212, f. 38v.
  • 10. CSP Dom. 1633-4, p. 136.
  • 11. Dict. Amer. Biog.
  • 12. N.B. Shurtleff, Recs. Massachusetts Bay Co. i. 7.
  • 13. CD 1628, iii. 326.
  • 14. C66/2460; Add. 37112, f. 31.
  • 15. CCSP, v. 367, 488.
  • 16. Dict. Amer. Biog.