SACKVILLE, Richard I (by 1501-45/46), of Westhampnett, Suss.
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Family and Education
Lent reader, G. Inn 1529.
Commr. subsidy, Suss. 1523, 1524; j.p. 1524-d.; steward, Arundel college, Arundel, Suss. by 1524-d.; high steward, Arundel castle 1536; steward, Suss. lands of William Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel 1536.2
Richard Sackville was a lawyer. As a young man he assisted his father in estate management and county affairs, while his elder brother resided on the family estates in Essex. In 1522 he became an ‘ancient’ of Gray’s Inn and two years later he was named to the Sussex bench, on which he remained active until his death. He was closely associated with Thomas and William Fitzalan, 10th and 11th Earls of Arundel, from whom he received a succession of offices in their gift. His origin and connexions made him a natural choice for a seat in Parliament, and his election in 1529 was probably not his first, although the loss of names for preceding Parliaments leaves this in doubt. His return in 1529 may have been encouraged from another quarter, for through his brother’s marriage he was related to the Boleyns. He probably sat for Arundel again in the next Parliament, in June 1536, when the King asked for the return of the previous Members, and may have continued to do so in succeeding ones for which the names of the Members are lost. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings of the House.3
In 1529 Sackville’s fellow-Member was another Fitzalan client, Thomas Prestall, with whom he was soon on bad terms. Early in the life of the Parliament he took Prestall to court in an attempt to break a lease of 600 acres of land which Prestall held from Arundel college. The master and fellows had made a lease to Sackville on the understanding that he would invalidate Prestall’s interest in the property. This he failed to do, and it was perhaps in an attempt to recoup his costs that he sold the valueless lease to Thomas Devenish, from whom it passed to a John Ledes who in 1549 was still seeking to establish its validity. In 1537 Sackville had lost a dispute with Devenish over property at Westhampnett which was leased from the Earl of Arundel and which may have been part of Devenish’s payment to him for the disputed college lease.4
Sackville was gradually eclipsed in local affairs by his more eminent nephew and namesake from whom he is not easy to distinguish in that context after 1540. He was still alive at the beginning of April 1545, but within a year he had been replaced as the 12th Earl of Arundel’s steward by Thomas Carpenter. Sackville was buried at Westhampnett, where a monument was erected to his memory. His widow married John Ledes, and it may have been at her instigation that Ledes took up the matter of the college lease against Prestall. Sackville died intestate and it was not until 1587 that administration of his goods was granted to Henry Shelley of Warminghurst, who had married his only child Elizabeth.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: R. J.W. Swales
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Comber, Suss. Genealogies (Lewes), 286; D.G.C. Elwes, Castles and Manors of W. Suss. 110.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, iii-v; C1/1291/1.
- 3. G. Inn Pension Bk. 498; LP Hen. VIII, xiii; C1/1292/1; E315/101, f. 55v.
- 4. Req.2/17/65.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, ix-xix; Chichester corp., Recs. Three city cts. 1491-1537, ff. 41v-47v; L. Fleming, Pagham and Suss., 415; Comber, 286; Nairn and Pevsner, Suss. 373; W. Suss. RO, admins. B45v.