BELLINGHAM, Richard I (c.1574-1610), of Haling House, nr. Croydon, Surr. and Whitefriars, London

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



1604 - July 1610

Family and Education

b. c.1574,1 2nd s. of Richard Bellingham (d.1592) of Hangleton, Suss. and Mary, da. of Richard Whalley† of Kirton, Notts. unm.2 bur. 9 July 1610.3

Offices Held

Sec. to Charles Howard†, 1st earl of Nottingham by 1602-d.4


Bellingham came of a cadet branch of the Westmorland family which had migrated to Sussex in the fifteenth century and produced a Member for Gatton in 1545.5 At least one kinsman was an Elizabethan naval officer, and may have helped Bellingham to enter the service of lord admiral Nottingham.6 In September 1603 he led a group of Nottingham’s men who took temporary possession of Donnington Castle, in Berkshire, from Lady Elizabeth Russell, the widow of Lord Russell (John Russell†). Lady Russell subsequently accused him of directing ‘saucy taunts’ against her.7

Bellingham presumably owed his election for Bletchingley in 1604 to Nottingham, who had recently settled the manor on his eldest son, William, Lord Howard of Effingham (Sir William Howard†).8 Throughout the Parliament he spoke only once, during the first session, in the debate following the attempt of the lieutenant of the Tower (Sir George Hervey*) to justify his failure to imprison in the dungeon known as Little Ease the warden of the Fleet, who had been committed to his custody for breach of Sir Thomas Shirley I’s* parliamentary privilege. Bellingham successfully moved that, as Hervey had spoken softly, the Speaker should ‘open’ his words to the House.9 On 30 May he received his only committee nomination of the session, to consider a bill for the preservation of game.10

In the second session he was named to two committees concerning the payment of debts, the first on 20 Mar.1606 and the second, specifically for the avoidance of double payment of debts recorded in shop books, on 18 Apr. 1606.11 In addition he was appointed to the committee to consider a bill to repeal statutes for the regulation of wine prices on 8 Apr. 1606. This measure was probably of interest to his patrons, as Nottingham and Lord Howard of Effingham held a patent for licensing retailers and fixing prices, which was voted a grievance by the Commons the following day.12 In May 1606, towards the end of the session, Lady Russell brought the Donnington incident before Star Chamber, accusing Bellingham of making an affray. Apparently he did not claim privilege, and judgment was given for the defence in November 1606.13

In the third session Bellingham was again appointed to consider the bill for the better satisfying of due debts (26 Feb. 1607).14 According to Sir Robert Cotton* he was also granted privilege on 13 May 1607, but the Journal states that the Member in question was Francis Bullingham.15 In an Admiralty case heard in 1609, Bellingham denied taking bribes when acting for Nottingham in the sale of prize goods to Arthur Ingram* and Lionel Cranfield*, and also denied that the goods were under-valued.16

In the fourth session Bellingham was appointed to the committee to consider a successful bill concerning the management of funds bequeathed for apprenticing poor children (27 March).17 However, on 13 July Dudley Carleton reported that he was one of three Members who had recently died of the plague.18 His detailed and unemotional will of 4 July 1610, proved seven days later, was mostly concerned with his financial affairs. He had an interest in a patent of old debts to the Crown, shared with Thomas Warre* among others, and had dealings with Sir Thomas Shirley I. He left his fifth part of a house in Whitefriars to his younger brother, and the remainder of his estate, including a horse at the house of William, Lord Howard of Effingham in Bletchingley, to his elder brother Sir Edward Bellingham. In a codicil he gave £20 for distribution to the poor ‘to the masters of the parish of St. Dunstan in the West wherein I now lie’; he was buried there on 9 July, having died in the house of Thomas Addeson, saddler, who had witnessed the will.19 There is no evidence that Bellingham ever married or had children.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. HCA 13/40, f. 190.
  • 2. Suss. Gens.: Lewes Cent. comp. J. Comber, 12.
  • 3. GL, ms St. Dunstan in the West par. reg.
  • 4. PROB 11/100, f. 77; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, i. 124.
  • 5. HP Commons, 1509-58, i. 414.
  • 6. APC, 1589-90, p. 279.
  • 7. PROB 11/116, f. 128; J. Hawarde, Les Reportes del Cases in Camera Stellata ed. W.P. Baildon, 272; HMC Hatfield, xviii. 437.
  • 8. VCH Surr. iv. 257.
  • 9. CJ, i. 209a-b, 971b.
  • 10. Ibid. 982b. His name is omitted from the list on 228b-9a.
  • 11. Ibid. 287b, 300a.
  • 12. Ibid. 295a; Bowyer Diary, 110.
  • 13. Hawarde, 261, 309.
  • 14. CJ, i. 343a.
  • 15. CD 1604-7, p. 114; CJ, i. 373b.
  • 16. HCA 13/40, ff. 196-7.
  • 17. CJ, i. 415a.
  • 18. T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, i. 124.
  • 19. PROB 11/116, f. 128.