Richard Empson
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Richard Empson (abt. 1450 - 1510)

Sir Richard "of Easton Neston" Empson
Born about in Easton, Northamptonshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Tower Hill, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Sep 2010
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Richard Empson was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.

Richard Empson, born about 1434, was the son of Peter Empson (d.1473) and Elizabeth Joseph. John Stow claimed that his father was a sieve maker, but there is no evidence of this. His father, Peter Empson, held property at Towcester and Easton Neston in Northamptonshire.

Early in the reign of Henry VII he became associated with Edmund Dudley in carrying out the King’s rigorous and arbitrary system of taxation, and in consequence he became very unpopular. Retaining the royal favour, however, he was knighted at the creation of the future Henry VIII as Prince of Wales on 18 February 1504, and was soon High Steward of the University of Cambridge, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, but his official career ended with Henry VII's death in April 1509.

Thrown into prison by order of the new King, Henry VIII, he was charged, like Dudley, with the crime of constructive treason, and was convicted at Northampton in October 1509. His attainder by Parliament followed, and he was beheaded on 17 August 1510. In 1512 his elder son, Thomas, was restored in blood by Act of Parliament.

Other Occupation

Speaker of the House of Commons


Married Jane. has this short biography: He was chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. He was the infamous Sir Richard, minister of Henry VII, who became highly unpopular for carrying out the King's taxation program. He was a lawyer and member of Parliament for Northamptonshire in 1491 and speaker of the House of Commons. He was knighted in 1504. He was high steward of Cambridge University and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. His official career ended with Henry VII's death in April, 1509. He was imprisoned by Henry VIII, charged with "constructive treason," and convicted at Northampton in October, 1509. He was beheaded. [1]



  1. Stephen: Vol. XIII, page 364-365

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Comments: 7

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Hi Daniel

Thank you for adding the England Project to the Trusted List - I would be grateful if you would also make the England Project a Profile Manager.

Best wishes

Jo, England Project Managed Profiles coordinator

posted by Jo Fitz-Henry
Dear Daniel

The England Project would like to co-manage this historic profile with you.

You are welcome to stay on as either a PM or on the Trusted List. Would you please add to the trusted list, and then set the England Project as a manager. You can read more about the England Project's managed profiles here

Thanks, Jo Fitz-Henry

England Project Managed Profiles Team coordinator

posted by Jo Fitz-Henry
Re: The constructive treason charge. I have to wonder if he wasn't stealing from the crown. Henry VIII wasn't in office very long before he was slapped in prison and executed.
There is a daughter, Jane, listed yet she was born in 1542 and Richard died in 1510 also the mother, Jane Empson, died in 1498. No way can they be her parents.
posted by Harry Kelly
The notion that Elizabeth married Thomas Lucy after Catesby died after capture at Bosworth in 1485 is widspread, and I think it comes from Burke. But I would like to see a timeline that makes sense. I don't think a daughter of Richard could have been young enough to marry Lucy in 1510 and then have 6 children.
posted by Charles Schulzke
I am given to understand that Richard had at least one son, named John, in addition to Thomas. John married Agnes Lovell. Can we verify or prove false this son John? I need him to clarify some confusion because I think the dates are all wrong for a daughter of Richard to have married Thomas Lucy in 1510. I'm thinking that must he his granddaughter.
posted by Charles Schulzke
Hi Rick, Jacques Charles, Kathryn and Brent: about the birth date of Richard Empson - "As early as 1476 he purchased estates in Northamptonshire." Dictionary of National Biography Vol XIII page 364. He was probably not b. 1464, did not purchased property at age ten. His sister Ann was b. 1438. His sister Elizabeth was b. 1448. His dau. Anne was b. 1472; dau. Joan b. 1489. I suggest that the correct birth date for Richard Empson was likely the one that was merged away: 1434. It would make him eldest son and b. early in his parents marriage instead of youngest son b. very late in parents marriage. Born 1434 would make him a father at 32 years instead of at eight years. I am not on the Trusted List so do not wish to change basic, am leaving that to you all to decide.