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Sir Richard Weston (1465-1541) - © Nash Ford PublishingSir Richard Weston (1465-1541)
Born: 1465
Treasurer of Calais
Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer
Died: 7th August 1541 at Mayford, Surrey

Richard was the son of Edmund Weston of Boston in Lincolnshire and Catherine, sister and coheiress of William Cammel of Shapwick in Dorset. His  father was Governor of Castle Cornet and of Guernsey and the lesser Channel Islands. Richard entered the service of Henry VII’s queen, Elizabeth of York and this may well have been where he met his wife, Anne the daughter of Oliver Sandys of Shere at Dorking in Surrey, for she was certainly one of her gentlewomen by 1502. The following year, Richard was appointed Keeper of Sunninghill Park and Cranbourne Chase and the Lodge at the latter became his main country residence, particularly when attending the King at Windsor Castle where he was also made a lieutenant. During his time there, he built the first New Lodge at Winkfield.  Other Berkshire offices followed, including Steward of Bray & Cookham, Steward of Stratfield Mortimer and Keeper of the Swans on the Thames. By 1505, he had become a Groom of the Chamber and, the following year, inherited his father’s castle governorship.

After his accession in 1509, King Henry VIII immediately favoured Richard by appointing him to several offices, including Governor of Guernsey, and the following year, he was granted his own Berkshire property, Ufton Court. In 1511, he served under Thomas, Lord Darcy, in the English contingent sent to assist Ferdinand, King of Aragon & Castile, in his campaign against the Moors. On his return journey, Weston visited the Royal Spanish Court where he received considerable honours. This continued back in England. He was knighted by Henry VIII in 1514 and, from 1516, was in personal attendance on him as Knight of the Body. In early 1518, he was dubbed a Knight of the Bath before forming part of an embassy attempting to betroth Princess Mary to the Dauphin. He was then made Master of the Wards, along with Sir Thomas Lovell, and considerably increased the power of that office during his time there. The next year, Wolsey’s reaction against the King’s youthful advisors, led to Sir Richard being one of the four “sad and ancient knights” who were “put into the King’s Privy Chamber”. In 1520, he attended King Henry on the Field of the Cloth of Gold and later at the Imperial meetings at Gravelines and Windsor. The next year, he sat on the jury which tried and condemned Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and the manor of Sutton at Mayford in Surrey was granted to him on the very day of the Duke’s execution, 17th May 1521. Inspired by what he had seen on his French embassy, he soon moved into a superb renaissance mansion which he built there.

In 1523, Weston served under Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in France. In 1525, under Wolsey’s patronage, he became Treasurer of Calais where he spent considerable time, arguing with Lord Sandys the Captain of Guines and rebuilding the town’s sea defences. However, three years later, he was also appointed Under-Treasurer at the Exchequer. So he regularly had to cross the Channel, especially after he became MP for Berkshire in 1529. In 1533, Henry paid a state visit to Sir Richard’s new home at Sutton Place and, a little later, Thomas Cromwell was also a guest there. By this time, his son, Francis, had become the rising star at Court. He was knighted at Anne Boleyn’s Coronation, but his popularity was fleeting. On 4th May 1536, Francis was arrested on suspicion of being the Queen’s lover and, despite his father’s petitioning the King, he was beheaded two weeks later.

This personal disaster did not, however, affect Sir Richard’s political position. He attended the King with a hundred and fifty men during the Lincolnshire Rising and, later, became a close advisor to Queen Jane Seymour. In January 1540, Sir Richard met Anne of Cleves upon her landing in England but, by this time, his health was failing. On 20th January 1541, he surrendered his post of Sub-Treasurer “because of his old age, his debility and continued infirmity”. He died on 7th August following and was buried in his family chapel in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Guildford, although no trace of his monument survives. Sir Richard’s official heirs were his two daughters, Margaret, the wife of Sir Walter Denys (and also, supposedly, of Weston's associate, Richard Staverton of Warfield although this does not appear to be possible), and Catherine, the wife of Sir John Rogers of Bryanston in Dorset (and a cousin of the Rogers of Beckett in Shrivenham). However, in 1549, his young grandson, Henry Weston, had his rights of inheritance restored.


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