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BRADSHAW, RICHARD (fl. 1650), diplomatist, and a merchant of Chester, appears in December 1642 as one of the collectors of the contribution raised for the defence of that city (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. p. 365). During the civil war he served as quartermaster-general of the horse under the command of Sir William Brereton [q. v.] (Petition in Commons Journals, 23 Jan. 1651). In the year 1649 he was mayor of Chester, and in January 1650 was appointed by parliament resident at Hamburg. In November 1652 he was for a short time employed as envoy to the king of Denmark, and in April 1657 was sent on a similar mission to Russia. He returned to England in 1659, and was in January 1660 one of the commissioners of the navy (Mercurius Politicus, 28 Jan. 1660). He is said by Heath to have been the kinsman of President Bradshaw; and from the tone of his letters, and his attendance at Bradshaw's funeral, this appears to have been the case. Mr. Horwood states that he was the nephew of John Bradshaw; but the pedigree of the latter's family given in Earwaker's 'History of Cheshire' does not confirm this statement.

[Bradshaw has left a large correspondence. The Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian contain several letters of 1649-51. In the Sixth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, 426-44, is a report by Mr. Horwood on a collection of letters to and from Bradshaw in the possession of Miss Ffarington. His official correspondence is contained in the Thurloe State Papers. Some other letters may be found in the Calendar of Domestic State Papers. Mercurius Politicus, Nos. 135 to 144, contains a full account of Bradshaw's Mission to Copenhagen (18 Dec. 1652 to 10 Feb. 1653). Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, pp. 485-90, contains depositions relative to the plot for his murder formed during his stay there. Peck terms him the nephew of President Bradshaw.]

C. H. F.