Elyot, Richard (DNB00)

ELYOT, Sir RICHARD (1450?–1522), judge, was son of Simon Elyot, and grandson of Michell Elyot. The family was closely associated with Coker, near Yeovil, Somersetshire. His mother was Joan, daughter of John Bryce, alias Basset. He was practising as an advocate in 1492; from 1498 to July 1511 he occupied, as receiver for the crown, the manor of Wansborough, Wiltshire, the forfeited estate of Francis, lord Lovell, attainted in 1485. He was commissioner for the collection of an aid in Wiltshire in 1503, and in Michaelmas of that year became a serjeant-at-law, and soon afterwards attorney-general to the queen. Before this time he married his first wife, Alice Fynderne, niece of Sir Thomas Fynderne, who was executed in 1460, and granddaughter of Sir William Fynderne of Childrey, Berkshire (d. 1440). He acted as judge of assize on the western circuit from the opening years of the century; was in the commission of the peace for Cornwall in 1509; was appointed judge of the common pleas, 26 April 1513, and was knighted before 1517. He was summoned to the first three parliaments of Henry VIII's reign; helped to arbitrate with Wolsey and others in a land suit between the corporation of Norwich and the convent of Christchurch, and took part in the preliminary investigation into the charges against Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, in 1521. Elyot died after February 1522. His will, proved 26 May following, directs his body to be buried in Salisbury Cathedral, near which he owned property, but it is not known if this direction was carried out. By his first wife Elyot had two children, the famous Sir Thomas Elyot [q. v.], and Marjory, wife of Robert, son of Sir George Puttenham of Sherfield, near Basingstoke. About 1512 Elyot married his second wife, Elizabeth, widow of Richard Fetiplace, and daughter and heiress of William Besilles, through whom he acquired property in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. His will contains many small bequests to religious foundations throughout England.

[Mr. H. H. S. Crofts's full memoir of Sir Thomas Elyot prefixed to his edition of the Governour (1883), gives all accessible information respecting Sir Richard. His will is printed by Mr. Crofts, i. 309–16.]

S. L. L.