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KEBLE, KEEBLE, or KEBBEL, RICHARD (fl. 1650), judge, was of an old family settled at Newton in Suffolk. He was admitted a member of Gray's Inn 7 Aug. 1609, called to the bar 14 July 1614, and became on ancient of the inn in 1632 and Lent reader in 1639. He first appears in reported cases in Croke's 'Reports' in 1636. Parliament appointed him a judge in Wales in March 1647, and he became a serjeant in 1648. In 1651 presided at the trials of Colonel Lilburne, Christopher Love, and John Gibbons. An opponent calls him 'an insolent, mercenary pettifogger,' who without jury or evidence sent to the gallows any he suspected of royalism (Life of Dr. Join Barwick, p. 153). After the execution of Charles I he had been appointed the junior of the three commissioners who had the custody of the great seal. Echard (History of England, ed. 1718, ii. 652) speaks of him as being then a man of 'little practical experience.' From this office he was removed in April 1654. His salary was irregularly paid, and his petition for payment of what was owing, part of which amounted to one thousand guineas, was presented in 1655, and still disregarded in 1658 (Whitelocke, Memorials, pp. 240, 342, 380; Blomefield, Norfolk, i. 396; Public Record Commission, 5th Rep. App. ii. 271; Green, Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655- 1668). At the Restoration he was excepted out of the Act of Indemnity. The date at his death, as of his birth, is unknown. His son Joseph is noticed separately.

[Foss's Judges of England; State Trials, iv. 1269, v. 49, 268; Gray's Inn Books; Wood's Athenae, iv. 575; Parl. Hist. iv. 70.]

J. A. H.