Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Levinge, Richard (d.1724)

LEVINGE, Sir RICHARD (d. 1724), Irish judge, was second son of Richard Levinge of Parwich, Ashborne, Derbyshire (where the family had been long seated). His mother, Anne, daughter of George Parker of Park Hill, Staffordshire, was aunt of Thomas Parker, earl of Macclesfield, lord-chancellor of England. His great-uncle, Timothy Levinge, who matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1591, aged 17, was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1606; became a bencher in 1622, serjeant-at-law 20 May 1636, recorder of Derby and M.P. for the city in 1621, 1624, 1625, and 1628. Richard entered the Inner Temple as a student in September 1671, and was called to the bar in November 1678. In 1686 he became recorder of Chester, and was M.P. for the city from 1690 to 1692. From 1690 to 1694 he was solicitor-general for Ireland, and was knighted in 1692, in which year he was elected M.P. for both Belfast and Blessington, and chose to sit for the latter constituency, in the Irish House of Commons. On 5 Oct. of the same year he was unanimously chosen as speaker of that assembly, and remained in office till the dissolution of 1695. In 1695 he was again elected by two constituencies, Bangor and Longford, and sat for the latter. He acted in 1699 as one of the commissioners to inquire into forfeited land in Ireland, but for quarrelling with his fellow-commissioners and speaking ill of them he was summoned before the English parliament, and committed to the Tower from 16 Jan. to 11 April 1700. He was re-elected M.P. for Longford in 1703. On 13 April 1704 he was created a baronet, and was again appointed to the office of solicitor-general for Ireland. In 1706 he became a bencher of the Inner Temple, in 1710 he was elected M.P. for Derby in the English parliament, and was promoted in 1711 to be attorney-general for Ireland. In 1713 he was elected for both Gowran and Kilkenny, and sat for Kilkenny. In 1720 he was constituted lord chief justice of the Irish court of common pleas. Sir Richard held that office until his death, 13 July 1724 (Hist. Reg. 1724; Chron. Diary, p. 34).

Levinge married, first, in 1680 Mary, daughter of Sir Gawen Corbyn, and secondly, Mary, daughter of Robert Johnson, baron of the Irish exchequer. His eldest daughter (by his first wife), Mary, married in 1700 Washington, second earl Ferrers, and was mother of Selina Hastings, countess of Huntingdon [q. v.] His eldest son Richard (d. 1748) (also by his first wife) and his second son Charles were successively second and third baronets. Sir Charles's great-great-grandson, Sir Richard George Augustus Levinge, seventh baronet, is separately noticed.

‘Sir R. Levinge's Correspondence, principally with the Right Hon. Edward Southwell, Principal Secretary of State for Ireland, on various points of State and Domestic Policy,’ was printed privately in 1877.

[Masters of the Bench of the Inner Temple, p. 60; Luttrell's Brief Relation; Return of Members of Parliament; Playfair's Baronetage; Burke's Baronetage; Sir Richard Levinge's Hist. of the Levinge Family, 1877; Burtchaell's Parl. Hist. of Kilkenny; Cal. Treasury Papers, 1696–1719.]

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