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WILLOUGHBY, RICHARD de (d. 1362), judge, was the son of a Richard de Willoughby who acted as justice in eyre under Edward II, and purchased the manors of Wollaton in Nottinghamshire and Risley in Derbyshire. The original name of the family was Bugge. They took the name of Willoughby from their lordship of that name in Nottinghamshire. In 1324 the younger Richard was substituted for his father as knight of the shire for that county, and was about the same time appointed chief justice of the common pleas in Ireland (Parl. Writs, i. 306, 312, 314; Cal. Rot. Pat. pp. 78, 94, 97). He is mentioned as one of the justices appointed for the trial of the persons who had spoiled Henry le Despenser's lands in 1322 (Parl. Writs, ii. 189). On the accession of Edward III he was removed from his office and appears in the year-book of the first year of that reign as an advocate. On 6 March 1328 he was made a justice of the common pleas, and on 2 Sept. 1329 became second justice. On 15 Dec. 1330 he was removed into the court of king's bench; and when Geoffrey le Scrope [q. v.], the chief justice, went abroad with the king, Willoughby occupied the chief seat during his absence, at different times from 1332, till Geoffrey le Scrope ultimately resigned in the middle of 1338. From this time he presided in the court until he was displaced on 24 July 1340 (Foss).

In 1331 he was captured journeying towards Grantham by a certain Richard de Folville, and compelled to pay a ransom of ninety marks (Knighton, i. 460). In November 1340 he was arrested by order of the king, and imprisoned in Corfe Castle (French Chronicle of London, p. 84). He was tried on several charges at Westminster on 13 Jan. (ib. p. 87). But he was restored to office as one of the justices of the common pleas on 9 Oct. following, and continued to hold the office of judge till 1357, but probably retired in that year (Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, p. 45). He died in 1362. His extensive estates were situated in the counties of Nottingham, Derby, and Lincoln, but he also had a house in London in ‘le Baly’ (Cal. Inq. post mortem, ii. 256). He married, first, Isabel, daughter of Sir Roger Mortein; secondly, Joanna; and thirdly, Isabella, and had several children. Later members of the family were Sir Hugh Willoughby [q. v.], Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby [q. v.], and Francis Willughby, the naturalist [q. v.]

[Foss's Judges of England, and authorities cited in text.]

W. E. R.