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Sir Richard Sackville (d.1566)

SIR RICHARD SACKVILLE, under-treasurer of the exchequer and chancellor of the court of augmentations, was eldest son of John Sackville of Chiddingley, Kent, by Anne, daughter of Sir William Boleyn, and sister of Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde. Queen Anne Boleyn was thus his first cousin. In later life he expressed regret that, 'a fond schoolmaster, before he was fullie fourtene years olde, drove him with feare of beating from all love of learning.'1

He was educated at Cambridge but did not graduate; he soon went to the bar, becoming Lent reader at Gray's Inn in 1529. He acted as steward to the Earl of Arundel, and sat for Arundel in the Reformation parliament of 1529. He probably gave proof of hie willingness to do what was wanted; from 1530 he was constantly on commissions of the peace and of sewers for Sussex. In November 1538 he was one of those appointed to receive indictments against Sir Geoffrey Pole, Sir Edward Neville, and others, and shortly afterwards be became under-treasurer of the exchequer, treasurer of the army, and in 1542 escheator for Surrey and Sussex. In 1545 he received large grants of land.

Under Edward VI he took a more prominent part in public life. On 24 Aug. 1548 he was appointed chancellor of the court of augmentations, and thus had ample opportunities of enriching himself. He was knighted in 1549.2 In 1552 he was a commissioner for the sale of chantry lands; at this time he lived at Derby Place, Paul's Wharf. He witnessed the will of Edward VI, but Mary renewed his patent as chancellor at the augmentations court on 20 Jan. 1553-4, and made him a member of her privy council. He sat in the parliament of 1554 as member for Portsmouth. He lost, however, for the time, the advantage which he had gained in the last reign as patentee of the bishop of Winchester's lands, though he regained it under Elizabeth, who retained him in her service. He was appointed to supervise the arrangements for her coronation, and was present at the first meeting of her council on 20 Nov. 1558.

He sat for Kent in the parliament of 1558, and for Sussex from 1563 till his death. In 1558 he was one of those appointed to audit the accounts of Andrew Wise, under-treasurer for Ireland. In 1559 he was one of the commissioners appointed to administer the oaths to the clergy; the same year, with Sir Ambrose Cave, he conducted the search among the papers of the bishops of Winchester and Lincoln. On 9 and 10 Sept. 1559 he was one of the mourners at the funeral services held at St.Paul's on the death of Henry II of France; he was also a mourner on the death of the emperor in 1564, when Grindal preached. On 25 April 1561 he received charge of Margaret, countess of Lennox. In 1566 he took part in the fruitless negotiations as to the marriage with the Archduke Charles. He died on 21 April 1566, and was buried at Withyham in Sussex.

He married Winifred, daughter of Sir John Bruges, lord mayor of London in 1520, and by her left a son Thomas, afterwards first Earl of Dorset, and a daughter Anne, who married Gregory Fiennes, tenth lord Dacre of the South. His widow married William Paulet, first marquis of Winchester, died in 1586, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Sackville was a pleasant, capable, and accommodating official. He grew very rich and established his family. Naunton declared that his accumulation of wealth entitled him to be called 'Fill-sack' rather than 'Sack-ville'.3 But he had intellectual interests. He was dining with Sir William Cecil at Windsor in 1563, when another guest, Roger Ascham, turned the conversation on the subject of education. Sackville later in the day had a private colloquy with Ascham on the topic, urged the scholar to write his 'Scholemaster' and entrusted to him his grandson, Robert Sackville, second earl of Dorset, to be educated with Ascham's son. Ascham, in his 'Scholemaster,' speaks of Sackville in terms of great respect.



1. Ascham, Preface to Scholemaster. link.
2. Literary Remains of Edward VI, p. cccvii. [link]
3. Naunton, Fragmenta Regalia, ed. Arber, p. 55. [link]




      Excerpted from:

      Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. XVII. Sidney Lee, ed.
      New York: The Macmillan Co., 1909. 584.




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Images:

Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
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Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London




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