1st Lord Richard Cecil, MP

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1st Lord Richard Cecil, MP

Also Known As: "Richard/ Cecil /of /Burgleigh/", "Richard/ Cyssel", "Richard /Syssell", ""Richard/ Cecil /of /Burgleigh/"", ""Richard/ Cyssel"", ""Richard /Syssell""
Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Burleigh, Gloucestershire, England
Death: May 19, 1552 (53-61)
Marlbough St. Margarets Priority, Wiltshire, England
Place of Burial: Church of St. Martin, Stamford, Leicestershire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir David Cecil, MP and Alice Cecil
Husband of Lady Jane Cecil
Father of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley; Elizabeth Wingfield (Cecil); Margaret Cave and Agnes Ann White
Half brother of David Cecil, Jr.; Joan Browne and William Cecil

Occupation: Sheriff of Rutland, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, Page to Henry VII, High Sheriff of Rutland, constable of Warwick Castle, Laborer
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About 1st Lord Richard Cecil, MP

Family and Education b. c.1495, 1st s. of David Cecil by 1st w. m. c.1519, Jane (d. 10 Mar. 1587), da. of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincs., 1s. William 3da. suc. fa. by 1541.2

Offices Held

Page of the chamber by 1517, gent. by 1540; groom of the robes by 1528, yeoman by 1539; jt. (with fa.) keeper, Kings Cliffe park, Northants. 1517; bailiff, Bourne 1525, Whittlesea Mere, Cambs., Hunts., Lincs. and Northants. 1536; porter, Warwick castle 1548, keeper 1532; steward, Nassington, Upton and Yarwell, Northants. 1542; steward for Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, unknown property by 1548; sheriff, Rutland 1539-40; j.p. Northants. 1539-d., Lincs. (Holland, Kesteven and Lindsey) and Rutland 1547; commr. chantries, Northants., Oxon., Rutland and Oxford 1548, relief, Lincs. (Holland and Kesteven), Northants. and Rutland 1550, goods of churches and fraternities, Lincs. (Kesteven) and Northants. 1553.3 Biography Under his father’s will Richard Cecil received household furniture and an interest in some chantry land, but he had to await his stepmother’s death before entering upon his patrimony. His own acquisitions had begun with his leasing of property in Lincolnshire in 1519, about the time of his marriage, and continued with his purchase of the reversion of Little Burghley and neighbouring lands from Sir William Compton in 1527; but his real opportunity came with the Dissolution, which in five years yielded him in succession Stamford nunnery, priory and friary, to which in 1544 he added the manor of Essendine, Rutland. These transactions Cecil presumably financed out of the income from his posts in the Household and his other offices. In the first of these capacities he had accompanied Henry VIII to the Field of Cloth of Gold, and he was to receive 100 marks under the King’s will. Several of his local offices he shared with his father, whose place in the municipal life of Stamford, however, he did not succeed in filling. It is thus not surprising that he sat for the borough in only one Parliament, and then with a non-townsman in Kenelm Digby; as this was the Parliament which Cromwell promised the King to make ‘tractable’, Cecil’s election may imply government support, as his son’s was to do eight years later. To judge from an incident of 1535, when he went to the aid of a preacher under attack for expounding justification by faith, Cecil is likely to have seen eye to eye with Cromwell.4

Cecil died, apparently intestate, at his house in Cannon Row, Westminster, on 19 Mar. 1553 and was buried three days later at St. Margaret’s; a cenotaph was erected in St. Martin’s, Stamford.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558 Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard Notes 1. Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, f. 129v. 2. Date of birth estimated from career. D. Powel, The historie of Cambria (1584), 142-7; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 78-79; W. Harrod, Stamford, 271; PCC 3 Spert. 3. LP Hen. VIII, ii-v, x, xiv, xvi, xvii, xx; E163/12/17, nos. 38, 51, 54; NRA 5870, p. 729; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 78, 85-88, 1548-9, p. 137; 1550-3, p. 395; 1553, pp. 355-7, 414. 4. PCC 3 Spert; LP Hen. VIII, iii, v, ix, xii, xiii, xv, xvii-xix, xxi; NRA 6666 (Northants, RO, Exeter (Burghley) pprs. 47/9, 80/8, 89/1); DKR, ix. 190-1; C. Nevinson, Stamford, 72, 90; Strype, Eccles. Memorials, ii(1), 122-3; C. Read, Cecil, 19-21. 5. Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 32, 329; Harrod, 271; C142/98/50. '

Richard Cecil, Courtier, was born ? and d. 19 March 1552/53. He was a resident of Burleigh in the parish of Stamford Baron St Martin, Northamptonshire.

Parents: David Cecil (d. 1536) and Jane or Alice Dichons.

Married: Jane Heckington, daughter and heiress of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincolnshire.


  1. Margaret Cecil
  2. Elizabeth Cecil
  3. Anne Cecil
  4. William Cecil, 1st Baron of Burghley+1 b. 13 Sep 1521, d. 4 Aug 1598


Gentleman of the Privy Chamber; Sheriff of Rutland; Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1542 & 1543; Custodian of Windsor Castle; He supported the King (Henry VIII) in his breach with the Roman Catholic Church. It gave Richard a chance to buy confiscated Church lands; Jane brought the Lordship of Burghley as heir of father William Heckington of Bourne in the county of Lincoln.




  1. [S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 162. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  2. [S2] Peter W. Hammond, editor, The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), page 125. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage, Volume XIV.
  3. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1363. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  4. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 428. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

Further reading


Master of the Wardrobe for Henry the VIII
Richard Cecil (died 19 March 1553) was a resident and Master of Burghley (Burleigh) in the parish of Stamford Baron, Northamptonshire. His father David Cecil, of Welsh ancestry, rose in favour under King Henry VIII of England, becoming High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1532 and 1533, and died in 1541.

Richard too was a courtier. In 1517 he was a royal page; in 1520 he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; he rose to be Groom of the Robes and constable of Warwick Castle. He was High Sheriff of Rutland in 1539, and was one of those who received no inconsiderable share of the plunder of the monasteries. He married Jane Heckington, daughter and heiress of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincolnshire. He had one son, William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520–1598), and three daughters.

When Richard died, he left an ample estate behind him in the counties of Rutland, Northamptonshire and elsewhere. He died at his house in Cannon Row and was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster.

Jane was a widow for 35 years dying 10 March 1587. Richard and Jane have a joint monument in St Martin's Church, Stamford.

He sent his son William to the grammar schools of Stamford and Grantham, and in 1535 William entered St. John's College, Cambridge. Academically a success, William ran foul of his father, when his heart was lost to Mary Cheke, daughter of a local widow, with only a fortune of 40 pounds to recommend her. William was immediately removed before he could take his degree, and was entered as a student at Gray's Inn in 1541. If the motive was to prevent a marriage, it failed. Two months after he came up to London, William married Mary, probably secretly. Thomas, the future Earl of Exeter and only fruit of this union was born at Cambridge on 5 May 1542, therefore presumably at his grandmother's house. The marriage was so distasteful to Richard, that he is said to have altered his will, or at any rate, to have intended to do so. But the young wife did not live long, dying on 22 February 1544.

Of his daughters, Anne (also called Agnes) married Thomas White of Tuxford, Notts.; Margaret married Roger Cave (see Cave-Browne-Cave baronets), nephew of Sir Ambrose Cave, and secondly Ambrose Smith; and Elizabeth married Robert Wingfield and secondly Hugh Allington.

______ He appears in the Welsh genealogies: See Peter Bartrum, http://cadair.aber.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/handle/2160/6315/CECIL_313.png?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (March 1, 2017; Anne Brannen, curator)

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1st Lord Richard Cecil, MP's Timeline

Burleigh, Gloucestershire, England
September 13, 1520
Age 25
Bourne, Lincolnshire, England, (Present UK)

The Family is supposed to have a Welsh origin, and certainly there were two families with a similar name living in Herefordshire who claimed relationship with Cyssells or Syssells of Stamford; these two families were the Sitsylts of Altyrennes and the Cyssells of Maysemore.

William Cecil was interested in genealogy and there is a contemporary pedigree in existence attributing to the Cecils a descent from Sitselt, or Sitsell, who in 1091 received lands in Wales from Robert FitzHamon. This pedigree is traced through the Sitsilts (or Sitsylts) of Altyrennes, Co. Hereford.

Age 30
Tickencote, Rutlandshire, England
Age 32
Burghley, Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
Age 50
Prestwold, Leicestershire, England
May 19, 1552
Age 57
Marlbough St. Margarets Priority, Wiltshire, England
March 22, 1553
Age 57
Church of St. Martin, Stamford, Leicestershire, England
Burleigh, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England