Thomas Richardson (judge)

Thomas Richardson (Judge)

Thomas Richardson (judge)

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Sir Thomas Richardson (3 July 1569 – 4 February 1635) was successively Speaker of the House of Commons, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench.

Origins and early career

The son of William Richardson and Agnes, his wife, he was born at Hardwick, Norfolk, where he was baptised on 3 July 1569. On 5 March 1586-7 he was admitted a student at Lincoln's Inn, where he was called to the bar on 28 Jan. 1594-5. In 1605 he was deputy steward to the dean and chapter of Norwich; afterwards he was recorder, successively, of Bury St. Edmunds and Norwich. He was Lent Reader at Lincoln's Inn in 1614, and on 13 October of the same year was called to the degree of serjeant-at-law; about the same time he was made chancellor to the queen.

Speaker of the House of Commons

On the meeting of parliament on 30 January 1620-1, Richardson was chosen speaker of the House of Commons, in which he sat for St Albans. The excuses which he made before accepting this office appear to have been more than formal, for an eye-witness reports that he 'wept downright.' On 25 March 1621 he was knighted at Whitehall on conveying to the king the congratulations of the commons upon the recent censure of Sir Giles Mompesson. In the chair he proved a veritable King Log, and the house had the good sense not to re-elect him. His term of office was marked by the degradation of Bacon.

Judicial advancement

On 20 February 1624-5 he was made king's serjeant; and on 28 November 1626 he...
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