Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Richard Willoughby (d 1471)

Richard was the eldest son of Sir Hugh Willoughby  (c.1380-1448) of Willoughby-on-the-Wolds and Wollaton, and his first wife Isabel Foljambe.

Sir Hugh's will was generous to the children of his second marriage at Richard's expense, and he gave his second wife Margaret, née Freville, a life interest in virtually the whole of his estate. A year after Sir Hugh's death Richard contracted an agreement with his stepmother, by which he took possession of the Wollaton estate. He set up home at Wollaton Old Hall. He was an executor of the will of Thomas Chaworth, and was probably behind the acquisition of Chaworth's Antiphonal for Wollaton parish church.

Margaret and her second husband Richard Bingham lived at Middleton in Warwickshire, her ancestral home. Most of the rest of the estate was bequeathed to Hugh's children by his second marriage. The Willoughby and Freville lands were reunited when all were inherited by Richard's nephew Henry Willoughby.

Richard designed his own tombstone (Mi 5/168/34 ), and was buried along with his wife Anne in Wollaton parish church. In his will he left various liturgical books to the church.


 Memorial brass to Richard Willoughby (d 1471) in Wollaton parish church

Memorial brass to Richard Willoughby (d 1471) in Wollaton parish church


Richard m Anne, daughter of Simon Leek of Cotham, Nottinghamshire (d 1467). They had no children

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds, settlements, estate and legal papers relating to Richard Willoughby's ownership of the Willoughby estates are part of the Middleton Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.
  • Richard's will is at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York (Archbishop's Register 4, f. 173v). An abbreviated version was published in  Testamenta Eboracensia 3, 170-2

Published Sources

  • S. J. Payling, ‘Willoughby family ( per. 1362–1528) ’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [available online to subscribers ]

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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