Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bulkeley, Richard (d.1650)

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BULKELEY, RICHARD (d. 1650), royalist general, was son of Thomas, created Viscount Bulkeley of Cashel by patent at Oxford on 6 Jan. 1643–4, and of Blanche, daughter of Robert Coytmore of Coedmore, Carnarvon, his father's first wife. Lord Bulkeley (1585–1659) was the second son of Sir Richard Bulkeley [q. v.] by his second wife, Mary, daughter of Sir William Burgh, lord Burgh.

Bulkeley's brief appearance in history is connected with the attempt made in 1648 by Lord Byron to secure Anglesey and raise North Wales for the king, in concert with Hamilton's royalist invasion of England. The first object was accomplished, but the intrigues of Williams, archbishop of York, made that success futile and the completion of the task impossible. Byron alleges that the archbishop's main instrument was the ambition of Bulkeley, ‘an ignorant and wilful young man’ (Clarendon State Papers, ii. 418). Williams persuaded him that it was not for his nor the Welsh nation's honour that a stranger, as Byron was, should command them; and that the county had power under the king's commission of array to choose its own commander, and Bulkeley was chosen accordingly. Byron resolved to leave the island; but before doing so he wrote to a meeting of cavalier gentlemen, declaring the commission he had from the Prince of Wales, and his intention of conferring the command of the island upon Bulkeley. To this letter no answer was returned. The parliamentary colonel, Mytton, mustered men at Bangor. Bulkeley, who was both ignorant himself and unwilling to be advised by others, took no steps to defend the island, and neglected the easy task of intercepting the few boats sent over by Mytton. Their crews surprised the guard, and the whole force landed unopposed. Bulkeley got his men together, fought, ‘and was presently routed.’ He took refuge in the castle of Beaumaris with the remnant of his followers, ‘leaving all their horses, most of their arms, and the plunder of the whole island as the spoil of the conquerors.’ The castle surrendered on 2 Oct. 1648. On 19 Feb. 1649–50 Bulkeley was treacherously killed by Richard Cheadle, who appears to have been a major in the parliament's service. Earwaker says he was ‘killed in a duel on Lavan Sands’ (Earwaker, East Cheshire, i. 183). Cheadle was executed at Conway (Whitelocke; Lodge).

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall), v. 26; Clarendon State Papers, ii. 418, fo. ed.; Whitelocke's Memorials, 485.]

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