Neele, Richard (DNB00)

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NEELE or NEALE, Sir RICHARD (d. 1486), judge, was son of Richard Neele, who was elected member of parliament for Leicester on 21 Dec. 1441 (Official Returns, i. 333), and died in the following year. Before 1461 Neele had evidently received grants from the crown, as he was specially exempted from the Act of Resumption passed on Edward IV's accession (Rolls of Parl. v. 475 a). In 1463 he was a member of Gray's Inn, whence he was called serjeant on 7 Nov. On 12 Aug. 1464, according to Dugdale (Chron. Ser. p. 69), he was appointed king's serjeant, but the ‘Calendar of Patent Rolls’ records this promotion in 1466. When Henry VI was restored on 9 Oct. 1470, Neele was made a justice of the king's bench; but on Edward's return he was, on 29 May, transferred to the common pleas. To this post he was reappointed on the accession of Edward V, Richard III, and Henry VII. Before 1483 he was knighted, and in that year served as a trier of petitions from England, Wales, and Ireland. He died on 11 June 1486, and was buried in Prestwold Church, Leicestershire, where an alabaster monument was raised to his memory. He married Isabella Butler of Warrington, Lancashire, by whom he had two sons, Christopher and Richard, whose great-grandson married a sister of Chief-justice Coke. Prestwold, which was acquired by Neele, became the family seat.

[Cal. Rot. Pat. pp. 308, 312 b, 316, 316 b; Rolls of Parl. v. 475 a; Dugdale's Origines, p. 47, and Chron. Ser. pp. 67, 70, 72; Burton's Description of Leicestershire, pp. 211–12; Gough's Monuments, ii. 94; Foss's Judges of England, v. 69.]

A. F. P.