Grammar Schools, 1818, ii. 944; Barker and Stenning's Westminster School Register, 1892, p. 194; Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1890; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, ii. 201, 243.]
RICHARDS, THOMAS (d. 1564?), translator, was born in Devonshire, and took the habit of a Benedictine monk at Tavistock. He supplicated B.D. at Oxford on 29 Oct. 1515, and in 1517 qualified as B.D. of Cambridge. He was elected prior of Totnes, Devonshire, on 27 Feb. 1528, and held office at the suppression of that house. Sir Peter Edgcumbe, on whose father the priory was bestowed by Henry VIII, wrote of Richards to Thomas Cromwell as a ‘man of goode and vertuus converssacyon and a good viander.’ At the dissolution of the monasteries he obtained the rectory of St. George's, Exeter, where he died in 1563 or 1564, his will, dated 10 Aug. 1563, being proved on 14 April 1564. Wood says that while at Totnes, Richards translated the ‘Consolatio Philosophiæ’ of Boethius, at the desire of Robert Langton, and that his version was printed at Tavistock. But the work is not known to be extant. Bliss suggests that Richards was the printer only.
[Cooper's Athenæ, i. 233; Oliver's Hist. Coll. relating to Monasteries in Devon, p. 109; Dugdale's Monasticon, ed. Caley, iv. 629, 632; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iii. 1253; Wright's Letters relating to the Suppression of Monasteries, publ. by Camden Soc. 1843, pp. 117, 118.]
RICHARDS, THOMAS (1710?–1790), Welsh lexicographer, born about 1710 in Glamorganshire, served for forty years the curacy of Coychurch (Llan Grallo) and Coety in that county. In 1746 he published a Welsh translation of a tract on the ‘Cruelties and Persecutions of the Church of Rome.’ But his chief work was ‘Antiquæ Linguæ Britannicæ Thesaurus,’ Bristol, 1753, a Welsh-English Dictionary, with a Welsh grammar prefixed, dedicated to the Prince of Wales. Founded in the main on the work of Dr. John Davies and Edward Llwyd, this dictionary was much fuller than any which had yet appeared. A second edition appeared at Trefriw in 1815, a third in the same year at Dolgelly, and a fourth at Merthyr Tydfil in 1838. Richards died on 20 March 1790.
[Rowlands's Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry; Ashton's Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, pp. 295–6.]
RICHARDS, WILLIAM (1643–1705), author, born at Helmdon, Northamptonshire, in 1643, was son of Ralph Richards, rector of that place from 1641 to 1668. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, in 1658 as a commoner, matriculated 3 May 1659, and became a scholar 13 June 1661. He graduated B.A. 24 Feb. 1663, M.A. 1666, and was elected a fellow of his college on 15 June 1666. He took holy orders, and was chosen preacher at Marston, Oxfordshire. Upon his father's death in 1668, Richards, to whom the living of Helmdon reverted, appointed to it Thomas Richards, probably a relative, and continued to hold his fellowship until 1675, when he instituted himself to Helmdon. In June 1673 he undertook a journey into Wales on business for a friend. The result was the publication in London in 1682 of a small satirical work entitled ‘Wallography, or the Britton described,’ dedicated with fanciful rhetoric to Sir Richard Wenman of Casswell. This witty trifle, published under Richards's initials only, was subsequently, in error, ascribed to Swift. In the preface to a second anonymous edition, entitled ‘Dean Swift's Ghost’ (London, 1753), the editor accused Richards of imitating Swift. Some resemblance is apparent between Richards's satire and portions of ‘Gulliver's Travels,’ but Swift was only fifteen years of age when Richards's work was written.
Richards, who was a nonjuror, was appointed on 25 July 1689 by the corporation of Newcastle-on-Tyne lecturer of St. Andrew's in that city. He was buried in the chancel of St. Andrew's on 22 Aug. 1705. His portrait, painted by Kneller, was engraved by T. Smith in 1688.
Besides ‘Wallography’ he wrote ‘The English Orator, or Rhetorical Descant by way of Declamation upon some notable themes, both Historical and Philosophical,’ 2 parts, London, 1680, 8vo. Wood says he translated and edited with notes (completed in 1690) the ‘Nova Reperta, sive Rerum memorabilium libri duo’ of Guido Panciroli. An anonymous English translation was published in 1715 (London, 2 vols).
[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 269, 678; Baker's Northamptonshire, i. 632; Bridges's Hist. of Northamptonshire, ed. Whalley, i. 174; Brand's Hist. of Newcastle, i. 194.]
RICHARDS, WILLIAM, LL.D. (1749–1818), historian of King's Lynn, was born at Penrhydd, near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, towards the end of 1749. His father, Henry Richards (d. 1 July 1768, aged 59), was a farmer, who removed in 1758 to St. Clears, Carmarthenshire. He had but a year's schooling, in his twelfth year. In 1768 he was admitted a member of the particular