Sir Richard Shireburne 

(c 1523-1594) - the 1st Richard

Richard inherited the family estates when still young; he was knighted at the age of 21 for 'signal valour against the Scots' late in the reign of Henry VIII.  In spite of his adherence to the Catholic faith, he also served under Henry's three successors - Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.


Under Edward VI (1547-1553) he and Richard Towneley the younger (of Towneley Hall, Burnley) together with four others, were commissioned by the King to 'inquire of the coal and lead mines in the wastes in the townships of Totyngton and Rossyngdale, and of the intakes or woods taken, stubbed, or felled in the forest of Bowland'.  

During Mary's reign (1553-1558) he served as an M.P.; while, in 1556, he was appointed Master Forester of Bowland and in 1558, a parker of Radholme.  

The reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) saw him serve as Lieutenant of the Isle of Man under the Earl of Derby (uncle to his daughter-in-law) and also as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire.  He was a Justice of the Peace, in spite of being himself charged with various offences, some of which derived from his loyalty to the pre-Reformation faith - Roman Catholicism .

Richard's first wife was Maud (sometimes referred to as Matilda) Bold, with whom he shares the elaborate alabaster tomb in Shireburne Chapel. On either sides of the tomb are shields and standing figures to represent their children.  Richard had eight children by Maud (who died in 1588) as well as three 'base born' children by his mistress, Isabel Wood, whom he married after the Maud's death. 

In 1592, Richard began rebuilding the family home, Stonyhurst, but did not live to see the work completed.  He bequeathed to his son and heir (also Richard) 

 '... all my armour at Stonyhurst and all my iron' for him to 'finishe the building already begun.  All my lead to cover the house at Stonyhurst - all building stone and wrought timber at Stonyhurst'. 

The present Chapel at All Hallows Church was built by Sir Richard, replacing an earlier structure. He intended the Chapel to reflect his family’s status as one of the most wealthy, powerful and prestigious in north-west England.

Below is a portrait of Sir Richard Shireburne