GREENE, Richard (by 1589-c.1653), of Wyken, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



9 Apr. 1628

Family and Education

b. by 1589, s. of Richard Greene of Wyken, yeoman, and his w. Joan.1 m. 14 Oct. 1605,2 Joan (d. by 1652), da. of one Pell of Rolleston, Leics., 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da.3 suc. fa. 1617. admon. 20 Sept. 1653.4 sig. Ri[chard] Greene.

Offices Held

Commr. inquiry, Bedworth mines, Warws. 1624,5 subsidy, Coventry, Warws. 1628-9,6 assessment 1641-2,7 loan for relief of Ire. 1642.8


Greene came from a prosperous yeoman family resident at Water Orton in north-west Warwickshire. In 1596 his father bought Wyken manor, which Greene inherited two decades later, along with the local parish tithes and some 20 acres in the same district. He was wealthy enough by 1621 to contemplate investing £2,500 in a Leicestershire estate, and towards the end of the decade his eldest son acquired a coat of arms. One of the more prominent gentlemen living in the county of Coventry, he was selected by the Privy Council in 1624 to investigate complaints by the city’s corporation about a local mining venture.9

In Coventry’s 1628 parliamentary election, Greene stood successfully against one of the city’s leading aldermen, Isaac Walden*, winning the poll emphatically by 367 votes to 29. His motive for standing is unclear, but he was probably invited to do so by a disaffected element within the corporation which was opposed to Walden. A contemporary newsletter claimed that Greene and his running-mate, William Purefoy*, were both Forced Loan refusers, implying that this factor influenced the outcome. However, while Purefoy certainly opposed the Loan, and a number of Greene’s neighbours in Wyken did likewise, there is no evidence that he himself refused.10 The validity of Greene’s election was challenged in Parliament, on the grounds that he was not a resident freeman of the city of Coventry, but in a landmark ruling on 9 Apr., the Commons upheld the result of the popular vote. It is probable that the ‘Mr. Greene’ named to committees on 17 May and 13 June was the Member for Corfe Castle. It is not known which of the two men was granted a fortnight’s leave of absence on 9 Feb. 1629.11

Greene confirmed his local status by serving as a subsidy commissioner at Coventry in 1628-9, and in a similar capacity there in 1641-2. He drew up his brief will on 6 July 1652, requesting burial in Wyken church alongside his late wife. He had already made provision for his younger children, and arranged for his debts to be cleared. His property by this stage included a small estate at Sutton Coldfield, a few miles from his ancestral home of Water Orton. He was dead by September 1653, when his will was proved.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Aged at least 30 in Aug. 1619: C142/373/72.
  • 2. Leics. RO, DE 2492/1.
  • 3. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 118; PROB 11/226, f. 151.
  • 4. C142/373/72; PROB 11/226, f. 151v.
  • 5. APC, 1623-5, pp. 210-11.
  • 6. E179/194/309, 315.
  • 7. SR, v. 67, 90, 156.
  • 8. Coventry Archives, BA/H/11/6/1.
  • 9. Vis. Warws. 117, 169; C2/Jas.I/G1/78; 2/Jas.I/G5/3; W. Dugdale, Antiqs. of Warws. (1730), i. 127; C142/373/72.
  • 10. CD 1628, ii. 376; vi. 122; Hants RO, 44M69/L39/35; SP16/50/54; Coventry Archives, BA/H/M/17/1; BA/H/M/24/1-2.
  • 11. CD 1628, ii. 37, 44-5, 374; iii. 448; iv. 289; CJ, i. 927b.
  • 12. PROB 11/226, f. 151r-v.