Empson, Sir Richard

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Empson, Sir Richard (d. 1510). Empson and his colleague and neighbour Edmund Dudley were the first victims of Henry VIII's ruthlessness. Empson came from Towcester in Northamptonshire, took a legal training, represented his shire in the Parliament of 1491, and was elected Speaker. In 1504 he was knighted and appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. His zeal in collecting taxes and fines on behalf of Henry VII made him extremely unpopular and he was among those servants of the king denounced by Perkin Warbeck in 1495 as ‘caitiffs and villains’. On the second day of Henry VIII's reign he was arrested and sent to the Tower on a trumped-up charge of treason. He was executed with Dudley on Tower Hill.

J. A. Cannon