Bishop of Salisbury; d. Oct. 18, 1481. He was the son of Sir Walter Beauchamp, sometime speaker for the Commons in Parliament, and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Sir John Roche. Possibly resident in Exeter College, Oxford, in 1440, he was a doctor of Canon Law by 1442. Having served as canon lawyer, chancery clerk, and royal chaplain, he became bishop of hereford (1448), where he was the first to make good the episcopal claim to visit his cathedral officially. He was translated to Salisbury (1450), where his predecessor, Aiscough, had been murdered by a mob during Jack Cade's rebellion. There Beauchamp was a capable administrator, vigorous in defending episcopal jurisdiction over the city, with whose inhabitants he disputed (1465–74). The result, with royal support, was a complete capitulation of the citizens and a half-century of comparative tranquility in episcopal-city relations. In 1456 the cathedral chapter secured the canonization of osmund, the 11th-century episcopal founder of Old Sarum cathedral, partly through Beauchamp's efforts. He served as an emissary in the contemporary Lancaster-York struggle in England and later as an envoy to France. He was allowed to hold the deanship of Windsor (1478) concurrently with his bishopric; this reflects his lengthy connection with the Order of the Garter, which he served as first chancellor in 1475. As master and surveyor of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, Beauchamp was deeply involved in the construction of one of the supreme glories of Perpendicular architecture. He was buried in his own chantry chapel in Salisbury cathedral, since destroyed.
Bibliography: Registrum Ricardi Beauchamp, Episcopi Herefordensis …, ed. a. t. bannister (Canterbury and York Society; London 1919). Beauchamp's unprinted register in 2 v. is in the Diocesan Registry, Salisbury. The Victoria History of Wiltshire, v. 3, ed. r. b. pugh and e. crittall (London 1956), v. 6, ed. e. crittall (1962). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500 (Cambridge, Eng. 1963) 1:137–138.
[h. s. reinmuth, jr.]