Richard Topcliffe served Queen Elizabeth as an interrogator in 1557 at the Tower of London and Bridewell Prison. Bridewell is presumed to be where Topcliffe interrogated Thomas Kyd. He was considered a merciless persecutor of Catholics. It is stated that “no blot is more fowl on the history of Elizabeth’s latter years than the name of Richard Topecliffe” (Betten 191). Two of his other victims (among countless others) were Ann Bellamy and Robert Southwell. He was associated with Somerby in Lincolnshire, and Beverly in Yorkshire (Walsh). Topcliffe died December 1604 in Derbyshire.

Author: Pat Casaletto; Editor: Justin Boure

Topcliffe, Richard