Richard Topcliffe (1531-1604) was an interrogator at the Tower of London. Born on November 14, 1531 in Londonshire, Topcliffe lost both his parents by age 12. Later, he was orphaned by his uncle. According to records, Topcliffe served Queen Elizabeth in 1557 at the Tower of London or Bridewell Prison (Bindoff).  Bridewell is presumed where Topcliffe interrogated Kit Marlowe’s roommate, Thomas Kyd. While imprisoned, it is suspected that Kyd confirmed Marlowe’s Atheism (Waterfield). He also probed Thomas Nashe (Teramura). He was considered to be a merciless judiciary. Also, it is stated “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 were Ann Bellamy and Robert Southwell. He was associated with Somerby in Lincolnshire, and Beverly in Yorkshire (Walsh). Topcliffe died December 1604 in Derbyshire. 

Topcliffe, Richard
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