Name: Richard de Emeldon
Residence: Embleton, Co. Durham
Occupation: Mayor of Newcastle 1305-8
Change Date: 1 MAR 2013
aka Richard de Embleton.
As the political power of the Karliol family began to wane, that of the Emeldon family briefly rose to community leadership in the person of Richard de Emeldon.
As he was the first of that surname to enter the ruling elite at Newcastle, it is likely he was an immigrant, presumably from the Northumberland village of Embleton (about half-way along the coast between Newcastle and Berwick).
Although his commercial activities and his tax assessment were, when he first appears in the 1290s, modest, his listing in the tax record next to that of wealthy burgess Samson Cutler, along with evidence from his chantry foundations, has led to the hypothesis he may have first married Cutler's daughter and later the widow of John Scot [Edward Miller, "Rulers of Thirteenth Century Towns: The Cases of York and Newcastle upon Tyne," Thirteenth Century England: Proceedings of the Newcastle upon Tyne Conference 1985, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1986, 131-32.]
He was to become the most prominent townsman of his time: political leader, the principal wool merchant of the town, and ship-owner; as a self-made man, we can imagine that he was forceful and self-confident. Bailiff in 1301/02 and re-elected in 1302 and 1303, he became chief bailiff in either 1305 or 1306, was again elected to the office in 1307 and 1308, 1311 and 1312, and then for no less than 7 consecutive terms from 1314 to 1320, before Sir Nicholas Scot interrupted a run that then continued through the 1320s ? although we do not have a complete list, Emeldon's name is the only one appearing as what now was mayor again up to 1329. He was put back in office, for the last times, in 1331 and 1332. Rarely in any English town was seen such a prolonged domination of the leading office in local government, but Richard failed to establish a dynasty: his heirs were daughters, and the John de Emeldon who was frequently bailiff between 1345 and 1368 was the son of Richard's nephew William de Emeldon (and thereby grandson of John de Denton). It took the battle of Halidon Hill (1333) to bring Richard's career to a close, he dying along with his contingent of 47 footsoldiers. This must have been a traumatic loss for the people of Newcastle, and likely helped set the stage for the political conflict to follow.
- Matilda de Emeldon
Christiana De Mowbray
- Jacoba de Emeldon