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Richard may well have been related to Robert* and John Bristowe*, both of whom represented Carlisle in the House of Commons in the late 14th century, and to William Bristowe†, one of the burgesses for Appleby in the Parliament of 1365. He is first mentioned in February 1411, when he and William Lowther I* offered sureties in Chancery on behalf of a local man who was appealing against a sentence of excommunication passed against him by William Strickland, bishop of Carlisle. Richard possibly lived to take the general oath of May 1434 that he would not support anyone who disturbed the peace, but it is likely that another Richard Bristowe, perhaps his son, was named on this occasion. We can be reasonably sure that it was the younger of the two men who sat on the Cumberland bench between 1443 and 1447, and who also served as a royal commissioner to make an arrest at this time.
CCR, 1409-13, pp. 193-4; CPR, 1429-36, p. 383; 1441-6, pp. 290, 469.