Some Notable Richardsons

Not all Richardsons are dead. What follows is my eclectic list of prominent Richardsons of the recent generation. Below that list you will find some of the noted Richardsons from the past

Arthur Richardson
built up a global business Richardson Electronics, starting from his small barn in Florence, Illinois in 1947.

Bill Richardson
is the Governor of New Mexico.  He is 75% Hispanic but the other 25% can be traced back to the Richardsons who emigrated from Hertfordshire.

David Richardson of Hull University has published extensively on the African slave trade.

Ella Walton Richardson opened her fine art gallery in Charleston South Carolina in 2001.

Elliot Richardson was an American lawyer and politician who served in the cabinets of Presidents Nixon and Ford.  He was a prominent figure in the Watergate scandal, refusing an order from Nixon to fire the Special Prosecutor.

Ferrier Richardson is one of Scotland's best-known chefs.  He is a master chef of Great Britain and currently vice chairman of the Scottish Chefs Association,

Gordon Richardson was Governor of the Bank of England in the 1970's.

Ian Richardson, born in Edinburgh, was one of the great English classical actors of his generation.  He died  in early 2007.

Jack Richardson is a legendary Canadian record producer.

James Richardson is a sociologist from South Carolina known for this acerbic criticisms of "cultic brainwashing."

Keith and Ann Richardson run the Richardson Group of hotels around England. 

Mervyn Richardson was an Australian inventor who after the war patented and developed a lightweight rotary lawnmower.

Michael Richardson is a Durham historian who has published a number of popular books under his subject. 

Sir Michael Richardson was a City financier active in the UK Government's privatization plans in the 1980's.

Miranda Richardson is a well-known English actress.

Richie Richardson from Antigua was a West Indian batsman and cricket captain during the 1990's. 

Robert Richardson from Virginia was the Nobel prize winner for physics in 1996.

Ruth Richardson was New Zealand Minister of Finance in the early 1990;s.  She was known for her "free market" economic reforms which her critics dubbed "ruthanasia."

Shelley and Bruce Richardson own a tea emporium in Perryvile, Kentucky and write extensively on tea.

Tony Richardson from Shipley in Yorkshire was a leading stage and film director of the “new wave” in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  He was married for a time to the actress Vanessa Redgrave.  He died in 1991.

And here is a list of some noted Richardsons of the past:

Charles Richardson published his New Dictionary of the English Language in 1858.

Edith Richardson, who wrote under the pen-name Henry Handel Richardson, was an acclaimed Australian novelist of the early twentieth century.

Elizabeth Richardson was a Quaker diarist in the late nineteenth century.

Ezekiel Richardson
was the eldest of three Hertfordshire brothers to join Winthrop’s fleet in 1630 and depart for New Rngland. 

Friend William Richardson, born in a Quaker township in Michigan, migrated to California and worked his way up to become the Governor of the state in the 1920's.

Hugh Richardson was the British and Indian representative in Tibet until 1950.  He then began a second career as a scholar of that country and has been dubbed “the father of modern Tibetan studies.

James Richardson started his sugar-importing business in Scotland in the early 1800’s.

James Richardson founded his grain business in Kingston, Ontario in 1857.  It remains privately owned and family controlled.  Now based in Winnipeg, the company office dominates the city skyline.

James Armstrong Richardson
started Western Canada Airways in 1926.  Winnipeg International Airport is now named after him.

Jessie Richardson moved to Canada in 1919 and spent most of her life in the theater there.  The Jessie Richardson Theater Awards are named after her.

John Richardson, ordained as rector of Armagh in 1693, was involved in the project for the printing and distribution of an Irish translation of the Bible.

John Richardson
from Yorkshire was an itinerant Quaker preacher in the early 1700's.

John Richardson
, although transported to Australia as a convict in the 1820’s, became that country’s first recognized horticulturist. 

John Grubb Richardson, an Irish Quaker, brought the Bessbrook linen mill to south Armagh in 1845 and created a model village for the workers.


John Peter Richardson was Governor of South Carolina in the late 1800's.

John Wigham Richardson
founded the shipbuilding company on the Tyne that bore his name in the 1870’s.  The company merged with Swan Hunter in 1903 to get the contract to build the passenger liner Mauretania.

Sir John Richardson, trained as a doctor in Dumfries Scotland in the 1830’s, had a long career as a physician, an Arctic explorer, and a naturalist.  The Richardson mountain range in the Canadian Rockies is named after him.

John M. Richardson is best known for his quote: "When it comes to the future, there are three types of people, those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened."

JP Richardson, the rock and roller also known as "the Big Bopper," died in the air crash in 1959 which also killed Buddy Holly.

Lewis Fry Richardson
, born into a Quaker family in Newcastle, laid the basis for present day weather forecasting.  His later work was involved in mathematical studies on the causes of war. 

Mary Richardson was a militant suffragette best known for slashing Velasquez's Venus in the National Gallery.

Owen Richardson from Dewsbury in Yorkshire was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1928 for his pioneering work in thermionics.

Sir Ralph Richardson, who made his professional debut in 1921, was one of the leading stage actors of his generation.

Richard Richardson, who grew up in a wool family in Yorkshire in the 1660’s, was one of the first Englishmen to take an informed interst in botany. 

Richard Richardson, a plantation owner in South Carolina during colonial times, started a family which included two later Governors of the state.


Samuel Richardson, a Quaker,helped build the town of Philadelphia in the early 1700's.

Samuel Richardson
can be considered the first writer of the English novel, with his books Pamela in 1740 and Clarissa in 1748.  

Sid Richardson was a successful and wealthy Texan businessman in oil, cattle, and real estate from the 1930's to 1950’s.

Smith Richardson
developed the Vicks company into a major pharmaceutical company during the inter-war years.  The company had been founded by his father, Lunsford Richardson, in Greensboro North Carolina in 1905.  

Susan Rixhardson was a runaway slave who secured her freedom in a celebrated court case in 1843.

Sir Thomas Richardson
from Norfolk was Lord Chief Justice under James I and his son, through marriage, Baron Cramond in Scotland.

Thomas Richardson
, raised in a Quaker household in Darlington, was a partner in the London billbroking firm of Richardson, Overend, and Gurney in the early 1800’s.

Thomas Miles Richardson
was a Newcastle-based artist in the early nineteenth century.  His favorite sketching grounds were Northumberland, the Borders and Scotland.

Willard Richardson
was a newspaper editor of the Texas frontier in the second half of the nineteenth century.

William Richardson, a seaman from London, was the first white settler in the San Francisco Bay area.   He married a Spanish lady, was granted large land holdings in Sausalito, and prospered.  However, he lost everything during the Gold Rush time in a misguided shipping venture.

William Richardson, who came from Scotland, was an early medical practioner in Australia.

William H. Richardson patented and devloped the first baby carriage in America in 1889.

Willis Richardson was a leading African-American playwright and drama anthologist during the 1920’s and 1930’s.