Exeter, Richard of (d. 1286), knight, justice, and deputy justiciar, first appears as a justice of the itinerant bench in 1258 and is regularly mentioned in eyre till 1282; his family background is unknown. He became deputy justiciar of Ireland on 6 March 1270, a position he held till 6 November 1276. Appointed by the king's Irish council, he was probably intended to act as a general assistant to and undertake the judicial activities of the justiciars James de Audley (qv), Maurice fitz Maurice FitzGerald (qv), and Geoffrey de Geneville (qv) – who were heavily committed to a number of campaigns during their justiciarships – rather than act as a substitute during their absences. He seems to have made use of his influence, and at least one litigant complained he could not find one serjeant-at-law prepared to represent him in his suit against Exeter.
His appointment as deputy justiciar did not preclude him from involvement in military activities: in 1270, leading a substantial contingent, he linked up with Walter de Burgh (qv), earl of Ulster, to attack Áed O' Connor (qv). Before meeting O'Connor they unwisely divided their forces, and de Burgh went on to the disastrous defeat at Ath-an-chip; Exeter was unable to prevent the ensuing destruction of a number of castles including his own at Athleague. In 1270 he received a commission from the king's lieutenants in England to enquire into the recent spate of warfare and destruction in Ireland. The following year he returned to Connacht to organise defences, and was paid ‘to pacify the land’.
In June 1280 he was granted substantial territory in Connacht by the crown, and from 1281 appears as constable of the castles of Roscommon and Rindown. Previously he had obtained lands in Uriel and was the lord of Derver in Louth. In an unusual letter in 1282 he was ordered to suspend his activities in eyre, and in effect became the first justice appointed to the justiciar's bench. During 1284–6 he was once more on campaign in Connacht and was compensated for the loss of a couple of horses. He died soon after Michaelmas 1286.
He had at least one son, Richard of Exeter (d. c.1324) who was of full age by Hilary 1290 when he presented a petition to the king in parliament at Westminster, stating that his father had not been paid for some three-and-a-half years, and complaining that the land granted in Connacht was not worth the rent the king was charging him for it. Sheriff of Connacht in 1292, he acted as a collector of the fifteenth in Uriel (1294) and was briefly appointed sheriff of Co. Dublin in 1294. He was summoned to Scotland in 1296 and became chief justice of the common pleas on 1 November 1302. He was made sheriff of the newly constituted county of Roscommon in 1300 and was also constable of Roscommon castle; he remained sheriff till 1309. In June 1306 he was successful in bringing Brian Mac Mathghamna (Mac Mahon) (qv) to the king's peace.
In the aftermath of the Bruce invasions, when there were widespread suspicions of disloyalty, he became a suspect because his daughter had married Walter de Lacy, a traitor; and a petition called for his replacement by a suitable English or Irish lawyer. However, it was not till early 1324 that an English replacement arrived as chief justice. Exeter seems to have died shortly afterwards. He had at least one son and a daughter. No details of his or his father's marriage are available.