Nugent, Richard (c.1465–1538), 12th baron of Delvin , was son of Christopher Nugent, 11th baron, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Preston (qv), 1st Viscount Gormanston, and succeeded to his family's lands after his father died of plague (1478). He was summoned to parliaments as Lord Delvin from 1483, and was one of fifteen Irish barons recognised by Henry VII in 1489, having been included in the general pardon issued by Henry (May 1488) following the Lambert Simnel (qv) affair. He does not seem to have been a supporter of Gerald FitzGerald (qv), 8th earl of Kildare. Delvin emerged as a leader of the lesser nobility and gentry of Meath, prepared to accept Kildare's leadership of the lordship but preferring to keep his distance where possible, as evidenced by his refusal to attend parliament and also a muster near Limerick in 1498. When Kildare was summoned to England in 1496, the council appointed Delvin (25 June) to act as commander-in-chief of the forces arrayed to defend the Pale. He accompanied Kildare to the battle of Knockdoe (1504), where he was credited with throwing the first spear into the hostile ranks, killing a Burke, as he led the left wing of Kildare's forces.
Delvin served as a JP for Meath from 1515 and was a member of the Irish council by February 1522. He supported Piers Butler (qv), earl of Ormond and Ossory, in the factional struggles of the 1520s, and in 1524 he was one of the men against whom Gerald FitzGerald (qv), 9th earl of Kildare, forswore retaliation. In September 1527 he replaced Sir Thomas FitzGerald as deputy to the absent lieutenant, Kildare, probably on the king's orders. With little or no financial support from England to supplement his own limited means, Delvin was forced to resort to harsh military exactions to defend the lordship; and despite his precarious position, he antagonised the Gaelic lords bordering the Pale, especially Brian O'Connor Faly (qv), to whom he stopped payment of black rent. Delvin's weakness was underlined by letters from the council, stating that he did not have the resources to defend the Pale. In May 1528 he was kidnapped at a parley with O'Connor Faly, and was held until February 1529, when the new lieutenant, Ossory, agreed to restore the black rent.
Delvin again served as deputy lieutenant (June–August 1534) after the resignation of Thomas FitzGerald (qv), Lord Offaly (‘Silken Thomas’), as deputy to Kildare. Delvin was one of those appointed to oversee the garrisons of Meath in March 1535, and was present at the surrender of Offaly and O'Connor Faly in August. He appears to have had a turbulent relationship with Leonard, Lord Grey (qv), who served as lieutenant from February 1536. Grey described Delvin as the best captain of the ‘Englishry’ after Ossory, but also accused him of instituting coign and livery in the Pale. After Grey refused to allow him leave of absence in May 1536, Delvin failed to muster for a campaign in Limerick that year, but he did join in the campaign against O'Connor Faly in 1537; by December 1537 he was pursuing O'Connor Faly across Offaly and was probably still on campaign when he died on 28 February 1538. His relations with Grey, including an incident in which he was called a traitor, were said to have contributed to his last decline.
He married first (date unknown) Isabella FitzGerald, a cousin of the 9th earl of Kildare; they had at least three sons, Christopher (d. 1531), Thomas, and William. He married secondly (1531?) Elizabeth St Lawrence, daughter of Nicholas, Lord Howth (qv), and was succeeded in the barony by his grandson Richard, son of Christopher.