Richard was born on the 28th of August, 1800, to Thomas and Jane Lenn, at Launceston. He was one of nine children, whose father was a tailor and his mother kept a dame’s school. Richard was educated at Dr. Cope’s Grammar School. At the age of 14, he was made to Mr. Rogers, a shoemaker in the town square. On his father’s death, Richard took over his business. He ultimately married and with his wife Elizabeth, had four daughters. He resided for most of his life at Launceston. A devout Baptist, Richard became a Baptist Village Preacher. He would often be seen sitting at his bench with his slate and pencil by his side, ready for noting down thoughts for his sermons. It was not unusual for him to be working until very late on a Saturday, and yet on the following day walk 24 miles to preach.
He was also a well know poet and a collection of his poetry was published soon after his death by Blake and Mackenzie. In old age, when he could no longer work at his trade, he went to live with one of his daughters at Granville Street, Plymouth. It is here that he suffered a stroke which laid him low for several months until his death on the 30th of October, 1876. He was interred at the Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth (Section F, No.3, Row 15).