meaning and origins
Early German, meaning powerful ruler and very popular, no doubt because of all those kings called Richard. I have always thought of it as another Welsh name but apparently not.
Richard, Reichardt, Richardson, Rickard
distribution in England and Wales
In 1891 the Richards were indeed in Wales, specifically Glamorgan, London and Cornwall.
In current times the Richards are concentrated in isolated clumps in Somerset, Nottinghamshire and a larger clump in Essex, London and Surrey. It is the 77th most common name in England and Wales.
These are salt of the earth, hearts of oak people - all associated with the Portsmouth dockyard, where they worked as shipwrights and draughtsmen. There is great consistency in this family - same name, same job, same location. None of them seem to have moved away from the family heartland - the naval dockyard in Portsmouth, where they worked in various capacities, designing and building ships. Portsmouth, is, of course, a navy town - it still is, and life still centres on the dockyard.