Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick

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Memorial to Lord Warwick and his second wife.
Lady Isabella Rich, painted by William Larkin in 1614.

Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick (December 1559 – 24 March 1619), was an English nobleman, the 3rd Baron Rich between 1581 and 1618, when he was created Earl of Warwick. He was the first husband of Penelope Rich, whom he divorced in 1605 on the grounds of her adultery.

Background[edit]

Rich was the son of Robert Rich, 2nd Baron Rich, and Elizabeth Baldry, daughter of George Baldry.[1]

Public life[edit]

Rich succeeded his father in the barony in 1581. In 1618 he was created Earl of Warwick.

Family[edit]

Lord Warwick married firstly Lady Penelope Devereux (January 1563 – 7 July 1607), daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, on 10 January 1581. They had seven children:

In 1605 Lord Rich sued for and was granted a divorce from his wife, who admitted adultery with Charles Blount, Baron Mountjoy.

In 1616 he married secondly Frances Wray, widow of Sir George St Paul, Baronet. Born in 1568 the second daughter of Sir Christoper Wray, Lord Chief Justice to Queen Elizabeth I, Frances Wray was described as 'a person of shining conversation and eminent bounty'. In her second widowhood she was one of the richest women in Jacobean Lincolnshire. Neither of her marriages produced children. She died at Snarford in 1634 aged 66.

Lord Warwick died in March 1619, aged 59, and was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, Robert.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Usher, Brett. "Rich, Robert". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61021.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Warwick
1618–1619
Succeeded by
Robert Rich
Preceded by
Robert Rich
Baron Rich
1581–1619