Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet

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Sir Robert Rich, Bt
Field-Marshall Sir Robert Rich.jpeg
Portrait by William Aikman
Born 3 July 1685
Roos Hall, Beccles
Died 1 February 1768
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1700–1768
Rank Field Marshal
Battles/wars War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Austrian Succession

Field Marshal Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet (3 July 1685 – 1 February 1768) was a British cavalry officer. As a junior officer he fought at the Battle of Schellenberg and at the Battle of Blenheim during the War of the Spanish Succession. He was then asked the raise a regiment to combat the threat from the Jacobite rising rising of 1715. He also served with the Pragmatic Army under the Earl of Stair at the Battle of Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession. As a Member of Parliament he represented three different constituencies but never attained political office.

Career[edit]

Born the son of Sir Robert Rich, 2nd Baronet and Mary Rich (née Rich, daughter of Sir Charles Rich, 1st baronet), Rich was commissioned as an ensign in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards and lieutenant in the Army on 10 June 1700.[1] He fought at the Battle of Schellenberg in July 1704, where was wounded, and at the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704, where he was wounded again, during the War of the Spanish Succession.[2] Promoted to lieutenant in the Brigadier-General Tatton's Regiment and captain in the Army, he succeeded his brother as 4th Baronet in October 1706, and was then promoted to captain in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards and lieutenant-colonel in the Army in March 1708.[2] In June 1708 he fought a duel with Sir Edmund Bacon, 4th Baronet who was wounded but survived.[2]

When the threat of the Jacobite rising rising of 1715 became apparent Rich was asked the raise a regiment which subsequently became known as the 18th Dragoons.[3] That year he was also elected as Member of Parliament for Dunwich but in June 1717 he was stripped of his regiment for voting against the Government on a motion accusing Lord Cadogan of fraud and embezzlement during the transport of some Dutch troops.[4]

Rich was defeated in the general election in 1722 but having strongly supported Sir Robert Walpole, first when Walpole was in opposition and then when Walpole was in Government, was rewarded with the colonelcy of the 13th Hussars in November 1722.[2] Rich was elected as Member of Parliament for Bere Alston in February 1724 and became colonel of Sir Robert Rich's Regiment of Dragoons in September 1725.[2] He transferred constitency to become Member of Parliament for St Ives in 1727 and, having beem promoted to brigadier-general on 15 March 1727,[5] went on to be colonel of the The King's Regiment of Carabineers in January 1731, colonel of the 1st Troop Horse of Grenadier Guards in July 1733[6] and, finally, colonel of the 4th Regiment of Dragoons in May 1735.[7]

Promoted to major-general on 18 December 1735[8] and lieutenant general on 17 July 1739,[9] Rich became Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in May 1740.[10][11] He served with the Pragmatic Army under the Earl of Stair at the Battle of Dettingen in June 1743 during the War of the Austrian Succession.[2] He also presided over a court martial of Lieutenant-General Thomas Fowke, Governor of Gibraltar, on a charge of disobeying orders in August 1756.[12]

Rich was promoted to general of horse on 24 March 1746[13] and to field marshal on 3 December 1757.[14] In retirement he continued to live in the family home, Roos Hall in Beccles.[15] He died on 1 February 1768.[16]

Rich fought under the Earl of Stair at the Battle of Dettingen

Family[edit]

In 1710 Rich married Elizabeth Griffith; they had three sons, including Sir Robert Rich, 5th Baronet and Sir George Rich, 6th Baronet, and one daughter, Elizabeth, who married George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Heathcote, p. 245
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 5349. p. 1. 23 July 1715. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet". History of Parliament. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 6572. p. 3. 11 April 1727. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 7211. p. 1. 7 July 1733. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 7403. p. 1. 17 May 1735. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 7464. p. 1. 16 December 1735. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 7823. p. 1. 14 July 1739. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  10. ^ "The Royal Hospital: Paymasters General and Officials, Survey of London: volume 11: Chelsea, part IV: The Royal Hospital". 1927. p. 37-60. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 7909. p. 2. 10 May 1740. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9608. p. 1. 10 August 1756. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 8625. p. 2. 21 March 1746. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9744. p. 1. 29 November 1757. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Beccles, The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: volume 1". 1846. p. 1-35. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Heathcote, p. 246
  17. ^ Mosley, p. 838

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1736-1997. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 
  • Mosley, Charles (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, Volumes I. Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. ISBN 978-0971196629. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir George Downing, Bt
Sir Robert Kemp, Bt
Member of Parliament for Dunwich
1715–1722
With: Charles Long
Succeeded by
Sir George Downing, Bt
Edward Vernon
Preceded by
St John Brodrick
Sir John Hobart, Bt
Member of Parliament for Bere Alston
1724–1727
With: St John Brodrick
Succeeded by
Sir John Hobart, Bt
Sir Francis Henry Drake, Bt
Preceded by
Sir John Hobart, Bt
Henry Knollys
Member of Parliament for St Ives
1727–1741
With: Henry Knollys 1727–1734
William Mackworth Praed 1734–1741
Succeeded by
John Bristow
Gregory Beake
Military offices
Preceded by
Regiment raised
Colonel of the 18th Dragoons
1715–1717
Succeeded by
James Croft
Preceded by
Richard Munden
Colonel of the 13th Hussars
1722–1725
Succeeded by
The Earl of Harrington
Colonel of Sir Robert Rich's Regiment of Dragoons
1725–1731
Succeeded by
The Lord Cathcart
Preceded by
The Earl of Deloraine
Colonel of the The King's Regiment of Carabineers
1731–1733
Preceded by
Hon. John Fane
Captain and Colonel of the
1st Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards

1733–1735
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Hotham, Bt
Preceded by
William Evans
Colonel of the 4th Regiment of Dragoons
1735–1768
Succeeded by
Henry Seymour Conway
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William Evans
Governor, Royal Hospital Chelsea
1740–1768
Succeeded by
Sir George Howard
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Charles Rich
Baronet
(of London)
1706–1768
Succeeded by
Robert Rich