Sir Thomas Rich, 1st Baronet

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Sir Thomas Rich, 1st Baronet

Sir Thomas Rich, 1st Baronet (c.1601 – 15 October 1667) was an English merchant and politician who sat in House of Commons in 1660. He established Sir Thomas Rich's School, a grammar school.[1]

Rich was born in Gloucester in 1601. He was sent to school in London and went on to study at the newly founded Wadham College, Oxford. Afterwards, he worked in the city of London in the wine importing trade. Rich later purchased the manor of Sonning, near Reading.

In 1657 Rich was appointed High Sheriff of Berkshire and in 1660 elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Reading in the Convention Parliament.[2] In 1661 Charles II created him Baronet of Sunning, Berkshire.

Rich died in 1667[3] and was buried in the Rich Chapel in the parish church at Sonning - his monument has been moved to under the church tower.

In his will, Rich left £6000 and his house in Gloucester to establish a school for poor boys. The money was invested in local farm land, and the rent generated by the house was used to pay for the upkeep and operation of the school. Sir Thomas Rich's School opened in 1668, one year after Rich's death, and is still in use today as a grammar school, although not in its original location. The Tommy Psalm (the School Song) describes the history of the school (albeit incorrectly).

References[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Daniel Blagrave
Member of Parliament for Reading
1660
With: John Blagrave
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Dolman
Richard Aldworth
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Sunning, Berkshire)
1661–1667
Succeeded by
William Rich