Charles Rich, 4th Earl of Warwick

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Arms of Rich: Gules, a chevron between three crosses botonée or

Charles Rich, 4th Earl of Warwick (abt 1623 – 24 Aug 1673), styled The Honourable Charles Rich until 1658, was an English peer and politician.

Rich was the second son of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick and Frances Hatton. As a young man he was noted for being handsome, charming, cheerful and penniless. His wife was Lady Mary Boyle, daughter of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, and his second wife Catherine Fenton. He became intimate with Lady Mary when he helped to nurse her through an attack of measles.[1] It was a love marriage: Mary to her father's intense displeasure, had refused to enter the marriage arranged by him with James Hamilton, later Earl of Clanbrassil, on the grounds that she found him repulsive, and chose Charles instead. Her father who was genuinely fond of her eventually gave his consent, as well as a generous dowry, but the couple do not seem to have been happy. Mary in her diaries refers to "violent and passionate disputes". There may have been faults on both sides, since Mary was exceptionally stubborn and strong- minded (as shown by her defiance of her formidable father), and in later years became almost fanatically devout, but it was generally agreed that the greater blame lay with Rich, whose chronic ill-health made him bad-tempered and tyrannical.

Mary, Countess of Warwick

In public life Rich represented Sandwich in Parliament from 1645 to 1648. He was also Custos Rotulorum of Essex. He succeeded his brother Robert in the earldom in 1658.

Lord Warwick died in 1673, after "twenty years of gout". His only son had predeceased him and had no children by his wife Anne Cavendish, so the title passed to his cousin, Charles Rich, 2nd Earl of Holland. His only other child Elizabeth had died in infancy. Despite their quarrels, he left all his property to his widow for her life, an unusual step at the time. She died five years later.


  1. ^  "Rich, Mary". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Edward Partridge
Member of Parliament for Sandwich
With: Sir Edward Partridge
Succeeded by
Unrepresented in the Rump Parliament
Political offices
Preceded by
James Hay, 2nd Earl of Carlisle
Custos Rotulorum of Essex
Succeeded by
William Maynard, 2nd Baron Maynard
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert Rich
Earl of Warwick
Succeeded by
Charles Rich