Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick

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Mural monument to Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and his second wife Frances Wray. St Lawrence's Church, Snarford, Lincolnshire
Arms of Rich: Gules, a chevron between three crosses botonée or
Lady Isabella Rich, painted by William Larkin in 1614

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

Origins[edit]

Rich was the son and heir of Robert Rich, 2nd Baron Rich (c.1538–1581) by his wife Elizabeth Baldry, a daughter of George Baldry.[1] He was the grandson of Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich, the progenitor of the powerful Rich family.

Career[edit]

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

Marriages and progeny[edit]

He married twice: His first marriage was on 10 January 1581 to Lady Penelope Devereux (January 1563 – 7 July 1607), a daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. In 1605 Lord Rich was granted a divorce from his wife, who admitted adultery with Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy. By Penelope, Rich had seven children:

His second marriage was in 1616 to Frances Wray (1568–1634), widow of Sir George St Paul, 1st Baronet, and second daughter of Sir Christoper Wray, Lord Chief Justice to Queen Elizabeth I. Wray was described as "a person of shining conversation and eminent bounty"; she survived her second husband and in her second widowhood was one of the richest women in Lincolnshire. Neither of her marriages produced children. She died at Snarford in 1634 aged 66.

Death and succession[edit]

He died in March 1619, aged 59, and was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1587–1658).

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
Preceded by Baron Rich
1581–1619