Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick
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.
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.
Rich succeeded his father in the barony in 1581. In 1618 he was created Earl of Warwick.
Marriages & progeny
He married twice:
- Firstly, 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 he had seven children:
- Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1587–1658), eldest son and heir.
- Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland (1590–1649), second son.
- Hon. Sir Charles Rich (d. 1627), died unmarried and without issue
- Lady Lettice Rich (d. 1619), named after her maternal grandmother Lettice Knollys. Married firstly Sir George Carey (c.1541–1616) and secondly Sir Arthur Lake, MP.
- Lady Penelope Rich, married Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet
- Lady Essex Rich, married Sir Thomas Cheek and had three sons and five daughters
- Lady Isabella Rich, married Sir John Smythe, son of Sir Thomas Smythe, first Governor of the East India Company.
- Secondly, in 1616, he married 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. She 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 & succession
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).
- 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|
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