Richard Rich, Sheriff of London

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Richard Rich

Also Known As: "Ryche"
Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: London, Middlesex, England
Death: August 16, 1464 (52-60)
City of London, Middlesex, England
Place of Burial: City of London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Rich, Esq. and Catherine Rich
Husband of Catherine Ryche
Father of Margaret Boston; John Rich; Katherine Marrow; Thomas Riche and Ann Urswick

Occupation: Sherrif of London, Sheriff, Mercer (Merchant)
Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Richard Rich, Sheriff of London

Richard RICH or RYCHE was born about 1400 in London, Middlesex, England. He was the son of Richard Rich and an unknown mother.

He was married to Catherine Mills, whom he married in London. With Catherine, he had five children: Thomas, John, Margaret (Margery), Anne, and Catherine/

In 1442, he served as Sheriff of London.

He possessed large estates in Middlesex and Hertfordshire and was opulent enough to found five alms-houses at Broxbourne.

He died in 1464 in London.


Peerage of England gives his will as being written in 1463. This will identifies his wife as being named Catherine, and children as Thomas (father of Richard who m. Joan Dingley), John (m. Isabel, had son Thomas who m. Margaret Shaw dau. of Sir Edmund Shaw Lord Mayor of London), and three daughters (first m. William Marrow; second m. John Walden, Alderman of London; third m. Thomas Verwick, Recorder of London).

Excerpt of XIII. Rich, Earl of Warwick and Holland.

The first I find of this family is John de Rich, Esq. (Pat. 11 H. IV. m. 6); born in Lombardy, who was living in England in the reign of King Henry the fourth, (Pedig. of Nobility, by Lilly, penes Joh. Com' Egmont), and had issue Richard Rich of London, Esq.; who died in 26 Henry VI, seized of lands in Springfield, Little Waltham,, Great Leys, Tirling, and Boreham, (all) in Essex (Efc. 26 H VI), and was buried in the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, London (Lilly praed.), leaving issue, among other children (Ibid) Richard Rich, who was of the company of Mercers of the City of London, and executed the office of Sheriff of that city, an. 1441, (in the 20th of H. VI.) and founded a certain alms-house at Hodsdon in com' Hertford.

Which Richard, writing himself of London, Mercer, made his will April 20, 1463, 3 Edward IV ordering his body to be buried in the Chapel of the Blessed St. Mary, within the Church of St. Lawrence, in the Old Jury, London, near his feat in that church, and that his funeral be performed without any pomp. He appointed Catherine his wife, Thomas his son, Robert Love his chaplain, William Marrow, John Walden Alderman of London, and Thomas Verwick Recorder of London, who had married his daughters, and their servants, to be cloathed by Thomas his son, in black cloath of that value of 2 s. 6 d. per yard, to attend the day of his funeral; and that his servants at Hoxton be also provided with mourning at 20 d. per yard: He bequeaths two torches to the Church of Brokesborn, and two to the Chapel of St. Catharine in Hoddesdon, and one to each of the Churches of Stansteed Abbey, Amwell, and Wormeley, all in com' Hertf., and also a benefactor to other churches, and orders that his executors distribute to the poor according to their discretions.

He bequeaths to Thomas Rich, his son, and to his executors, all his plate, money, debts, etc. To Catharine his wife, her dower, etc. 100 l. sterling; and all his goods and chattels in his capital tenement in the parish of St. Lawrence, and all his tenements and shops adjacent, which he had for a term of years, of the prior and convent of the hospital of the blessed Mary of Esling, Spitell London, by farm of 14 l. per annum, and all his other tenements in Ironmonger Lane, held of the dean and chapter of St. Paul, London, by farm of 3 s. 4 d. per annum; to hold during her life, paying the said 14 l. and 3 s. 4 d. That his feoffees of all his lands and tenements, and appurtenances in Hodesdon, Brokesborn, stansteed, and Amwell in com' Hertf., and in Hoxton in the Parish of Shoreditch in com' Middlesex, permit the said Catharine to hold them for her life, she paying his legacies, etc.

That his executors enfeoff Isabel the wife of John Rich his son, of his tenement called the George in Hoddesdon, with other tenements there, and all lands to the fame belonging for term of her life; and after her decease to the heirs of the said John Rich and Isabel, with remainder to Thomas Rich, his son. To Thomas Ursewick and Anne his wife, his lands called Fellgates, and other lands in Essex, to hold for ever. He was a great benefactor to religious houses, hospitals, etc.

He bequeathed ten pounds sterling to be disposed by his executors to the poor of the parish of Brokesborn, and 20 d. to every man, and 12 d. to every woman, in his alms house in Hoddesdon, at the time of his death, to pray for his soul, also ten pounds sterling to the poor of the Parish of St. Lawrence, forty pounds to be distributed by his executors to poor girls of good fame and honesty in London, at their marriages, wiz to each XX s. and 40 marks to poor girls of good fame, etc., in Hoddesdon, and other villages near Hoddesdon; twenty pounds to the reparations of the foot-way and highway leading to Hoddesdon, and other villages according to the discretion of John Bokeney: To Thomas Rich his son 200 l. sterling, and all his lands and tenements in Iseldon (Islington) Redclyff, in com' Middlesex, to him and his heirs. The residue of his estate, etc., he gives to his executors Robert Love Chaplain, and the said Thomas Rich his son, and makes supervisors of his will William Marrew, Thomas Ursewick, and John Walden.

He was buried in the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry, near his father, and left issue John, and Richard. When John (Lilly, ut antea) was father of Thomas, who by Margaret his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Edmund Shaw, Knt. Lord Mayor of London, left issue Thomas Rich of Southweald in Essex, Esq., who died March 3, 1531, leaving issue Edward Rich of Hordon in Essex, Esq.; father of Sir Robert Rich, Knt., and others.

But I return to Richard Rich, second son of Richard, who died in 9 E. IV (1469). The said Richard, by Joan his wife (Lilly, ut antea), daughter of Dingley, had issue three sons, Richard, Robert, and Hugh. Which Richard, by enjoying sundry eminent employments, arrived, at length, to great wealth and honour; he was educated in the study of the laws, and being a good proficient therein was elected Autumn Reader to the Society of the Middle Temple (Dugdale Origin. Jurid. p. 216), whereof he was a member, in 21 H. VIII (1530). In the 24th of Hen. VIII (1533), he obtained the Office of Attorney General in Wales (Pat. 24 H. VIII, p. 2); and the next year was constituted the King's Sollicitor General (Pat. 25 H. VIII. p. 1); and got a grant of the profitable office of Chirographer of the Court of King's Bench (Pat. 27 H. VIII, p. 1), in 27 H. VIII. On the grand dissolution of monasteries, he was made Chancellor of the Court of Augmentation, by which he acquired to himself divers lands and manors. In 36 H. VIII, he was one of the Commissioners appointed to treat which the French touching peace, being at that time Treasurer of the King's wars (M.S. in Bibl. Cotton, sub. Frng. Ortho. E. II. p. 64), both there and in Scotland. And in 38h of Henry VIII (1547), the King lying then on his death bed, he was constituted one of the Assistants to his executors, in matters of great consequence.

On Feb. 16, in the 1st of E. VI (1547, being then a knight) he was advanced to the dignity of a Baron of this realm, by the title of Lord Rich; and constituted Lord Chancellor of England, Nov. 20, 1 Edward VI. But in the 5th of the fame reign, well observing the danger of the times, as well by the Duke of Somerset's fall, as otherwise, he requested the King, by reason of some bodily infirmities, that he might be discharged from his office, which was granted, and the seal delivered to Thomas Goodrick, Bishop of Ely. After which he lived many years, and at his own charge built the tower steeple of Rochford in Essex: Also in 1564 (6 Eliz.) he founded a free grammar school at Felsted (near Leighs in Essex) settling 20 l. per annum on the master, and 10 l. per annum on the usher; which stipend, Robert the second of that name, Earl of Warwick, did, in anno 1638, augment to 50 l. per annum to the master, and 25 l. per annum to the suher. The said Richard also founded an alms house at Felsted for fix poor people; and gave to be distributed to the poor of Felsted, Little Leighs, and Great Waltham adjoining on the several Sundays in Lent, 11 cades of red, and 11 barrels of white herrings. His last will bears date 12 Maii, 9 Eliz (1567) whereby he bequeathed his body to be buried at Felsted in Essex and to Sir Robert Rich his son and heir, as much of his plate as he shall choose, to the value of 200 l. and all the furniture of his houses at Leighs, Rochford, and St. Bartholomew's; and orders his executors to give 100 marks to poor people, coming to his burial. And by a codicil dated the 10th of June 1567, he gave one of his manors in Rochford hundred for building and endowing an alms house at Rochford: He departed this life the year after, as should seem by the probate of his will, bearing date 3 Junii, 1568, leaving issue by Elizabeth his wife, sister to William Jenks, and at leangth heir to her father Thomas Jenks of the City of London, Robert his son and heir, and nine daughters:

  • 1. Margaret, wife of Henry Picot of Abington in com' Cantab. Esq;
  • 2. Agnes, of Edmund Mordaunt of Thundersley in Essex, Esq., younger son of William Mordaunt, of Hempstead, Esq., ancestor to Sir Francis Mordaunt, Bart.
  • 3. Mary, of Sir Thomas Wroth of Durans in com' Middlesec, Knt.
  • 4. Winefred, of Sir Henry Dudley, son of Thomas Duke of Northumberland, and secondly of Roger Lord North;
  • 5. Dorothy, of Francis Barley of Bibsworthhall in Kimpton, in com' Hertf., Esq.;
  • 6. Etheldred,, of Robert Drury of Halsted in com' Suff.
  • 7. Elizabeth, of Robert Peyton of Iselham in com' Cantab.
  • 8. Anne, of Thomas Pigot of Straton in com' Bedf. Esqrs., and
  • 9. Frances, of John Lord Darcy, of Chichester.
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Richard Rich, Sheriff of London's Timeline

London, Middlesex, England
Age 17
London, Middlesex, England
Age 20
London, Middlesex, England
Age 20
London, Middlesex, England
Age 24
London, Middlesex, England
Age 26
London, Middlesex, England
April 2, 1463
Age 55
August 16, 1464
Age 56
City of London, Middlesex, England

Will proved on this date.

Sheriff of London