Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth

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Robert Paston

Birthdate: (50)
Death: circa March 8, 1682 (46-54)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir William Paston, 1st Baronet and Katherine Paston
Husband of Rebecca Paston
Father of William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth; Hon. Robert Paston, MP and Col. Thomas Paston

Managed by: Carol Ann Selis
Last Updated:

About Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth

Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth, FRS (29 May 1631 – 8 March 1683) was an English scientist and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1660 and 1673 when he was created Viscount Yarmouth. He was created Earl of Yarmouth in 1679.

Following the creation of the Royal Society in 1660, he was accepted as an Original Fellow on 20 May 1663. With another Fellow, Thomas Henshaw, he attempted to discover a formula for the fabled "red elixir", another name for the philosopher's stone which alchemists believed could transmute base metals into gold.[2]

Paston lived at Richmond. In May 1666 he wrote a letter to his wife mentioning "a game of criquett on Richmond Green" which is the first reference to cricket at Richmond Green which was a popular venue for cricket matches during the 17th and 18th centuries.[3]

There is a painting in the Castle Museum, Norwich of Robert Paston's belongings, called The Paston Treasure (see below)


Paston was the son of Sir William Paston, 1st Baronet of Oxnead and his first wife Lady Katherine Bertie, daughter of Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey.

Paston married Rebecca Clayton daughter of Sir Jasper Clayton, Haberdasher, of London on 15 June 1650. They had six sons and three daughters. Rebecca died on 16 February 1694. His son William married an illegitimate daughter of Charles II.[1] Both Robert and his son were in high favour with the Stuarts.


  1. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1289. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  2. [S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.


  1. Norfolk Archaeology, Or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to the ..., Volume 4 page 49
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Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth's Timeline

May 29, 1631
Age 21
Age 25
March 8, 1682
Age 50