Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick

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Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick

Death: April 19, 1658 (70)
Warwick House, Holborn, Middlesex, England
Place of Burial: Felsted, Uttlesford District, Essex, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and Penelope Blount, Countess of Devonshire
Husband of Frances Rich; Eleanor Wortley and Susan Rich
Father of Anne Montagu; Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick; Stephen Rich; Frances, Countess of Scarsdale; Lady Essex Rich and 3 others
Brother of Charles Rich; Essex Cheke; Penelope Clifton (Rich); Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland; Lettice Carey (Rich) and 1 other
Half brother of Mountjoy Blount, 2nd Earl of Devonshire; John Blount and Elizabeth Blount

Occupation: 2nd Earl of Warwick
Managed by: Private User
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About Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick

Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, 1587-1658

Puritan nobleman involved in colonial ventures and privateering, he served as Lord High Admiral of Parliament's navy during the civil wars.

Slavery in Virginia dates to 1619, soon after the founding of Virginia as an English colony by the London Virginia Company. The company established a headright system to encourage colonists to transport indentured servants to the colony for labor; they received a certain amount of land for people whose passage they paid to Virginia.

Africans first appeared in Virginia in late August 1619, brought by the frigate "White Lion", a privateer ship owned by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, but flying a Dutch flag. The approximately 20 Africans on that ship, originally from the present-day Angola, had been seized by the British crew from a Portuguese slave ship, the "São João Bautista".

In 1661, Virginia passed its first law allowing any free person the right to to own slaves. In previous years, Africans were legally deemed to be indentured servants, including one, John Casor who was declared indentured for life in 1655.

Additional laws regarding slavery of Africans were passed in the seventeenth century and codified into Virginia's first slave code in 1705. Among laws affecting slaves was one of 1662, which said that children born in the colony would take the social status of their mothers, regardless of who their fathers were. This was in contrast to English common law of the time, and resulted in generation after generation of enslaved persons, including mixed-race children and adults, ***some of whom were majority white.

Added by Janet Milburn 9/13/19 Robert Rich 2nd Earl, Warwick is our second cousin 13 times removed


From British Civil War project

The eldest son of Robert Rich, third Baron Rich (later first Earl of Warwick) and his wife Penelope, daughter of the first Earl of Essex, Robert Rich was born around June 1587 at Leighs Priory in Essex. He was knighted at the coronation of King James I in July 1603 and succeeded as the second Earl of Warwick in March 1619. His inheritance made him one of the most powerful landowners in the kingdom, with extensive estates in Essex and property in London.

During the 1620s and '30s, Warwick was active in colonial ventures in New England and the West Indies. He also financed several privateering expeditions against the Spaniards. A staunch Puritan, Warwick became increasingly alienated from court life and was associated with the opposition to King Charles' policies led by Lord Saye-and-Sele and the Broughton Castle circle.

Although he was appointed to the King's privy council in April 1641, Warwick was a leading critic of the Earl of Strafford and was active in his prosecution, introducing into the House of Lords the bill of attainder by which Strafford was condemned to death. After King Charles fled from London early in 1642, Parliament appointed Warwick lord-lieutenant of Essex, where he personally put the Militia Ordinance into execution. ...

.... The republican government in England viewed Warwick's caution against the Royalists with suspicion, particularly as his brother the Earl of Holland was on trial for his life after fighting against Parliament in the Second Civil War. In February 1649, Warwick's admiralty commission was revoked. He retired from public life until the establishment of Cromwell's Protectorate with its anti-Spanish foreign policy, of which he approved. In June 1657, Warwick carried the sword of state during Cromwell's second inauguration as Lord Protector. The following November, his grandson and heir Robert Rich married Cromwell's daughter Frances. Warwick died in April 1658, his death greatly lamented by Cromwell.


"Puritanism remained a strong theme in politics. In 1628-1629 were parliamentary confrontations with the crown over unparliamentary taxation, forced loans, arbitrary imprisonment, and Arminianism and persecution of Puritans. A political opposition grouped around the Earl of Warwick, Lord Saye and Sele, and Sir Nathaniel Rich and their colonizing ventures."  Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 148ff.

"It would appear that Brenner is the first historian to strongly link the second Earl of Warwick with the formerly unreported extent of the trading engaged by Maurice Thomson and Thomson's associates."

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Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick's Timeline

June 5, 1587
Warwickshire, UK
Inverary, Argyll, Scotland
June 28, 1611
Warwich, England (United Kingdom)
Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom
April 19, 1658
Age 70
Warwick House, Holborn, Middlesex, England