Rich, Robert, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1587 -1658)
Robert Rich was the son of Lord Robert Rich, who was created Earl of Warwick 2 August 1618, and Penelope, daughter of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was admitted 4 June 1603, and at the Middle Temple in November 1604, he was made a Knight of the Bath on 24 July 1603, and was one of the performers in Ben Jonson's Masque of Beauty in 1609. He was returned as Member of Parliament for Maldon in 1610 and 1614. He frequently took part in jousting before the King, but was too high spirited to be happy at Court. He succeeded his father 24 March 1619, and soon showed interests in colonial government and privateering, which were not wholly compatible. A member of the New England Company, the Company for the Bermudas and the East India Company, his commissioning of privateers under licence from the Duke of Savoy, though profitable, caused difficulties with the Crown, the King of Spain, and the East India Company. During the reign of Charles I, he became gradually estranged from the Crown, neither the King's fiscal policies, nor his High Church tendencies were attractive to Rich whose family sympathies were with the Puritans. He became a leading light of the Parliamentary party, and was Admiral of the parliamentary fleet during the Civil War. He married three times, firstly, 24 February 1609, Frances, daughter and heir of Sir William Hatton. They had four sons and three daughters. When she died in August 1634, he married secondly Susan, daughter of Sir William Rowe, Lord Mayor of London. She died in 1646, and he married thrdly Eleanor, daughter of Sir Edward Wortley, and Dowager Countess of Sussex.