ESSEX, Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick (1559-1619). Manuscript survey of estates in Essex, n.d. [c. 1610 and later], the majority in three or more neat secretary hands, three later continuations, one of them signed in five places by William Wyseman, annotations in a number of contemporary hands, 486 pages, folio (numbered 1-485), index, blanks, original calf, metal clasps at fore-edges (skilfully rebacked and recornered, lightly rubbed and scuffed, lacking three clasps). Provenance. Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick; Charles Montagu, 1st Duke of Manchester (armorial bookplate and Kimbolton Castle shelfmark).
The survey provides rentals, court rolls, tenures, liberties and other details of Rich's property in Braintree, Rochford, Rayleigh, Great Waltham, Hatfield Broad Oak, South Shoebury and other parishes in Essex, as well as documents relating to titles and 'offices after the death' of members of the Rich family and others. The latest documents transcribed are dated 1610.
Robert Rich is best known as husband to Penelope Rich, Sir Philip Sidney's 'Stella' (who in the sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella had 'no misfortune but that rich she is'); the two divorced in 1605. He was one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom, and, apparently for that reason, was created Earl of Warwick on 6 August 1618; he died on 24 March following. The manuscript is likely to have passed to the Earls (later Dukes) of Manchester through Anne, daughter of Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick, who married Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, in 1626.