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John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor

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John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor (1606-1685) succeeded his father, Richard Robartes, as Baron Robartes of Truro in May 1634.

The barony was purchased under compulsion for £10,000 in 1625. The family had amassed great wealth by trading in tin and wool, and in 1620 began building the family seat, Lanhydrock House near Bodmin.

Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, John Robartes fought on the side of the Parliament during the Civil War, being present at the Battle of Edgehill and at the First Battle of Newbury, and was a member of the committee of both kingdoms. He is said to have persuaded the Earl of Essex to make his ill-fated march into Cornwall in 1644; he escaped with the earl from Lostwithiel and was afterwards governor of Plymouth.

Between the execution of Charles I and the restoration of Charles II he took practically no part in public life, but after 1660 he became a prominent public man, owing his prominence partly to his influence among the Presbyterians, and ranged himself among Lord Clarendon’s enemies. He was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 16601661 and was Lord Lieutenant in 16691670; from 1661 to 1673 he was Lord Privy Seal, and from 1679 to 1684 Lord President of the Council. In 1679 he was created Viscount Bodmin and Earl of Radnor, and he died at Chelsea on 17 July 1685.


Preceded by:
The Earl of Bath
Lord Privy Seal
1661–1673
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Anglesey
Preceded by:
Earl of Ossory
(Lord Deputy)
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1669–1670
Succeeded by:
The Lord Berkeley of Stratton
Preceded by:
The Earl of Shaftesbury
Lord President of the Council
1679–1684
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Rochester

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