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Lord Brooke
Plaque in Dam St Lichfield commemorating Lord Brooke's death

Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke[1] (May 1607 – 2 March 1643[2]) was an English Civil War Roundhead General.


Greville was the cousin and adopted son of Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, and thus became the second Lord Brooke, and owner of Warwick Castle.[3] He was born in 1607, and entered parliament for Warwick in 1628. He attended parliament and took part in some debates, but an investigation took place into his election for Warwick, and it was voided on 31 May 1628. Before a by-election could take place, Greville's adopted father died, on 30 September 1628, and Robert succeeded to the peerage that year, and thereafter was able to sit in the House of Lords. He was involved in the foundation of Saybrooke in Connecticut.[4]

Kupperman noted that Greville, in 1634, as a Charter Member of the Providence Island Company, "signified his willingness to take on the entire burden of funding, provided direction of the enterprise was wholly entrusted to him." However, "John Pym led those who were unwilling to turn over their project entirely."[5], and the Providence Island colony was eventually overrun by Spanish treasure fleet in May 1641.

Greville was imprisoned by Charles I at York in 1639 for refusing to take the oath to fight for the king, and soon became an active member of the parliamentary party; taking part in the Civil War he defeated the Royalists in a skirmish at Kineton in August 1642.[6]

During the Civil War, he commanded Parliament forces in Warwickshire and Staffordshire and was looked on by many as the Earl of Essex's eventual successor. In 1642 he gained the victory of Kineton. He took Stratford-upon-Avon in February, 1643 and was killed shortly afterwards besieging Lichfield Cathedral on 2 March.[7][8]

Greville was reportedly shot by a sniper (a concealed person who fired at Greville with a rifle) and many consider him to be the first recorded victim of sniper fire.[citation needed]

Brooke was eulogized as a friend of toleration by John Milton.[9] He wrote on philosophical, theological and current political topics. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature said of Greville,:

He was an ardent puritan, and, in 1641, wrote A Discourse opening the nature of that Episcopacie which is exercised in England, aimed at the political power of the bishops. In the same year was published his philosophical work The Nature of Truth. In this work, he refuses to distinguish between philosophy and theology. "What is true philosophy but divinity?" he asks, "and if it be not true, it is not philosophy."


Greville married soon after he came of age Catharine, daughter of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford.[7] with whom he had five sons. The eldest, Francis, succeeded to the title, but dying unmarried was succeeded by his brother Robert, who dying without male issue the title devolved upon his younger brother Fulke.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rigg, James McMullen (1890). "Greville, Robert (1608-1643)" . In Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of National Biography. 23. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 163.
  2. ^ Hughes, Ann (May 2008). "Greville, Robert, second Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court (1607–1643)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11518.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard (1938). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. London: Shaw. p. 2519.
  4. ^ Rigg 1890, p. 164 cite Holmes, Annals of America, i. 229; Dugdale, Baronage, ii. 442; Cal. State Papers. Colonial, 1574–1660, pp. 122–123
  5. ^ Kupperman, Karen Ordahl (1993). Providence Island 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony (1 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 299.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Brooke, Fulke Greville, 1st Baron" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 644.
  7. ^ a b Rigg 1890, p. 164.
  8. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Great Rebellion" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  9. ^ Milton, John (1644). Areopagitica, A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing to the Parliament of England (1 ed.). London. p. 35. Retrieved 20 January 2017. via Google Books
  10. ^   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a work now in the public domain: Rigg 1890, p. 164

Further readingEdit

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Francis Leigh, Bt
Francis Lucy
Member of Parliament for Warwick
With: Francis Lucy
Succeeded by
Anthony Stoughton
Francis Lucy
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Fulke Brooke
Baron Brooke
Succeeded by
Francis Brooke