Richard Rich was born about 1632 -1635 in Dover Point, NH and was a mariner. There is a lot of speculation as to where he came from. Some feel he was the illegitimate son of English Riches who were titled. Some speculate that he was sent to Jamaica to care for the properties owned there and that is how he came to America. But nothing has ever been proved or supported in the documents. He first appears in New England records on Dec. 5, 1667 when he witnessed the sale at Piscataqua (Dover Point, NH) of part of the ketch George and Samuel. New Hampshire Deeds, Vol 2, Page 142a He married Sarah Roberts on Feb. 24, 1670 in Dover Point, NH. She was born 1643 in Dover Point, the daughter of Thomas Roberts, first governor of Dover Point. Thomas gave to Richard and Sarah, by a deed of Feb. 29, 1671, “one half of his goods, lands, chattels, household stuff, houses and orchards, this immediate and the other half after my decease.”
Thomas Roberts’ will dated Sept. 27, 1673 and proved June, 30, 1674 mentioned “my son-in-law Richard Rich, the husband of my dearly beloved daughter Sarah,” to whom he gave “my dwelling house wherein I now dwell, lieing and situate in Dover, together with all and singular, the out housing, orchards, planting land and pastures and I appoint my said son-in-law, Richard Rich to be my whole and sole executor.” New Hampshire State Papers, vol. 31. On Nov. 6, 1674 he bought land in Kittery, ME from Samuel Treworgery, with consent of Dorcas Trewogery. October 1674 Richard Rich was a witness to an indenture in Boston, and in the following month he bought land at Kittery, Maine. In June 1676 he was named executor of the estate of Philip Demon. In April 1681 he was living at Dover, when, under covenant to build at Hilton’s Point within a limited time, he bought land from Robert Mason.
However, on August 23, 1681 Richard was admitted as a townsman of Eastham, on Cape Cod. No reason has been found for this sudden removal from his established home at Dover; but the advantageous maritime privileges at Cape Cod and the threatening attitude of the Indians at Dover Point may have led him to take this step. In Eastham he had his cattle marks entered in 1686. He appears to have significant funds, likely supplemented by his inheritance form his father-in-law, Thomas Roberts. He bought several parcels of land: rights to undivided land containing 1,000 acres known as “Smith’s Purchase” (1686) bought previously by Samuel Smith from John Sipson, a local Indian, in1684; land rights of William Mayo (June 3, 1686); land rights of Stephen Atwood (June 29, 1686). He died around 1690 to 1692, lost at sea.
The inventory of the estate of Richard Rich, late of Eastham, who died intestate, was rendered October 19, 1692 and letters of administration were granted to his son and Issac Pepper. An inventory had been taken by Issac Pepper, John Doane, and Richard Rich his eldest son on Oct. 5, 1692. The court ordered an equal distribution of his estate among his children with only Richard, the oldest, getting a double share. The final settlement was effected on April 8, 1697.
On November 9, 1708 Richard Rich of Eastham, as attorney for his brothers and sisters, John Rich, Thomas Rich, Samuel Rich, Sarah Beaker, and Lydia Hopkins, sold Treworthe’s Point at Kittery, ME., “being land which descended unto us from our honored father, Richard Rich deceased.” His family will be covered on August 20.