CRAVEN, Robert (1674-1710), of Combe Abbey, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. 3 Dec. 1674, 4th s. of Sir William Craven (d. 1695), of Combe Abbey by Margaret, da. of Sir Christopher Clapham of Beamsley, Yorks. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1693; M. Temple 1697. unm.1
From at least the early 16th century Craven’s forebears had resided in the Yorkshire parish of Appletreewick, but the family had since come into possession of estate in the vicinity of Speen in Berkshire, where Craven was born. His father moved away from Yorkshire, permanently it would seem, for the Warwickshire visitation of 1682–3 described him as ‘now residing at Combe Abbey, Warwickshire’. In 1697 Craven’s eldest brother William succeeded the veteran Earl of Craven, his cousin thrice removed, who had died unmarried, in the barony of Craven of Hampstead Marshall. A special remainder to the title had been granted to five of the Earl’s relatives in succession, each of whom had predeceased him, the last being Craven’s father in 1695. Although sometimes referred to by the title of ‘honourable’, Craven was never formally granted the rank and style of a younger son of a baron. In the Coventry election of 1708 he stood unsuccessfully as a Tory, and though his petition was heard, the Whig sitting Members ‘carried it by a great majority’. After a strenuous campaign in the town in 1710 he topped the poll. Craven was identified as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, but did not live to take his seat. A little more than a fortnight before the Commons was due to assemble he was stricken with smallpox, from which he died on 15 Nov. He was buried at Binley, near Coventry.2