RITHE, Robert I (c.1545-c.94), of Liss, Hants afterwards of Abingdon, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1545, 1st s. of George Rithe of Liss. educ. L. Inn, Jan. 1559, called 1567. ?m., 1s. Robert II. suc. fa. 1561.

Offices Held

Bencher, L. Inn 1578, Autumn reader 1579; keeper of black bk. 1583-4, treasurer 1585-6; j.p. Berks. c.1591, rem. c.1592; j.p. Oxon from c.1593.2


After following his father in the representation of Petersfield, Rithe sold his main estate at Liss, nearby, apparently on acquiring interests at Abingdon in Berkshire. Like other members of his family, he was a Lincoln’s Inn lawyer. He may have gone to Abingdon in a legal capacity, though it is noteworthy that his great-aunt Jane had married a gentleman from Sutton Courteney, two miles from the town. In April 1587, a Robert Rithe was granted a two-year lease of the rectory and vicarage house of St. Nicholas, Abingdon, by the rector Guy Dobbins, a fellow of Winchester College, who held another rectory in Hampshire not far from Liss. Though the lease—the purpose of which seems to have been to test the right of the rector to the vicarage house—was not renewed, Rithe apparently remained in the neighbourhood: by 1593 he was a j.p. for Berkshire.3

His name does not appear in commissions after 1594; and the Robert Rithe of Lincoln’s Inn last signed the black book in November that year. It seems likely, therefore, that the Berkshire j.p. and lessee of the Abingdon rectory was Robert Rithe of Liss, who presumably died in the winter of 1594-5; and that the Robert Rithe who sat for Abingdon in 1601 was his son, who was probably the man of that name mentioned at Lincoln’s Inn in 1620.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Alan Harding


  • 1. The Browne Willis ms, as opposed to the printed work, has ‘Robert Roth’, the de Tabley list ‘Robert Both’.
  • 2. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 396; Black Bk. L. Inn, ii. 356, 405, 411, 433, 440; CPR, 1548-9, p. 160; PCC 35 Loftes.
  • 3. VCH Hants, iv. 85; Black Bk. L. Inn, ii. 38, 226; Mdx. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 28; A. E. Preston, St. Nicholas, Abingdon, 208-9.