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Synopsis

     

             Richard Rich rose from 16th century landed gentry to become the Lord Chancellor of England.  His absolute loyalty was to the reigning monarchs he served:  King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I.  All others, except his family, were expendable.  His fellow courtiers: Sir Thomas More, Lord Chamberlain Thomas Cromwell, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer among others, wished to thwart the desires of the monarch.  They lost their lives.  When members of the powerful Percy, Seymour, Dudley and Howard families moved to wrest power from the monarchs, many of them lost their heads.  Richard 1st Baron Rich of Leighs was instrumental in protecting all of the monarchs from treason wherever he found it.

Baron Rich is now 71 years old and nearing death at his Rochford manor.  His eldest daughter, the faithful Joan, has spent her life caring for the extensive Rich estates and her 16 siblings.  She convinces Rich to speak to her of his life’s memories.  She knows many notable figures from his years in power are writing memoirs and histories of the time and wants to record her father’s own words.

Rich agrees to talk but his words soon discomfort Joan, especially his dismissal of the turmoil caused by Cranmer’s Reformation of the English Church that Rich aided as Lord Chancellor.  Joan has worked closely with her father for the past 31 years and has substantial knowledge of the history she hears him reinventing.  She records his words … and her own.

This novel is based on extensive research into the life of Richard Rich, of the man and his impact on the era.  It is a tale that has never been told in its entirety – until now.

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