Greville was the cousin and adopted son of Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, and thus became 2nd Lord Brooke, and owner of Warwick Castle. He was born in 1607, and entered parliament for Warwickshire in 1628. He was involved in the foundation of Saybrooke in Connecticut.
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.
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.
Brooke, eulogized as a friend of toleration by John Milton, 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."
He married Lady Catherine Russell, daughter of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford and Hon. Catherine Brydges, circa 1630. They had 3 children:
- Francis Greville, 3rd Baron Brooke
- Robert Greville, 4th Baron Brooke
- Fulke Greville, 5th Baron Brooke, father of Algernon Greville (MP)
- List of owners of Warwick Castle
- "Greville, Robert (1608-1643)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Ann Hughes, ‘Greville, Robert, second Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court (1607–1643)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008, accessed 30 Dec 2008
- Burke, Sir Bernard, (1938 ed) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Shaw, London. p.2519
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press THE GREAT REBELLION
- "Greville, Robert (GRVL629R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. http://venn.lib.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search.pl?sur=&suro=c&fir=&firo=c&cit=&cito=c&c=all&tex=%22GRVL629R%22&sye=&eye=&col=all&maxcount=50.
- Chapter XII. Hobbes and Contemporary Philosophy: Robert Greville, lord Brooke in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21) .Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.
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