Richard Routh of Poole, the third son of John Routh of Bristol, was born in Yorkshire on 11 December 1749. Through the influence of a member of the Le Mesurier family, who was a friend of his father, Richard at an early age was appointed Collector in the Customs Department of Newfoundland. Whilst so employed he made the acquaintance of Abigail, daughter of William Eppes of Salem, near Boston, U.S.A., and on 2 July 1771 married this lady at St Peter's Church, Salem.
Owing to the Rebellion of the American Colonies, Richard Routh returned to England in 1778, and lived at his home in Poole, where he was apparently a very popular member of Society and entertained on a generous scale. Later he returned to Newfoundland, but this time as Chief Justice of the Colony, and it was on one of his journeys from England to Newfoundland that in 1801, whilst travelling as a passenger in H.M. Sloop of War, "The Fly" (16 guns) he is presumed to have been drowned, for "The Fly," which sailed from Portsmouth to Newfoundland never reached her destination, and was never heard of afterwards. Richard's Will, dated 1792, was proved at the Peculiar Court of Canterbury on 11 November 1802. He left behind him an interesting relic or link with the past in the form of a piece of poetry headed in his handwriting as follows: "Written by my great-great-grandfather Mr Richard Routh to my great-grandfather"; if we trace this back it means that the poetry was written by Richard Routh of Pollington and Heck to his son, John, who married Susanna. This anecdote was vouched for by my great-great-aunt Mary Julia Elizabeth Routh in a letter written by her to my grandfather which is still in my possession. She adds that the original, from which the copy was made, was so old and torn that her father destroyed it after making the copy.
Although Richard Routh of Poole was cut off in the prime of life, he had yet had time to produce no fewer than 10 children: these were as follows:
- A daughter, Abigail, born at Salem in 1772, buried in Camberwell.
- Richard Routh, born 1773, died without issue 1793, buried at Poole.
- William Eppes Routh, born in 1774, died as an infant, buried in Boston.
- John Routh of Halifax, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1777, married in April 1805 Anne Dunbar, died 18 March 1853, buried in Camberwell. He was the ancestor of the Constantinople and Smyrna Rouths and of the Haviland Rouths.
- William Eppes Routh of Naples, born at Long Island in 1778, married Harriet Gumm in 1803, died at Naples in 1849. He had a son Richard who died as an infant, and a daughter Harriet Augusta who married in 1828 James Colquhoun Morrison of Palermo, and died in 1853 with numerous issue.
- Joseph Stepney, born 1781, died in infancy, buried at St James', Poole, 1783.
- Commissary-General Sir Randolph Isham Routh K.C.B., born at Poole in 1782, died 29 November 1858, buried at Kensal Green. He married firstly in 1815 Adelaide Marie Josephine Limy, of Fontainebleau, Paris, who bore him a daughter Adele (died aged 10) and five sons, Randolph, Leonce, Charles Henry Felix, Jules Isham, and Edward John (died in infancy); and secondly Marie Louise Tascherau of Quebec, by whom he had four sons and five daughters, the Sons being brought up as Protestants, and the daughters as Roman Catholics. The eldest son Edward Routh of Cambridge, was a famous mathematician, and formulated "Routh's Rule" related to Moments of Inertia, and was the father of H V Routh, the historian. The second son was Thomas Alfred Routh, who served for over 40 years in Somerset House, and it is to his extensive and painstaking researches that much of this record is due.
- Harriet Lane, born 1784 at Poole married in 1814 Charles Anderson, Vice-Consul at Naples, and afterwards Chief Justice of Mauritius: he was the last of the Andersons of Linkwood, Morayshire.
- Mary Julia Elizabeth, whom we have already referred to in connection with "the piece of poetry": born at Poole 9 February 1787, died in London 1 July 1871, and is buried at Kensal Green.
- Henry Lloyd Routh, born at Poole in 1788, married in 1814 Anne
Dobree of Guernsey, niece of Admiral (1st) Lord de Saumarez, who was Nelson's 2nd in Command at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Henry had numerous progeny, including the "Blackheath Rouths," of whom one became a housemaster at Eton.