Richard was the younger son of John Arundell, 2nd Baron Arundell of Trerise, and his wife Barbara née Slingsby, widow of Sir Richard Mauleverer. In 1708 Barbara Arundell married Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke.
Richard undertook a number of administrative positions, including Surveyor-General of the Office of Works, 1726-1736; Master of the Mint, 1737-1745; and Treasurer of the Chamber, Royal Household, 1746-1756.
In 1732 he married Lady Frances Manners, younger daughter of the 2nd Duke of Rutland. Lady Frances's sister Elizabeth married John Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway. Another sister, Catherine Manners, was the wife of the politician Henry Pelham.
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