The county was named either for the agricultural region in England or the Earl of Warwick, Robert Rich. He was an influential "character" in the colony's early history, perhaps working with Governor Samuel Argall (the man who actually captured Pocahontas) to get rich at the expense of the colonists. The Earl of Warwick was Argall's strongest defender in London against charges of embezzlement. By 1634, the dispute must have been old news.
The county disappeared in 1952, when it became the *city* of Warwick. That independent city lasted only until 1958, when it was merged into the city of Newport News.