Thursday, 14 October 2021

1st Baron Rokeby


The family of ROBINSON was of considerable antiquity in the counties of Yorkshire and Westmorland.

The estate of Rokeby in the North Riding of Yorkshire was purchased in 1610 by

WILLIAM ROBINSON, a merchant of London, from Sir Thomas Rokeby, whose progenitors had resided there since the Conquest.

Mr Robinson paid a composition fine for declining the honour of knighthood at the coronation of CHARLES I.

He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Hall, of Thornton, Yorkshire, and had, with other issue,
Mr Robinson died in 1643, and was succeeded by his grandson,

WILLIAM ROBINSON, of Rokeby, who wedded Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of Francis Layton, of Rawdon, West Yorkshire, and was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS ROBINSON (1652-1719), who espoused Grace, daughter of Sir Henry Stapylton Bt, of Myton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire.

He was succeeded by his only son,

SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON (1675-1720), of Rokeby Park, Greta Bridge, Yorkshire, who married Anne, daughter and heir of Robert Walters, of Cundall, Yorkshire, and had issue,
THOMAS, cr a baronet in 1730;
William, 2nd Baronet;
Septimus (Sir);
Anne; Grace.
The fourth son,

THE MOST REV AND RT HON SIR RICHARD ROBINSON, 3RD BARONET (1709-94), Lord Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and prelate of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was elevated to the peerage, in 1777, as BARON ROKEBY, of Armagh, with remainder to Matthew Robinson, the reversionary heir to the baronetcy.

This prelate went to Ireland, in 1751, as first chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant, His Grace the Duke of Dorset, and was promoted in that year to the see of Killala.

When the Duke of Bedford was viceroy, his lordship was translated to the united sees of Leighlin and Ferns, and, in 1761, to that of Kildare.

In 1765, during the government of the Duke of Northumberland, he was elevated to the primacy, and nominated Lord Almoner.

1st Baron Rokeby (Image: The Henry Barber Trust,
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham)

His Grace succeeded to the baronetcy upon the decease of his brother Sir William, 2nd Baronet, in 1785.

He died unmarried, at a great age, in 1784, when the honours devolved, according to the limitation, upon MATTHEW ROBINSON.
Sir Richard, in 1764, was, on the death of Dr Stone, elevated to the archbishopric of Armagh, and primacy of all Ireland. 
This high station he held for thirty years, during which he adorned the See by his munificence, and gained the affection and respect of the nation in a manner which was universally acknowledged, and which will hand down his name to posterity with honour. 
In his latter years, in a green old age, His Grace passed much of his time in England; dividing it principally between Bath and London, where his hospitable table was always open to the higher classes of the country whose church was under his rule, while his charities and public works commanded the esteem and gratitude of all. 
His Grace was a privy counsellor as well as being a peer, hence the prefix Right Honourable and post-nominal letters PC.

In 1774, the Archbishop founded the Armagh County Infirmary.

In 1780, His Grace gifted land for the erection of a new prison and in 1778 he founded the Public Library.

In 1790, he founded the Armagh Observatory as part of his plan for a university in Armagh.

Archbishop Robinson also built the archiepiscopal palace (above) at Armagh, now Council offices.

The Primate's Chapel, above, stands adjacent to the Palace.

His Grace's cousin,

MATTHEW ROBINSON, 2nd Baron (1713-1800), of Edgeley, died unmarried.

The Barony expired on the death of the 6th Baron Rokeby in 1883.

 First published in August, 2010.   Rokeby arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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