Richard Robinson, 1st Baron Rokeby

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Richard Robinson

Lord Primate of All Ireland
Lord Archbishop of Armagh
Richard Lord Rokeby by Joshua Reynolds.jpg
Lord Rokeby by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Church Church of Ireland
Appointed8 February 1765
In office1765-1794
Predecessor George Stone
Successor William Newcome
Consecration19 January 1752
by  Charles Cobbe
Personal details
Bornbaptised (1708-07-13)13 July 1708
Died10 October 1794(1794-10-10) (aged 86)
Clifton, Bristol, England
Buried St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh
Nationality English
Denomination Anglican
Previous post(s) Bishop of Killala and Achonry (1751-1759)
Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin (1759-1761)
Bishop of Kildare (1761-1765)
Education Westminster School
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Portrait de Richard Robinson, archeveque d'Armagh, futur baron de Rokeby et primat d'Irlande, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, in the Musee des Beaux-Arts-mairie de Bordeaux. Sir Joshua REYNOLDS, "Portrait de Richard Robinson, archeveque d'Armagh, futur baron de Rokeby et primat d'Irlande.JPG
Portrait de Richard Robinson, archevêque d'Armagh, futur baron de Rokeby et primat d'Irlande, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts-mairie de Bordeaux.

Richard Robinson, 1st Baron Rokeby (1708 – 10 October 1794), was an Anglo-Irish churchman.



He was a younger son of William Robinson (died 1720) of Rokeby, Yorkshire and later of Merton, Surrey and Anne Walters (died 1730), daughter and heiress of Robert Walters of Cundall. Sir Thomas Robinson, 1st Baronet (1703-1777) was his elder brother. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1730, MA 1733, BD & DD 1748).

Robinson came to Ireland as chaplain to Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset in 1751 when Dorset was reappointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was swiftly raised to the Irish episcopate as Bishop of Killala and Achonry. He was translated from the See of Kildare, which he had occupied since 1761, to the Archbishopric of Armagh in 1765.

In 1777 he was created Baron Rokeby , of Armagh in the County of Armagh, in the Peerage of Ireland, [1] with special remainder to Matthew Robinson (1694–1778) of West Layton, in the North Riding of the county of Yorkshire, his second cousin, twice removed, who predeceased him.

In 1774 he founded the County Infirmary. In 1780 he donated land for the erection of a new prison and in 1771 he founded the Armagh Public Library. [2] In 1790 he founded the Armagh Observatory as part of his plan for a university in Armagh.

Archbishop Lord Rokeby died at Clifton in Bristol on 10 October 1794, and was buried in Armagh Cathedral. He was succeeded by Matthew Robinson, 2nd Baron Rokeby, the son of his second cousin Matthew Robinson, who inherited his titles, and was a noted eccentric.

There is a memorial to Robinson in the south aisle at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh. [3]


Robert Walpole called Robinson 'a proud but superficial man'. John Wesley accused him of being more interested in buildings than in the care of souls.

Richard Cumberland described him as "splendid, liberal, lofty ... publicly ambitious of great deeds, and privately capable of good ones, ... he made no court to popularity by his manners but he benefited a whole nation by his public works." [4]

Architectural benefactor

The Canterbury Gate at Christ Church, Oxford, completed in 1873, is one monument to Archbishop Lord Rokeby's munificence. The gate is inscribed:

(By the munificence of alumni, especially of Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh.)

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  1. "No. 11742". The London Gazette . 4 February 1777. p. 1.
  2. Armagh Public Library
  3. "Funary Monuments & Memorials in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh" Curl, J.S. pp71-77: Whitstable; Historical Publications; 2013 ISBN   978-1-905286-48-5
  4. Memoirs, volume 2, pps. 353-54, quoted from The Complete Peerage.

Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [ self-published source ][ better source needed ]

Church of Ireland titles
Preceded by Bishop of Killala and Achonry
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Kildare
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Armagh
Succeeded by
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
William Robinson
(of Rokeby Park)
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Rokeby
Succeeded by