Last updated 12/09/2017
     Date Rank Order Name Born Died  Age
14 May 1974 B[L] 1 Inga-Stina Robson 20 Aug 1919 9 Feb 1999 79
to     Created Baroness Robson of Kiddington
9 Feb 1999 for life 14 May 1974
Peerage extinct on her death
14 Feb 1913 B 1 Sir George Kemp 9 Jun 1866 24 Mar 1945 78
Created Baron Rochdale 14 Feb 1913
MP for Heywood 1895-1906 and
Manchester NW 1910-1912. Lord Lieutenant
Middlesex 1929-1945
24 Mar 1945 2 John Durival Kemp 5 Jun 1906 24 May 1993 86
20 Jan 1960 V 1 Created Viscount Rochdale 20 Jan 1960
24 May 1993 2 St.John Durival Kemp 15 Jan 1938 27 Feb 2015 77
27 Feb 2015 3 Jonathan Hugo Durival Kemp 10 Jun 1961
29 Dec 1299 B 1 Thomas de la Roche c 1313
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Roche 29 Dec 1299
c 1313 2 John de la Roche 1314
1314 3 Thomas de la Roche c 1324
c 1324 4 William de la Roche c 1370
c 1370 5 John de la Roche c 1372
c 1372 6 Mary de la Roche c 1377
c 1377 7 Margaret Fleming 9 Sep 1382
to     On her death the peerage fell into 
9 Sep 1382 abeyance
14 Oct 1935 B[L] 1 Sir Alexander Adair Roche 24 Jul 1871 22 Dec 1956 85
to     Created Baron Roche for life 14 Oct 1935
22 Dec 1956 Lord Justice of Appeal 1934-1935. Lord of
Appeal in Ordinary 1935-1938  PC 1934
Peerage extinct on his death
3 Nov 1613 V 1 Robert Carr c 1587 Jul 1645
to     Created Viscount Rochester 25 Mar
Jul 1645 1611, and Baron Brancepeth and Earl
of Somerset 3 Nov 1613
Peerages extinct on his death
13 Dec 1652 E 1 Henry Wilmot 2 Nov 1612 19 Feb 1658 45
Created Baron Wilmot 29 Jun 1643 and
Earl of Rochester 13 Dec 1652
MP for Tamworth 1640-1643
19 Feb 1658 2 John Wilmot 1 Apr 1647 26 Jul 1680 33
For further information on this peer,see the
note at the foot of this page
26 Jul 1680 3 Charles Wilmot 2 Jan 1671 12 Nov 1681 10
to     Peerages extinct on his death
12 Nov 1681
29 Nov 1682 E 1 Laurence Hyde 15 Mar 1642 2 May 1711 69
Created Baron Wotton Basset and Viscount
Hyde of Kenilworth 24 Apr 1681 and Earl
of Rochester 29 Nov 1682
MP for Newport 1660, Oxford University
1661-1679 and Wootton Basset 1679-1681.
First Lord of the Admiralty 1679-1684 and
1685-1687. Lord President of the Council
1684-1685. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1700-1703. Lord Lieutenant Hertford 1686-
1688. Lord President of the Council 1710-
1711.  PC 1679  KG 1685. Lord Lieutenant
Cornwall 1710-1711
2 May 1711 2 Henry Hyde Jun 1672 10 Dec 1753 81
He succeeded to the Earldom of Clarendon
(qv) in 1723 with which title this peerage
then merged until its extinction in 1753
23 Jan 1931 B 1 Sir Ernest Henry Lamb 4 Sep 1876 13 Jan 1955 78
Created Baron Rochester 23 Jan 1931
MP for Rochester 1906-1910 and 1910-1918.
Paymaster General 1931-1935.
13 Jan 1955 2 Foster Charles Lowry Lamb 7 Jun 1916 6 Feb 2017 100
6 Feb 2017 3 David Charles Lamb 8 Sep 1944
14 Oct 1495 B 1 Thomas Butler,7th Earl of Ormonde c 1424 8 Aug 1515
to     Created Lord Rochford 14 Oct 1495
8 Aug 1515 On his death the peerage fell into 
18 Jun 1525 V 1 Thomas Boleyn 1477 13 Mar 1539 61
to     Created Viscount Rochford 18 Jun
13 Mar 1539 1525, and Earl of Wiltshire and Earl
of Ormond 8 Dec 1529
Peerages extinct on his death
5 Jan 1533 B 1 George Boleyn 17 May 1536
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
17 May 1536 Rochford 5 Jan 1533
He was attainted and the peerage forfeited
6 Jul 1621 V 1 Henry Carey,4th Baron Hunsdon c 1580 13 Apr 1666
Created Viscount Rochford 6 Jul 1621
and Earl of Dover 8 Mar 1628
See "Dover" - extinct 1677
10 May 1695 E 1 William Henry Nassau-de-Zulestein 7 Oct 1649 2 Jul 1708 58
Created Baron Enfield,Viscount
Tunbridge and Earl of Rochford 
10 May 1695
2 Jul 1708 2 William Henry Nassau-de-Zulestein 9 Jul 1682 27 Jul 1710 28
MP for Steyning 1708
27 Jul 1710 3 Frederick Nassau-de-Zulestein 1683 14 Jun 1738 54
14 Jun 1738 4 William Henry Nassau-de-Zulestein 17 Sep 1717 28 Sep 1781 64
Secretary of State 1768 and 1770-1775.
Lord Lieutenant Essex 1756-1781.  PC 1755 
KG 1778
28 Sep 1781 5 William Henry Nassau-de-Zulestein 28 Jun 1754 3 Sep 1830 76
to     Peerage extinct on his death
3 Sep 1830
15 Oct 2015 B[L] 1 Kate Harriet Alexandra Rock 9 Oct 1968
Created Baroness Rock for life 15 Oct 2015
29 Jan 1645 B 1 Sir Lewis Watson,1st baronet 14 Jul 1584 5 Jan 1653 68
Created Baron Rockingham 29 Jan 1645
MP for Lincoln 1614,1621-1623 and 1624-
5 Jan 1653 2 Edward Watson 30 Jun 1630 22 Jun 1689 58
22 Jun 1689 3 Lewis Watson 29 Dec 1655 19 Mar 1724 68
19 Oct 1714 E 1 Created Baron Throwley,Viscount
Sondes and Earl of Rockingham
19 Oct 1714
MP for Higham Ferrers 1689 Lord Lieutenant 
Kent 1705-1724
19 Mar 1724 4 Lewis Watson c 1714 4 Nov 1745
2 Lord Lieutenant Kent 1737-1745
4 Nov 1745 5 Thomas Watson 30 Dec 1715 26 Feb 1746 30
to     3 MP for Canterbury 1741-1745
26 Feb 1746 On his death the creations of 1714 became
extinct whilst the Barony passed to -
26 Feb 1746 6 Thomas Watson-Wentworth 13 Nov 1693 14 Dec 1750 57
19 Apr 1746 M 1 Created Baron Malton 28 May 1728,
Baron Wath,Baron Harrowden,
Viscount Higham and Earl of Malton
19 Nov 1733 and Marquess of
Rockingham 19 Apr 1746
MP for Malton 1715 and 1722-1727 and
Yorkshire 1727-1728.  Lord Lieutenant W Riding
Yorkshire 1733-1750  PC [I] by Jun 1737
14 Dec 1750 2 Charles Watson-Wentworth 13 May 1730 2 Jul 1782 52
to     Created Baron Malton [I] and Earl
2 Jul 1782 Malton [I]  17 Sep 1750
Prime Minister 1765-1766 and 1782. Lord
Lieutenant E and N Ridings Yorkshire 1751-
1762 and W Riding 1751-1763 and 1765-1782. 
KG 1760  PC 1765
Peerages extinct on his death
11 Jan 1934 B 1 Lord Evelyn Cecil 30 May 1865 1 Apr 1941 75
Created Baron Rockley 11 Jan 1934
MP for Hertford 1898-1900, Aston Manor 
1900-1918 and Aston 1918-1929  PC 1917
1 Apr 1941 2 Robert William Evelyn Cecil 28 Feb 1901 6 Jan 1976 74
6 Jan 1976 3 James Hugh Cecil 5 Apr 1934 5 Dec 2011 77
5 Dec 2011 4 Anthony Robert Cecil 29 Jul 1961
22 Nov 1815 E 1 George James Cholmondeley,4th Earl  11 May 1749 10 Apr 1827 77
      Created Earl of Rocksavage and
Marquess of Cholmondeley 22 Nov 1815
See "Cholmondeley"
1 Dec 1771 E[I] 1 Robert Jocelyn,2nd Viscount Jocelyn 31 Jul 1731 22 Jun 1797 65
Created Earl of Roden 1 Dec 1771
PC [I] 1758
For information on his third son,Percy,see
the note at the foot of this page
22 Jun 1797 2 Robert Jocelyn 26 Oct 1756 29 Jun 1820 63
PC [I] 1797  KP 1806
29 Jun 1820 3 Robert Jocelyn 27 Oct 1788 20 Mar 1870 81
Created Baron Clanbrassill 17 Jul 1821
MP for Louth 1806-1807 and 1810-1820.
PC 1812  KP 1821  PC [I] 1858
20 Mar 1870 4 Robert Jocelyn 22 Nov 1846 10 Jan 1880 33
10 Jan 1880 5 John Strange Jocelyn 5 Jun 1823 3 Jul 1897 74
3 Jul 1897 6 William Henry Jocelyn 5 Nov 1842 23 Jan 1910 67
23 Jan 1910 7 Robert Julian Orde Jocelyn 19 Apr 1845 18 Dec 1915 70
18 Dec 1915 8 Robert Soame Jocelyn 8 Sep 1883 30 Oct 1956 73
30 Oct 1956 9 Robert William Jocelyn 4 Dec 1909 18 Oct 1993 83
18 Oct 1993 10 Robert John Jocelyn 25 Aug 1938
29 Apr 1992 B[L] 1 Alan Ferguson Rodger 18 Sep 1944 26 Jun 2011 66
to     Created Baron Rodger of Earlsferry for life
26 Jun 2011 29 Apr 1992
Solicitor General for Scotland 1989-1992.
Lord Advocate 1992-1995. Lord Justice General
and President of the Court of Session 1996-2001.
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary 2001-2009. Justice of
the Supreme Court 2009-2011.  PC 1992
Peerage extinct on his death
12 Feb 1992 B[L] 1 William Thomas Rodgers 28 Oct 1928
Created Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank
for life 12 Feb 1992
MP for Stockton on Tees 1962-1983
Minister of State,Board of Trade 1968-1969
Minister of State,Treasury 1969-1970. 
Minister Of State,Defence 1974-1976.
Secretary of State for Transport 1976-1979
PC 1975
19 Jun 1782 B 1 Sir George Brydges Rodney,1st baronet 13 Feb 1719 24 May 1792 73
Created Baron Rodney 19 Jun 1782
MP for Saltash 1751-1754, Okehampton
1759-1761, Penrhyn 1761-1768, Northampton
1768-1774 and Westminster 1780-1782.
24 May 1792 2 George Rodney 25 Dec 1753 2 Jan 1802 48
MP for Northampton 1780-1784
2 Jan 1802 3 George Rodney 18 Jun 1782 21 Jun 1842 60
Lord Lieutenant Radnor 1804-1842
21 Jun 1842 4 Thomas James Harley-Rodney 12 Jun 1784 30 Oct 1843 59
30 Oct 1843 5 Spencer Rodney 30 May 1785 15 May 1846 60
15 May 1846 6 Rodney Bennett Rodney 21 May 1820 19 Aug 1864 44
19 Aug 1864 7 George Bridges Harley Bennett Rodney 28 Feb 1857 29 Dec 1909 52
29 Dec 1909 8 George Bridges Harley Guest Rodney 2 Nov 1891 18 Dec 1973 82
18 Dec 1973 9 John Francis Rodney 28 Jun 1920 13 Oct 1992 72
13 Oct 1992 10 George Brydges Rodney 3 Jan 1953 13 Feb 2011 58
13 Feb 2011 11 John George Brydges Rodney 5 Jul 1999
5 Jan 1917 B 1 Sir Thomas Roe 13 Jul 1832 7 Jun 1923 90
to     Created Baron Roe 5 Jan 1917
7 Jun 1923 MP for Derby 1883-1895 and 1900-1916
Peerage extinct on his death
16 Jul 1999 B[L] 1 Dennis Robert David Rogan 30 Jun 1942
Created Baron Rogan for life 16 Jul 1999
17 Oct 1996 B[L] 1 Sir Richard George Rogers 23 Jul 1933
Created Baron Rogers of Riverside for life
17 Oct 1996
CH 2008
26 Feb 1777 B[I] 1 Richard Robinson c 1708 10 Oct 1794
Created Baron Rokeby 26 Feb 1777
For details of the special remainder included in the
creation of this peerage, see the note at the
foot of this page
Archbishop of Armagh 1765-1794
PC [I] 1765
10 Oct 1794 2 Matthew Robinson-Morris 12 Apr 1713 30 Nov 1800 87
MP for Canterbury 1747-1761
For further information on this peer, see the note
at the foot of this page.
30 Nov 1800 3 Morris Robinson 14 Jul 1757 10 May 1829 71
10 May 1829 4 Matthew Montagu 23 Nov 1762 1 Sep 1831 68
MP for Bossiney 1786-1790, Tregony 1790-
1796 and St.Germans 1806-1812
1 Sep 1831 5 Edward Montagu 6 Jul 1787 7 Apr 1847 59
7 Apr 1847 6 Henry Montagu 2 Feb 1798 25 May 1883 85
to     Peerage extinct on his death
25 May 1883
19 Jul 1977 B[L] 1 Sir Eric Roll 1 Dec 1907 30 Mar 2005 97
to     Created Baron Roll of Ipsden for life
30 Mar 2005 19 Jul 1977
Peerage extinct on his death
8 Jan 1748 B 1 Henry Rolle 7 Nov 1708 17 Aug 1750 41
to     Created Baron Rolle 8 Jan 1748
17 Aug 1750 MP for Devon 1730-1741 and Barnstaple
Peerage extinct on his death
20 Jun 1796 B 1 John Rolle 16 Oct 1756 3 Apr 1842 85
to     Created Baron Rolle 20 Jun 1796
3 Apr 1842 MP for Devon 1780-1796
Peerage extinct on his death
10 Jan 1651 B[S] 1 Andrew Rollo 1577 12 Jun 1659 81
Created Lord Rollo 10 Jan 1651
12 Jun 1659 2 James Rollo 11 Dec 1600 12 Jun 1669 68
12 Jun 1669 3 Andrew Rollo 4 Mar 1700
4 Mar 1700 4 Robert Rollo c 1680 8 Mar 1758
8 Mar 1758 5 Andrew Rollo c 1703 2 Jun 1765
2 Jun 1765 6 John Rollo 6 Feb 1708 26 Mar 1783 75
26 Mar 1783 7 James Rollo 8 Mar 1738 14 May 1784 46
14 May 1784 8 John Rollo 23 Apr 1773 24 Dec 1846 73
24 Dec 1846 9 William Rollo 28 May 1809 8 Oct 1852 43
8 Oct 1852 10 John Rogerson Rollo 24 Oct 1835 2 Oct 1916 80
Created Baron Dunning 29 Jun 1869
2 Oct 1916 11 William Charles Wordsworth Rollo  (also 2nd
Baron Dunning) 8 Jan 1860 3 Mar 1946 86
3 Mar 1946 12 John Eric Henry Rollo  (also 3rd Baron Dunning) 8 Jan 1889 3 Sep 1947 58
3 Sep 1947 13 Eric John Stapylton Rollo  (also 4th Baron Dunning) 3 Dec 1915 25 Sep 1997 81
25 Sep 1997 14 David Eric Howard Rollo  (also 5th Baron Dunning) 31 Mar 1943
5 Jan 1938 B 1 Sir Mark Lemon Romer 9 Aug 1866 19 Aug 1944 78
to     Created Baron Romer 5 Jan 1938
19 Aug 1944 Lord Justice of Appeal 1929-1938. Lord of
Appeal in Ordinary 1938-1944. PC 1929
Peerage extinct on his death
3 Jan 1866 B 1 Sir John Romilly 10 Jan 1802 23 Dec 1874 72
Created Baron Romilly 3 Jan 1866
MP for Bridport 1832-1835 and 1846-1847,
and Devonport 1847-1852. Solicitor General
1848-1850. Attorney General 1850-1851.
Master of the Rolls 1851-1873.  PC 1851
23 Dec 1874 2 William Romilly 12 Apr 1835 23 May 1891 56
For further information on the death of this peer,
see the note at the foot of this page
23 May 1891 3 John Gaspard le Marchant Romilly 1 Mar 1866 23 Jun 1905 39
For further information on the marriage of this
peer,see the note at the foot of this page
23 Jun 1905 4 William Gaspard Guy Romilly 8 Mar 1899 29 Jun 1983 84
to     Peerage extinct on his death
29 Jun 1983
14 May 1694 E 1 Henry Sydney c Mar 1641  8 Apr 1704 63
to     Created Baron Milton and Viscount
8 Apr 1704 Sydney 9 Apr 1689 and Earl of Romney
14 May 1694
Lord Lieutenant Kent 1689-1704
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
1691-1702. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1692-1695.  PC 1689  MP for Tamworth 1689
Peerage extinct on his death
22 Jun 1716 B 1 Sir Robert Marsham,5th baronet 17 Sep 1685 28 Nov 1724 39
Created Baron Romney 22 Jun 1716
MP for Maidstone 1708-1716
28 Nov 1724 2 Robert Marsham 22 Aug 1717 16 Nov 1793 76
16 Nov 1793 3 Charles Marsham 28 Sep 1744 1 Mar 1811 66
22 Jun 1801 E 1 Created Viscount Marsham and Earl of
Romney 22 Jun 1801
MP for Maidstone 1766-1774 and Kent 1774-
1790. Lord Lieutenant Kent 1797-1808
1 Mar 1811 2 Charles Marsham 22 Nov 1777 29 Mar 1845 67
MP for Hythe 1798-1802, Downton 1803-
1806 and Hythe 1806-1807
29 Mar 1845 3 Charles Marsham 30 Jul 1808 2 Sep 1874 66
MP for Kent West 1841-1845
2 Sep 1874 4 Charles Marsham 7 Mar 1841 21 Aug 1905 64
21 Aug 1905 5 Charles Marsham 25 Oct 1864 13 Mar 1933 68
13 Mar 1933 6 Charles Marsham 9 Jul 1892 6 Sep 1975 83
6 Sep 1975 7 Nicholas Henry Marsham 22 Nov 1910 5 Jun 2004 93
5 Jun 2004 8 Julian Charles Marsham 28 Mar 1948
18 Oct 1947 B 1 Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas
Created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma
23 Aug 1946 and Baron Romsey and Earl
Mountbatten of Burma 18 Oct 1947
See "Mountbatten of Burma"
22 Aug 1892 M 1 Lawrence Dundas,3rd Earl of Zetland 16 Aug 1844 11 Mar 1929 84
Created Earl of Ronaldshay and
Marquess of Zetland 22 Aug 1892
See "Zetland"
16 Jun 2001 B[L] 1 Jeffrey William Rooker 5 Jun 1941
Created Baron Rooker for life 16 Jun 2001
MP for Perry Barr 1974-2001  PC 1999
18 Jun 1892 B 1 Sir Henry John Selwin-Ibbetson,7th baronet 26 Sep 1826 15 Jan 1902 75
to     Created Baron Rookwood 18 Jun 1892
15 Jan 1902 MP for Essex South 1865-1868, Essex West
1868-1885 and Epping 1885-1892. Financial
Secretary to the Treasury 1878-1880
Peerage extinct on his death
22 Jul 1616 B 1 Francis Manners,6th Earl of Rutland 1578 17 Dec 1632 54
to     Created Baron Roos 22 Jul 1616
17 Dec 1632 Peerage extinct on his death
17 Jun 1896 B 1 John James Robert Manners,7th Duke of Rutland 13 Dec 1818 4 Aug 1906 87
Created Baron Roos of Belvoir 17 Jun 1896
See "Rutland"
16 Feb 1959 B 1 Sir William Edward Rootes 17 Aug 1894 12 Dec 1964 70
Created Baron Rootes 16 Feb 1959
12 Dec 1964 2 William Geoffrey Rootes 14 Jun 1917 17 Jan 1992 74
17 Jan 1992 3 Nicholas Geoffrey Rootes 12 Jul 1951
12 May 2000 B[L] 1 John Francis Hodgess Roper 10 Sep 1935 29 Jan 2016 80
to     Created Baron Roper for life 12 May 2000
29 Jan 2016 MP for Farnworth 1970-1983. PC 2005
Peerage extinct on his death
27 Jan 1332 B 1 John de Ros 1338
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
1338 Ros 27 Jan 1332
Peerage extinct on his death
24 Jun 1295 B 1 Robert Ros after 1297
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
1297 Ros de Werke 24 Jun 1295
He was attainted and the peerage forfeited
5 Aug 1622 E[I] 1 James Dillon Mar 1642
Created Baron Dillon 24 Jan 1619 and
Earl of Roscommon 5 Aug 1622
Mar 1642 2 Robert Dillon 27 Aug 1642
27 Aug 1642 3 James Dillon c 1605 Oct 1649
Oct 1649 4 Wentworth Dillon c 1630 18 Jan 1685
PC [I] 1665
18 Jan 1685 5 Carey Dillon 1 Jul 1627 25 Nov 1689 62
PC [I] 1674
25 Nov 1689 6 Robert Dillon 14 May 1715
14 May 1715 7 Robert Dillon 9 Jan 1721
9 Jan 1721 8 James Dillon 1702 20 Aug 1746 44
Dormant on his death. The right of succession was-
[20 Aug 1746] 9 Robert Dillon 25 Mar 1770
[25 Mar 1770] 10 John Dillon 27 Aug 1782
[27 Aug 1782] 11 Patrick Dillon 15 Mar 1769 17 Nov 1816 47
30 May 1799 His claim was allowed 30 May 1799. On his death
the peerage again became dormant
[17 Nov 1816] 12 Michael James Robert Dillon 2 Oct 1798 15 May 1850 51
19 Jun 1828 His claim was allowed 19 June 1828. For further
to     information,see the note at the foot of this page
15 May 1850 Peerage extinct on his death
17 Sep 2014 B[L] 1 Sir Stuart Alan Ransom Rose 17 Mar 1949
Created Baron Rose of Monewden for life 
17 Sep 2014
10 Apr 1703 E[S] 1 Archibald Primrose 18 Dec 1664 20 Oct 1723 58
Created Lord Primrose and Dalmeny and
Viscount of Primrose 1 Apr 1700,and Lord
Dalmeny and Primrose,Viscount of
Inverkeithing and Earl of Rosebery
10 Apr 1703
20 Oct 1723 2 James Primrose 1691 26 Nov 1755 64
For information about his son,John,styled Lord
Dalmeny,see the note at the foot of this page
26 Nov 1755 3 Neil Primrose 1729 25 Mar 1814 84
KT 1771
25 Mar 1814 4 Archibald John Primrose 14 Oct 1783 4 Mar 1868 84
Created Baron Rosebery [UK] 
26 Jan 1828
MP for Helston 1805-1806 and Cashel 1806-1807
Lord Lieutenant Linlithgow 1843-1863,
PC 1831  KT 1840
4 Mar 1868 5 Archibald Philip Primrose 7 May 1847 21 May 1929 82
Created Baron Epsom,Viscount
Mentmore and Earl of Midlothian
3 Jul 1911
Lord Privy Seal 1885. Foreign Secretary
1886 and 1892-1894. Prime Minister 1894-
1895. Lord President of the Council 1894-
1895. PC 1881 KG 1892  KT 1895. Lord Lieutenant
Linlithgow 1873-1929 and Midlothian 1884-
21 May 1929 6 Robert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald
Primrose 8 Jan 1882 31 May 1974 92
MP for Midlothian 1906-1910. Lord 
Lieutenant Midlothian 1929-1964. Secretary
of State for Scotland 1945.  PC 1945  
KT 1947
31 May 1974 7 Neil Archibald Primrose 11 Feb 1929
1 Nov 1647 B[S] 1 Sir John Carnegie c 1580 18 Jan 1667
Created Lord Lour 20 Apr 1639 and
Lord Lour and Egglismadie and Earl of
Ethie 1 Nov 1647
He exchanged the titles for the Earldom of 
Northesk and Barony of Rosehill in 1662 -
see "Northesk"
31 Jul 1970 B[L] 1 Sir Max Leonard Rosenheim 15 Mar 1908 2 Dec 1972 64
to     Created Baron Rosenheim for life
2 Dec 1972 31 Jul 1970
Peerage extinct on his death
15 Apr 1980 B[L] 1 Sir Eustace Wentworth Roskill 6 Feb 1911 4 Oct 1996 85
to     Created Baron Roskill for life 15 Apr 1980
4 Oct 1996 Lord Justice of Appeal 1971-1980. Lord of
Appeal in Ordinary 1980-1986   PC 1971
Peerage extinct on his death
11 Aug 1896 B 1 Sir Hercules George Robert Robinson,1st baronet 19 Dec 1824 28 Oct 1897 72
Created Baron Rosmead 11 Aug 1896
Governor of Hong Kong 1859-1865, Ceylon
1865-1872, New South Wales 1872-1879,
New Zealand 1879-1880 and Cape of Good
Hope 1880-1889 and 1895-1897.  PC 1883
For further information on this peer,see the
note at the foot of this page
28 Oct 1897 2 Hercules Arthur Temple Robinson 6 Nov 1866 26 May 1933 66
to     Peerage extinct on his death
26 May 1933
ROSS (Ireland)
4 Jan 1772 E[I] 1 Sir Ralph Gore,6th baronet 23 Nov 1725 Sep 1802 76
to     Created Baron Gore 30 Jun 1764,
Sep 1802 Viscount Belleisle 25 Aug 1768 and
Earl of Ross 4 Jan 1772
Peerages extinct on his death
ROSS (Scotland)
1157 E[S] 1 Malcom Mac Heth
Created Earl of Ross 1157
1215 E[S] 1 Ferquhard 1251
Created Earl of Ross 1215
1251 2 William May 1274
May 1274 3 William 28 Jan 1333
28 Jan 1333 4 Hugh 20 Feb 1334
20 Feb 1334 5 William 9 Feb 1372
9 Feb 1372 6 Euphemia Leslie c 1394
c 1394 7 Alexander Leslie 8 May 1402
8 May 1402 8 Euphemia Leslie
She resigned the peerage in favour of -
c 1410 9 Margaret Macdonald c 1429
c 1429 10 Alexander Macdonald 4 May 1448
4 May 1448 11 John Macdonald c 1498
to     He surrendered the peerage to the Crown
10 Jul 1476 in 1476
29 Jan 1488 D[S] 1 James Stewart Mar 1476 17 Jan 1504 27
to     Created Lord of Brechin,Navar and
17 Jan 1504 Ardmannoch and Earl of Ross 23 Jan 
1481,and Lord Brechin and Navar,Earl
of Edirdale,Marquess of Ormond and
Duke of Ross 29 Jan 1488
Second son of James III of Scotland
Peerages extinct on his death
1514 D[S] 1 Alexander Stewart 30 Apr 1514 18 Dec 1515 1
to     Styled Duke of Ross 1514
18 Dec 1515 Fourth son of James IV of Scotland
Peerage extinct on his death
1499 B[S] 1 Sir John Ross 1501
Created Lord Ross 1499
1501 2 John Ross 9 Sep 1513
9 Sep 1513 3 Ninian Ross Feb 1556
Feb 1556 4 James Ross 2 Apr 1581
2 Apr 1581 5 Robert Ross Oct 1595
Oct 1595 6 James Ross 17 Dec 1633
17 Dec 1633 7 James Ross 17 Mar 1634
17 Mar 1634 8 William Ross Aug 1640
Aug 1640 9 Robert Ross Aug 1648
Aug 1648 10 William Ross 1656
1656 11 George Ross Apr 1682
Apr 1682 12 William Ross c 1656 15 Mar 1738
Lord Lieutenant Renfrew 1715
15 Mar 1738 13 George Ross c 1682 17 Jun 1754
17 Jun 1754 14 William Ross 1721 19 Aug 1754 33
to     On his death the peerage is presumed to
19 Aug 1754 have become extinct
11 Aug 1815 B 1 George Boyle,4th Earl of Glasgow 26 Mar 1766 6 Jul 1843 77
Created Baron Ross of Hawkhead
11 Aug 1815
See "Glasgow" - this peerage extinct 1890
24 Jul 1979 B[L] 1 William Ross 7 Apr 1911 10 Jun 1988 77
to     Created Baron Ross of Marnock for life
10 Jun 1988 24 Jul 1979
MP for Kilmarnock 1946-1979. Secretary
of State for Scotland 1964-1970 and
1974-1976.  PC 1964
Peerage extinct on his death
4 Nov 1987 B[L] 1 Stephen Sherlock Ross 6 Jul 1926 10 May 1993 66
to     Created Baron Ross of Newport for life
10 May 1993 4 Nov 1987
MP for Isle of Wight 1974-1987
Peerage extinct on his death
2 Jul 1681 V[I] 1 Sir Richard Parsons,3rd baronet c 1657 30 Jan 1703
Created Baron Oxmantown and Viscount
Rosse 2 Jul 1681
30 Jan 1703 2 Richard Parsons 26 Jun 1741
16 Jun 1718 E[I] 1 Created Earl of Rosse 16 Jun 1718
26 Jun 1741 2 Richard Parsons c 1716 27 Aug 1764
to     Peerages extinct on his death
27 Aug 1764
3 Feb 1806 E[I] 1 Lawrence Harman Parsons 26 Jul 1749 20 Apr 1807 57
Created Baron Oxmantown 25 Sep 1792,
Viscount Oxmantown 6 Oct 1795 and
Earl of Rosse 3 Feb 1806
The creations of 1792 and 1806 both contained a
special remainder,failing heirs male of his body,to
his nephew Sir Lawrence Parsons,5th baronet
20 Apr 1807 2 Sir Lawrence Parsons,5th baronet 21 May 1758 24 Feb 1841 82
MP for Kings County 1800-1807. Lord
Lieutenant Kings County PC [I] 1805
24 Feb 1841 3 William Parsons 17 Jun 1800 31 Oct 1867 67
MP for Kings County 1821-1835. Lord
Lieutenant Kings County 1831-1867
President of the Royal Society 1849-1854.
KP 1845
31 Oct 1867 4 Lawrence Parsons 17 Nov 1840 29 Aug 1908 67
Lord Lieutenant Kings County 1892-1908
KP 1890
29 Aug 1908 5 William Edward Parsons 14 Jun 1873 10 Jun 1918 44
Lord Lieutenant Kings County 1908-1918
10 Jun 1918 6 Lawrence Michael Harvey Parsons 28 Sep 1906 1 Jul 1979 72
1 Jul 1979 7 William Clere Leonard Brendan Willmer
Parsons 21 Oct 1936
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (creation of 1652)
The following biography of Rochester appeared in the August 1966 issue of the Australian 
monthly magazine "Parade":-
'Barbara Palmer, Duchess of Cleveland and imperious mistress of King Charles II, alighted from
her coach at Whitehall Palace with a rustle of silk and satin. A young man, Lord Rochester no
less, darted forward and planted a kiss on her lips. With a sweep of her arm Barbara promptly
laid him flat on his back on the cobblestones. The watching courtiers burst into a roar of 
laughter, for each had writhed under the barbed wit of Lord Rochester and his humiliation 
delighted them. Rochester did not appear in the least humiliated. Picking himself up with a 
smile and a bow, he retorted with a sally of unprintable obscenity that brought a blush even
to Barbara Palmer's painted cheeks.
'From King Charles downwards the mightiest figures in the land had learnt that it was a 
dangerous business to make an enemy of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Poet, courtier, patron
literature and heartless debauchee, he was an outstanding personality of the gay and licentious
world of Restoration England. He wrote some of the deadliest satires of his times and was later
described as "the writer of the filthiest verses in the English language." Rochester manuscripts
still lie unpublished and unpublishable in the British Museum. Apart from privately printed editions,
only expurgated collections of his poems have been issued since his death.
'His life was a procession of scandals that strained even tolerant indulgence of the Merry 
Monarch, whom Rochester lampooned with ferocious gusto. He coined the celebrated and oft-
quoted verse which he once pinned to the door of the royal bedroom:
"Here lies our sovereign lord the King,
Whose word no man relies on.
He never said a foolish thing, 
Nor ever did a wise one."
'But Rochester was more than a profane rake. Apart from his own writings he earned a place in
literary history as the friend of the greatest authors of his time. He patronised Dryden, Otway
and many lesser poets and dramatists. He could turn from the grossest debauchery to debate
fine points of classical scholarship and philosophy. 
'John Wilmot was born at Ditchley, Oxfordshire, in 1647 and was 11 years old when he 
succeeded to his father's impoverished estate and the title of Earl of Rochester. The first earl,
a Cavalier officer in the Civil War, died in France, where he had loyally served the exiled Charles 
II after Charles I was beheaded by Cromwell's Parliament. In 1660 came the Restoration. King
Charles, his courtiers and his ladies trooped back to London to establish in Whitehall the 
wickedest, wittiest and most frivolous court England had seen. 
'Young Rochester spent two years travelling in Europe before, having wasted most of the 
of his estate on personal adornment, he made his debut at court in 1664. He was then barely
17, but he had remarkably good looks, high spirits, a brilliant tongue and strong claims on King
Charles's gratitude to his family. He knew how to exploit every asset. He won the powerful
friendship of the royal favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, and the more tender esteem of the
royal concubines. The king himself was fascinated by the dazzling youth whose mordant wit 
spared none of the greatest personages at court, including even the monarch and his 
mistresses. Rochester was the king's follower in the meanest of his amorous adventures, said
one moralist.
'A pension from Charles was not enough to support Rochester's style of living, so early in 1665
the king urged him to pay court to Elizabeth Malet, a pretty young heiress worth £2500 a year. 
When Elizabeth defied the royal wishes and rejected his suit, Rochester plunged into the first
of his many outrageous adventures. On the night of May 26 a gang of bravoes dragged the
dragged the terrified girls from her coach at Charing Cross, bundled her into another carriage
and drove out of the city with Rochester galloping behind. Amid a tremendous hue and cry the
abductor was seized at Uxbridge by royal officers and thrown into the Tower of London by 
command of the angry king. But Charles could not resist Rochester's pleas for long. Within six
weeks he was freed on volunteering to serve with Lord Sandwich's naval squadron, which was 
preparing to sail against the Dutch.
'For more than a year Rochester trod the deck as an exile from court, adding a reputation for
gallantry battle to a different kind of gallantry in the boudoir. During a bloody, four-day conflict
with the Dutch Admiral Van Tromp in the Channel, he repeatedly risked his life carrying messages
between the British ships in an open boat. His heroism was richly rewarded when he was allowed
to return to court. Elizabeth Malet forgave her rough usage and married him and the royal 
pension rose to £1000 a year. 
'For the next 10 years Rochester was the most notorious figure in the literary and fashionable 
life of London, charming and infuriating by his wit and startling even that tolerant age by his
debauchery. One of his favourite haunts was the house of Mother Bennett, the city's most
celebrated procuress, where Rochester presided over a mock court of the bedraggled harlots
of Covent Garden. 
'The poems which he circulated in manuscript were a mixture of scoffings at religion and 
morality, passionate love lyrics, venomous satires on high and low and the most blasphemous 
obscenities. He made a host of enemies. One, the pompous and conceited Lord Mulgrave,
challenged him to a duel in the fields of Knightsbridge in 1669. After keeping Mulgrave waiting all
day in a filthy little tavern on the spot, Rochester refused to fight and turned the affair to 
'At least once a year King Charles ordered the rake out of Whitehall, only to recall him in a few
weeks when he wanted amusement or Rochester's aid in besieging some lady of the Court.
During one of his temporary exiles Rochester took obscure lodgings in the city, called himself Dr.
Alexander Bendo, and set up a quack physician's stall on Tower Hill. Disguised in a false beard
and a long tattered gown with a fur collar he peddled a concoction of soot, ashes, soap and
"nastier things" which he claimed would cure every ailment from toothache to obstruction of the
liver. He sold equally dreadful cosmetics to the wives of courtiers and rich citizens, then re-
appeared at court with bags of gold and silver he had earned as Dr. Bendo.
'Rochester and the Duke of Buckingham were involved in a more outrageous deception when the
King visited Newmarket for his favourite sport of racing. The pair rented an inn outside the town
and, posing as tavern-keepers, vied with each other in seducing every attractive young woman
among their guests. The prank had a brutal ending when the husband of one victim hanged
himself and Rochester callously packed the widow off to London and the clutches of Mother 
'In the early 1670s literary feuds added to the storms that dogged Rochester's career, for in the
midst of his follies he retained an active interest in poets and playwrights. John Dryden had
dedicated several dramas to his aristocratic patron and Rochester was proud of this association
with the celebrated author. But when he heard that Dryden had also accepted the patronage of 
his old enemy, Lord Mulgrave, he became the dramatist's most relentless critic. By then,
Rochester had become passionately enamoured of Elizabeth Barry [1658-1713], a beautiful but 
brainless maid-servant. Rochester was determined to make his mistress an actress and also
score off Dryden by promoting a half-starved but promising young dramatist named Thomas
Otway [1652-1685]. 
'He succeeded in both aims. In 1675 Elizabeth caused a sensation when she appeared in 
Otway's "Alcibiades" at the Dorset Garden Theatre. She went on to rival Nell Gwynne as the idol 
of the London stage. Otway's name was also made. But, when he had the presumption to fall in 
love with Elizabeth Barry, Rochester turned in arrogant contempt against his beggarly rival. 
Denouncing Otway as "the scum of the theatre" he pursued him with such venom that the 
frightened playwright temporarily fled from London by entering in the army.
'Rochester did not long enjoy his triumph. Though under 30 he had blazed out his youth in gross
voluptuousness and his health was failing. In April 1680 the earl left the gay court of Whitehall
for the last time and retired to the seclusion of a royal lodge which King Charles granted him 
amid the oak trees of Woodstock Park. His friends and foes were astonished to learn that he
was absorbed in books of religion. Bishop Burnet, who visited him in July, declared him a truly
repentant sinner. He died on July 26, 1680, only two days after the bishop left him. On his 
death-bed he pleaded, in vain, that all his profane and licentious manuscripts be collected and 
Percy Jocelyn, Bishop of Clogher, 3rd son of the 1st Earl of Roden (29 November 1764-
3 September 1843)
After being educated at Trinity College Dublin, Jocelyn entered the Anglican Church in Ireland,
rising to became Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin in 1809 before being transferred to the Bishopric
of Clogher in 1820. Jocelyn's first brush with the law occurred in 1811 when his brother's coach-
man, James Byrne, accused the Bishop of committing an "unnatural crime." This was only a short
time after the raid on an infamous "molly house" [a tavern or private room where gay men could
meet, similar to today's gay bars]. The "molly house" was in Vere Street, London, and it was
raided on 8 July 1810, when 27 men were arrested, although only 8 were tried and convicted. 
Of those convicted, six were pilloried and two were hanged at Newgate on 7 March 1811. One 
of the two who were executed was a 16-year-old boy. Sodomy continued to be a capital crime,
with the last two men executed for this offence in November 1835.
Jocelyn's response was to sue Byrne for criminal libel, upon which charge Byrne was convicted 
and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, together with three public floggings. Two of these 
floggings were carried out, Byrne nearly dying in the process, but the third flogging was 
cancelled after Byrne withdrew his accusation. Eleven years later, Byrne was vindicated by 
subsequent events.
On 19 July 1822 a young soldier named John Moverley went to the White Lion public house in
Haymarket, Westminster, where he bought a pint of porter which he took into the back parlour.
Shortly afterwards, another man, dressed in clerical garb, came in, purchased a drink and he
too went into the back parlour. For some reason, the publican's suspicions were aroused, and,
together with some other men, the publican went into his back-yard and was able to observe
his two customers through a window over which the curtains had been only partially drawn. 
There they saw the two men with their trousers down around their ankles. The publican and
the other men burst into the back room, seized both Moverley and the cleric, and dragged them
through the streets where they were severely beaten and their clothes torn to shreds by the
crowd which had gathered. When they reached the watch-house in Vine Street, they were
locked in the cells.
Next morning they were transferred to the Marlborough Street police station, where they were
examined. The cleric refused to divulge his identity, but was allowed to write a note addressed
to a John Waring, a friend of his, which read: "John - come to me directly, don't say who I am,
but I am undone. Come instantly, and inquire for a gentleman below stairs, 12 o'clock. I am
totally undone. P.C." The P.C. stood for Percy Clogher, which is the usual manner in which 
bishops to this day sign their letters - i.e. [Christian name][Name of Bishopric].
The following day, when they were placed before a magistrate, both men remained silent, but,
in order to obtain bail, the men had to divulge their names and addresses. Jocelyn was granted
bail of £1000 and was allowed to leave in safety via a back door. 
Inevitably, news of the scandal began to appear in the press, although Jocelyn's name was
suppressed. However, within a few weeks it was common knowledge, and Jocelyn began to be
attacked by pamphleteers and broadside writers, particularly in regard to his perceived
hypocrisy, since it was pointed out that Jocelyn was a member of the Society for the 
Suppression of Vice. The following epigram did the rounds:-
"The Devil to prove the Church was a farce
Went out to fish for a Bugger.
He baited his hook with a Soldier's arse
And pulled up the Bishop of Clogher."
In the meantime, immediately after his release on bail, Jocelyn fled to the Continent, where he
took up residence in Paris. Moverley also disappeared after bail had been granted, and army
records show that he deserted his regiment, the Foot Guards, but was never the subject of a
court martial, presumably because he was never found.
Both men failed to appear at their court hearings in September, and on 21 October 1822, the
Metropolitan Court of Armagh, having heard all the evidence against Jocelyn, the Archbishop of
Armagh, Primate of Ireland, "his grace the lord primate, in the presence and hearing of his
brethren the lords bishops, of his vicar-general, and of other distinguished personages, rose from
his seat, and, the entire of the auditory then standing, and the Bishop of Clogher being again
thrice called, but not appearing, his grace proceeded to read the sentence in open court. When
he had finished, he signed it in open court, and directed it to be lodged in the registry of his
diocese; where it now remains a record of these important proceedings, and of their perfect
consummation by the absolute deprivation and deposition of Dr. Percy Jocelyn from the 
bishopric of Clogher and from his episcopal order and authorities." [Annual Register for 1822,
page 432].
At some point Jocelyn returned to Great Britain where he lived under an assumed name in 
Glasgow and Edinburgh before dying on 3 September 1843. 
In the Annual Register for 1843 [Appendix to Chronicle, page 330] there appears the following
obituary:- 'At Edinburgh, the Hon. And Rev. Percy Jocelyn, D.D. He was the second [sic] son of
Robert, first Earl of Roden. He was consecrated to the see of Ferns and Leighlin, on the 3rd 
of Sept. 1809, in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; was translated to the see of Clogher in 1820;
and deprived in 1822. We copy from a contemporary journal the following interesting and not
unprofitable record of this unhappy, but apparently repentant transgressor:- "An individual died
here a short time since, who obtained an unenviable celebrity more than twenty years ago.
This was the Bishop of Clogher, who was indicted for an unnatural crime, committed in St. 
James's, London, in 1822, forfeited bail and fled, was degraded from his ecclesiastical dignity,
and has never since been heard of till now. He kept house at No. 4, Salisbury-place, Edinburgh,
under the assumed name of Thomas Wilson, to which he removed four years ago, having
previously resided in Glasgow. His mode of living was extremely private, scarcely any visitors
being known to enter his dwelling; but, it was remarked, that the post occasionally brought him
letters sealed with coronets. His incognito was wonderfully preserved. It was only known to 
one or two individuals in the neighbourhood, who kept the secret till after his death. The 
application for interment was made in the name of Thomas Wilson. There was a plate upon the
coffin, which he got prepared some years before, but without any name upon it. It bore a Latin
inscription, prepared years before, the sense of which was as follows: 'Here lies the remains of
a great sinner, saved by grace, whose hope rests in the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus
Christ.' He was very anxious to conceal his true name, having got it carefully obliterated from
his books and articles of furniture. He gave instructions that his burial should be in the nearest
churchyard; that it should be conducted in the most private and plain manner, and at six in
the morning. His directions were complied with, except in the selection of the ground. His body
was drawn to the New Cemetery in a hearse with one horse, followed by five mourners in a one-
horse coach, at seven in the morning. Such was the obscure and humble death and funeral of
the Hon. and Rev. Percy Jocelyn, the son of a peer, who spent the early years of his life in the
society of the great, and held one of the highest ecclesiastical dignities of the empire."
The special remainder to the Barony of Rokeby created in 1777
From the "London Gazette" of 4 February 1777 (issue 11742, page 1):-
'The King has been pleased to order Letters Patent to be passed under the Great Seal of the
Kingdom of Ireland, containing His Majesty's Grant of the Dignity of a Baron of the said Kingdom
unto the most Reverend Father in God Richard Robinson, Doctor in Divinity, Lord Archbishop of 
Armagh, Primate and Metropolitan of all Ireland, and to his Issue Male, by the Name, Stile and
Title of Baron of Rokeby of Armagh in the County of Armagh in the said Kingdom, with Remainder
to Matthew Robinson, of West Layton in the North Riding of the County of York, Esq., and his
Issue Male.'
Matthew Robinson-Morris, 2nd Baron Rokeby
The following is extracted from "The Emperor of the United States of America and Other
Magnificent British Eccentrics" by Catherine Caufield (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1981)
Mr Robinson, as he was until he inherited his uncle's title in 1793 at the age of 81, was a 
singularly high-principled person. He resigned after two terms as Member of Parliament because
of his disgust with the corruption of party politics. He himself voted independently. As a result
he had enemies in both parties, though he was popular with the people. To his sister, the
bluestocking, Mrs Montagu [wife of Edward Montagu and one of the wealthiest women of her
time], who reproached him for some social solecism shortly after his elevation to the peerage, 
he shrugged, 'You know I was born a democrat.'
Robinson had strong views on the subjects of fresh air and exercise. He walked everywhere,
although he often took a carriage along for his servants, who had less stamina than he did
and, as he remarked, finer clothes that were worth protecting from bad weather. At home, the
windows were perpetually open and he seldom lit a fire. He spurned alcohol and believed that
the English countryside produced sufficient to support the English people and that it was 
wicked to eat 'exotics' such as wheat. Robinson's diet consisted mainly of beef tea, but, 
because of his democratic beliefs, guests at his table could order whatever they liked.
Robinson was a good and popular landlord. He never raised rents and he practised a peculiar
system of land management, based on his political and philosophical principles, at Mount Morris,
his 800-acre estate in east Kent. There were no fences, gates or stiles; trees were never
felled, nothing was planted, and the gardens were returned to nature. But Robinson knew a
great deal about grazing, so the black sheep and cattle that roamed freely on his land did well.
Robinson's appearance was striking, largely due to his simple dress and a beard which, by the 
end of his life, reached to his knees. His moustache was long enough for him to be able to tuck
the ends behind his ears. Country people often took him for a Turk and his friends felt, rather
sadly, that his strange looks and odd manners detracted from the seriousness of his philosophy.
He had several pet hates, notably doctors and the Bank of England. The latter he believed was
certain sooner or later to fail. He made a £10 bet to that effect with a Canterbury alderman and
bound his heirs to continue the wager after his death. Robinson was a great believer in the
beneficial effects of water. He installed drinking fountains all along the roads of his property and
always stopped to give a few coins to anyone he saw drinking from them. Every morning he 
bathed his eyes in salt water and that was just the beginning of his regimen. Robinson spent
hours on end completely immersed in water, often until he fainted. He had a special bathing 
house built at Mount Morris with a glass front and a thatched roof. Here, sitting up to his neck
in his favourite liquid, he ate his meals, received visitors, worked on his political pamphlets and
planned the management of the estate.
Robinson's sister told of how she learned of a trip her brother had made to a fashionable 
watering-place. She was taking a tour of the resort when her guide pointed out where Mr
Robinson had bathed with a roast loin of veal floating at his side. 'The Quality', Mrs Montagu
reported her guide as saying, 'did make a great wonderment at it, but it was nice veal and he
gave what he did not eat of it to her and some others; to be sure he was the peculiarest
gentleman she had ever heard of, but he was very good-natured.'
William Romilly, 2nd Baron Romilly
The 2nd Baron Romilly was the grandson of Sir Samuel Romilly, who committed suicide in 1818
in a fit of grief following the death of his wife. For further information, see the note under
"Queenborough" in the House of Commons pages. In 1891, the 2nd Baron was suffocated as
a result of a fire at his house. The following report of the subsequent inquest appeared in the
Birmingham Daily Post' of 28 May 1891:-
'The inquest on the bodies of Lord Romilly and Emma Lovell, a domestic servant, who were
suffocated during the calamitous fire which occurred at 38, Egerton Gardens, Brompton Road, on 
Saturday night last, was opened yesterday afternoon.
'Thomas Hayter, butler to the deceased baron, stated that his lordship was fifty-six years of
age. On Saturday last, at 11.15 p.m., witness was in the pantry in the basement. The drawing
room bell rang, and witness went up. Lord Romilly was standing on the landing on the first
floor, and said that he had tipped the lamp over. The drawing-room was well alight, the curtains
being ablaze. Witness suggested the fire brigade being called, and then shut the drawing-room
door. He and Lord Romilly then went down to the dining-room together, and witness gave the
alarm to a cabman.  He then lighted the hall gas, and blew up the whistle to the top floor. That
should have awakened the servants at the top. Witness tried to get up the staircase, but was
unable on account of the flames. The drawing-room door was then open, but witness did not 
see Lord Romilly whom he had left in the dining-room. Witness then waited for the brigade to
arrive. There were three women servants and one male servant at the top of the house.
Witness did not see what became of any of them. It seemed a long time to witness before the
brigade arrived. The lamp in question was a duplex lamp. When witness last saw it  was on a
small Chippendale table, where witness placed it at eight o'clock. It was not quite full of oil, but
there was nearly a quart of the best crystal oil in it. There was no other light in the room beside
the lamp. There had never been an accident with the lamp before to witness's knowledge.
There was an accident two years ago with a lamp that had a glass reservoir; but the lamp in
question had a bronze reservoir. By the jury: His lordship was perfectly sober on the night in
'Witness called the brigade before he attempted to arouse the servants. He thought the best 
thing to do was to shut the door of the drawing-room, as that was done on the occasion of the
last accident. Lord Romilly must have gone upstairs again and left the door open.
'John Lovell, 150, Morning Road, Kentish Town, a pianoforte maker, identified the body of Emma
Annie Lovell, aged 43, as his sister. She was cook and housekeeper to Lord Romilly.
'Engineer James Morris, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, stated that he arrived at the fire at 11.34
p.m., from Knightsbridge Station. A woman was calling for help from the third floor window.
A hydrant was got to work and the escape placed in position. Fireman Byne mounted the
escape, from which witness was playing with the hydrant hose, and rescued the woman. The
door was then broken open with a large axe and a branch got to work in the house. Lord
Romilly was found in the front room on the first floor, the sitting-room. He was near the
window, lying on the floor. He appeared to be alive, and witness used artificial respiration
until a cab was called, and he was taken to the hospital. He was unconscious the whole of
the time. The house was well alight back and front when witness got there, and after Lord
Romilly had been removed the brigade got to work right through the house. Witness found the
body of Miss Lovell in a back room on the third floor. She was lying near the window, and, 
seeing that there was still life witness used artificial respiration until the woman was removed.
The fire had passed the woman and caught the bed. The body of Mary Nippard was found in
a front room on the third floor. The whole of the house was well alight from the first to the
fourth floor, The drawing-room was completely burnt out. The fire alarm is not visible from
the house, but it was in a prominent position. Witness saw the butler outside the house, but
not in it. 
'By the Jury: If the women had been awake in time they could have escaped by the roof. If the
drawing-room door had been kept closed the fire would have probably been confined to the
'George William Byne, whose hands were enveloped in surgical bandages, a fireman, stated that
he was in charge of the escape, and was called at 11.30. He at once proceeded to the fire, and
found a woman at the third-floor window screaming for help. The flames were coming out of the
second-floor window. Witness fixed the escape and extension ladder, and ascended and rescued
the woman. He made a second attempt, but was forced to return. He got burnt himself in 
passing the second-floor window.
'Mr. Alfred Spencer, an inspector under the Petroleum Act, stated that he had made experiments
with the oil used, and found it to be the highest known test oil, which was usually known as
"safety" oil. The lamp was not a safety lamp, and had one great defect, the burner being locked,
and not screwed, to the neck of the reservoir, so that in a case such as this, where the lamp
fell, the burner would be jerked off and the oil escape. Mr. B. Redwood, analyst, confirmed the
previous witness's evidence.
'William John Andrews, who volunteered his evidence and was sworn, said that at 11.45 he saw
the fire, and went with another man to Egerton Gardens. A fire escape was in position, and he
alleged that the fireman in charge said he was afraid to ascend it, and the witness thereupon
went up, got into the third-floor window, and found a young woman. Two firemen then came up
and took the body away. The coroner's officer said a constable was present at the fire, but did
not see this witness.
'The Coroner summed up, and in doing so paid a high compliment to the fireman Byne, who, he
said, had acted in a most heroic manner. The jury endorsed the coroner's remarks, and returned 
a verdict of "Accidental death."
John Gaspard le Marchant Romilly, 3rd Baron Romilly
In August 1894, the engagement was announced of the 3rd Baron Romilly and Miss Violet Grey-
Egerton, daughter of Sir Philip Grey-Egerton, 11th baronet. However, the marriage arising out of 
this engagement did not take place, since Violet transferred her affections to a young man 
named Waldron to whom she became engaged. Once again, this engagement was called off by
Violet. She then became engaged, for the third time in three years, to Ernest Cunard.
This time it seemed that the engagement would result in marriage. According to the story, all
had been arranged, including the purchase of the trousseau and the issuing of the invitations.
However, when the guests arrived at St. Peter's Church, in Eaton Square in London, where the
ceremony was to take place, they were greeted with the news that Violet had been married 
on the previous day to her original fiancée, Lord Romilly, at St. George's, in Hanover Square.
The Dublin paper 'Freeman's Journal' reported in its issue of 7 August 1897 that "the marriage
of Miss Grey Egerton and Lord Romilly has excited an extraordinary amount of interest. It took
place under exceptionally romantic not to say sensational circumstances. The bride had been
engaged three times in three years, to Lord Romilly, among others, but the engagement lasted
only a couple of weeks. After a time Miss Grey Egerton became engaged to Mr. Cunard, a
cousin of Sir Bache Cunard [3rd baronet and member of the family which founded the famous
shipping line]. Their marriage was arranged to take place on Thursday, but on Wednesday
the lady bestowed her hand and heart on Lord Romilly at St. George's, Hanover Square. The
bride was given away by her maid, and Lord Romilly's solicitor acted as best man. The
announcement was made to Mr. Cunard by telegram immediately after the ceremony. Since
the famous elopement of the Marquis of Hastings with Mr. Henry Chaplin's betrothed the day
before their intended wedding [see the note under 'Hastings'] there has been no case of this
The 'Pall Mall Gazette,' also on 7 August 1897, contented itself with a somewhat briefer
report - "The marriage of Miss Grey Egerton to Mr. Ernest Cunard will not take place."
Both parties died young - Lord Romilly in June 1905, aged only 39. His wife survived him by
less than a year before she died in March 1906.
Michael James Robert Dillon, 12th Earl of Roscommon
Dillon's claim to the Earldom of Roscommon was approved by the Committee of Privileges of
the House of Lords on 19 June 1828. The following report appeared in 'The Standard' on that
'Their lordships sat this morning, at half-past ten o'clock, in a committee of privileges, when the
hearing of the claims to the earldom of Roscommon was resumed.
'The Attorney General, and also Mr. Joy, who represented the Attorney General of Ireland, 
appeared on the part of the crown, and also on the behalf of Francis Stephen Dillon, the second
claimant, who was allowed to support his claim at the public expense. Mr. Sydney Taylor 
appeared for the original claimant, Michael James Robert Dillon.
'At the last hearing of this case it will probably be recollected that a third claim to this peerage,
that of Thomas Wentworth Dillon, was negatived by their lordships, not only on the ground of
their being no evidence of a sufficiency to lead to further inquiry, but from their also being no 
one to support the claim.
'The Attorney General commenced his address by replying to the arguments used by the learned
counsel, Mr. Sydney Taylor, in his speech delivered during the last session, and expressed his
(the Attorney General's) concurrence in the opinion that gentleman had expressed, both as
regarded the strong claims which his (Mr. Taylor's) had endeavoured to support, and also as to
the extent they were supported by the evidence. The learned counsel proceeded to comment 
upon the whole circumstances of the claim, from its commencement to its termination in the
house of parliament in Ireland; and contended that their lordships were called upon now to 
decide under nearly similar circumstances to what it was then. But the most important point
which he (the Attorney General) had to draw their lordships' attention to, was the chasm which
appeared in the pedigree, and one which must be considered of the utmost importance. The
third claimant's, Thomas Wentworth Dillon, pretences having vanished, he would leave his name
out of the question; and then came the present claimant, Michael James Robert Dillon, who
claimed in right of being a descendant of the seventh son of the last Earl of Roscommon. In the
pedigree produced their was an insufficiency of evidence as to no less than four of the sons 
having died without issue. From and after the second son there was no evidence to that fact,
and none, it was admitted, could be produced. Now this was, he contended, a most fatal
omission. It was not, as in more ordinary cases, the want of proof of one person dying without
issue, but here were four persons, as regarded all of whom the default in the requisite evidence
was not attempted to be denied, but all of whom, it were to be presumed, died without issue.
This doctrine of presumptive evidence, he must contend, was carried too far in the present
instance, and to too dangerous an extent. If this species of evidence was received, he
considered it would form an alarming precedent, and be productive of much mischief. Upon this
point principally, the deficiency in the evidence with respect to the pedigree, was it that he 
felt bound to resist the claim.
'The Attorney General [Sir Charles Wetherell] having concluded, Mr. Joy said that he also 
appeared before their lordships on the part of the crown, as representing the Attorney General
of Ireland, but, after the address which had just been delivered by his learned friend, he (Mr.
Joy) did not think it necessary to trouble their lordships with any observations of his own.
'Lord Redesdale rose and said that, having paid much care and attention to the whole of the
circumstances adduced in evidence in this case, he felt bound to trouble their lordships with a
few observations. This question, from the time it was first agitated, had occupied a space of
35 years, during which period there had been many aspirants to the dignity of the earldom of
Roscommon and the barony of [Lord Dillon, Baron of] Kilkenny West; but the claim now resolved 
itself into a more narrow compass; the other claimants, from insufficiency of proof, or from other 
causes, having relinquished their supposed pretensions, the present claim might, therefore, be 
divided into two parties - the first being the original claimant, Michael James Robert Dillon, the
second the claim made in opposition to this by Francis S. Dillon, who was supported in his
proceedings by the crown, who was itself interested in his title coming into possession of the
right and proper person. His lordship proceeded to advert to the evidence that had been gone
into by the Irish House of Parliament, as being very favourable (and was considered so by that
parliament) to the claim of the original claimant, Michael J. R. Dillon; and he (Lord Redesdale)
could see nothing which had subsequently transpired to alter that favourable view of the merits
of it. On the other hand, he could not but draw attention to a very strange circumstance, by
which it was attempted to support the claim of the other party, Stephen Dillon. In the course
of the evidence adduced on behalf of that claimant, a copy of an old monumental inscription 
was produced in furtherance of the proof of the pedigree. This inscription had been copied by a
man named Gannon, who, it had been pronounced at the lordships' bar, was not worthy of being
believed upon his oath. That man stated that he had taken the copy under circumstances which
made it very improbable. The monumental stone no longer existed; but his lordship would read 
the alleged inscription upon it, as asserted by that witness:-
"Underneath lieth the body of Thomas Dillon, of Kilkenny West, in this county. Also, the body of
Lawrence Dillon, late of Ardnig**g, in the county of Roscommon (son of the said Thomas), who
descended from the barons of Kilkenny West." These words, his lordship continued, "son of the
said Thomas," were not only in a different hand-writing in the copy of the inscription, but were
interlined, and evidently written at a subsequent period to the other parts of it. This part of the
evidence, his lordship contended, was altogether of such a suspicious description, as could not
be received by any rational person; and the other parts of it were so shallow as not to bear
competition with the merits of the opposing claim. With regard to the remarks which had been 
made in respect to the pedigree produced in support of the original claimant, which it was
alleged was defective in proof as to four of the sons having died without issue, he (Lord
Redesdale) would draw their lordships' attention to the space of time which had elapsed since
this claim had been first made, and it was naturally to be supposed that in such a lapse of
time the descendants, if there were any, of those persons would have come forward and
asserted their rights. But not having done so, and no one appearing, it was fairly to be
presumed there was ground to conclude there was no issue. He (Lord Redesdale) would appeal
to a noble and learned lord, who usually presided in that house (the Lord Chancellor), what
would be the event in a court of law, under a writ of right, and what determination a jury would
come to, when every evidence it was possible to procure was produced to prove the party's
dying without issue. The jury must decide in favour of the claimant under such circumstances,
and how injurious it would prove to all parties were they to form a different judgment. All the
evidence that could be expected has been shown to prove that the last [?] Earl of Roscommon
died without issue. The only instance which had occurred of a fresh claim being started, was in 
the shape of an affidavit made so long as fourteen years ago; and even this length of time,
without any other measure being started, was sufficient to form the presumption of the
improbability, if not impossibility, of any issue existing of anterior right to that of the original
claimant. Under all the circumstances, his lordship felt bound in strict justice to move "That it
was the opinion of their lordships that Francis Stephen Dillon had not made out his claim to the
earldom of Roscommon. And that Michael James Robert Dillon had made good his title to such
'The Lord Chancellor [Lord Lyndhurst] - I cannot but express my full concurrence with the view
taken of this question by the noble lord. When I was Attorney General this matter came under
my notice; and after giving the subject every attention and consideration, I was perfectly
satisfied in my own mind that the claim had been substantially made out by the original claimant.
With respect to a writ of right which had been alluded to in such a case as the issuing of a writ
of right for the recovery of a landed estate, and evidence similar to that now produced should
be adduced, I feel no hesitation in saying that a jury must consider that evidence as conclusive.
I am therefore of opinion that the original claimant has made good his claim. I am equally of
opinion that the evidence set up by Francis Stephen Dillon has failed in making out his claim.
His lordship proceeded to make some remarks on the evidence of the witness Gannon with 
respect to the copy of the inscription on the monument, and the interlineation which had been
made therein, which he (Gannon) admitted had been afterwards introduced. The words thus
introduced were those alone with affected the present question, and under all the different
circumstances he could not but agree to the motion of the noble lord.
'The Earl of Shaftesbury, as chairman of their lordships' committee, then put the question, in
the terms of the noble lord's (Redesdale) motion, which was agreed to.
'Michael James Robert Dillon, now Earl of Roscommon, was present during the hearing of the
above proceedings, and was congratulated by numerous friends present on the favourable 
John Primrose, styled Lord Dalmeny, son of the 2nd Earl of 
Rosebery (1725-11 Aug 1755)
John Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, is shown in peerage reference works as having died unmarried in
August 1755. While this is correct in a strictly legal sense, Dalmeny's 'marriage' provides a
romantic story. The following edited account of this 'marriage' is taken from 'Chapters from
Family Chests' by Edward Walford [2 vols, Hurst and Blackett, London 1886].
'The young lady to whom Lord Dalmeny….became allied was named Kate, or, as she was always
called, 'Kitty' Cannon, and her parents were substantial yeomen, occupying a large farm in the
parish of Thorpe, which lies at the extreme north-east end of Essex, jutting out far into the
German Ocean [i.e. the North Sea]……..When she was just twenty, she gave her hand, and (it is 
to be presumed) her heart also, to the rector of Thorpe, a Reverend Mr. Gough.
'A quiet and remote parsonage, however, was not exactly suited to the taste of a young lady
who had once sipped the cup of flattery from gentlemen who belonged to the clubs about St.
James's, and who moved in courtly circles. Accordingly, one evening when she was staying in
London, being present at a ball in the neighbourhood of the then fashionable district of Covent
Garden, she managed to slip out, unobserved by her husband, and to run away with John, Lord
Dalmeny, who was only a few years older than herself. She had no children, and doubtless his
lordship was led to believe that she was a widow, and quite at her own disposal. [In 'The
Complete Peerage' her name is given as Kitty Canham, and it is stated that he was baptised
in February 1720, thus making her five years older than Lord Dalmeny.]
'The pair went abroad, and remained for two or three years travelling in the sunny south; but 
in the early summer of 1752 Kitty Cannon, or Kitty Gough, was taken seriously ill at Florence. 
Her illness turned into a galloping consumption, and in the May or June of that year she died. 
A few hours only before her death, she wrote upon a scrap of paper, "I am really the wife of
the Reverend Mr. Gough, vicar of Thorpe, near Colchester, Essex; my maiden name was Kitty
Cannon, and my family belong to the same parish. Bury me there."
'Lord Dalmeny's young wife, as he always thought her to be, was gone before he was able to
realize the full meaning of the lines which she had written. At first he was disposed to reject 
them, as a creation of her sick brain; it was impossible for him to believe that the dear
companion of his last few years was guilty of bigamy. But, whether true or false, he at once
resolved, as she lay in her coffin at Florence, to give effect to her last wish, and he
instantly prepared to carry her remains over to England.
'The body of this lovely woman was embalmed, and secured in 'a very firm oaken coffin, 
decorated with six large silver plates, and it was then put into a strong outer case of common
deal, which concealed the ominous shape of its contents. The jewellery and wardrobe of the 
lady were packed in other chests, and with this cumbersome baggage Lord Dalmeny set out 
upon his melancholy journey by land to the south of France. At Marseilles he was able to engage
a vessel for carry him and his packages by sea round to Dover, under the assumed name of Mr.
Williams, a merchant of Hamburg; and on landing at Dover he transferred his belongings to a 
small coaster, which he hired to carry him to Harwich, then a busy and bustling port, only a
few miles distant from Thorpe. The vessel, however, was forced by contrary winds to make
for Colchester instead, where the Custom House officers came down to the 'Hythe' to examine 
the freight before they would allow it to be landed. They could not recognize in the elegant
and polished gentleman, whom they saw dressed in the deepest of black and bowed down
by grief, a common business man from Hamburg; and they very naturally thought, as only seven
years had passed since the rebellion of 1745, that he was some emissary of the Pretender. So
their loyalty took the alarm. It certainly was the plain duty of Custom House officials to see 
that no French tobacco, gloves, lace, or brocade was brought over in those large boxes
without paying duty to King George. Accordingly, without giving any attention to the 
remonstrances of Mr. Williams, they were about to plunge their knives into the larger case,
when the Hamburg merchant drew his sword and told them to desist. He at once made a clean
breast of the affair, telling them that he was an Englishman, and, what was more, an English
nobleman, and that the chest upon the wharf contained the body of his dead wife. But this
explanation did not satisfy the officers, who were not sure that there was not a murder at the 
bottom of the transaction. They therefore at once broke the outer chest, tore open the coffin
lid, and lifted the cere-cloths from the face of the embalmed corpse. Lord Dalmeny was taken.
along with the coffin, to a church near at hand, where he was detained until he could prove
the truth of his story.
'The news soon spread about, and crowds of the neighbouring villagers came to see the fair 
lady's face as she lay in her coffin. Many of these identified her features as those of the Kitty
Cannon who had spent her childhood at Thorpe, and who had disappeared soon after her 
marriage with the vicar of that parish.
'But here was a further difficulty for his lordship; for, though the rest of his story was 
transparently true, it was clear that the lady was not really his lawful wife.  A communication
was at once forwarded to the vicar, who lost no time in coming over to the 'Hythe' and
recognizing the corpse as that of his vanished partner. But what a mystery the whole affair was
to him as well as to Lord Dalmeny, to whom at first, as may be supposed, he entertained and
expressed no very friendly feelings. But he was soon pacified. Possibly he had preached but
lately a sermon enforcing forgiveness of even intended wrongs, and here was a wrong which 
clearly was not intended. Accordingly as soon as he was able to contemplate the matter in
all its bearings - the deception which had been practiced on the poor young nobleman, and the
passionate constancy which had borne him up through his toilsome journey by land and voyage
by sea in order to gratify his supposed wife's last prayer, and the faithfulness with which, like a
dog, he watched beside her coffin in the church - he felt that he could not refuse to forgive
the wrong, and he consented to meet Lord Dalmeny on a friendly footing.
'The interview between the two rival husbands is said in a family record to have been very
moving, and no doubt must have been touching in the extreme…..I am not able to tell my
readers the exact words in which Lord Dalmeny assured the husband of his entire innocence of
fraud, and of the honest intentions with which he had acted throughout. Even the discovery of
the long-lost Kitty's deceit and guilt did not put his love to shame, or shake his determination
to follow her to her last resting-place. And the same was the feeling of his lordship. The next 
day, as soon as the magistrates were satisfied that the law had not been broken, both 
husbands accompanied the loved remains to Thorpe Church, where the poor frail lady was
buried with all the pomp and show which could have been accorded a real peeress. Which of the
two paid the undertaker's bill is not stated; but I have every reason to believe that the cost 
was paid by Lord Dalmeny, or amicably settled between them. It was said that the funeral 
cortege was stopped for a few minutes at the gates of the vicarage, and that the young
nobleman walked into the house, from which he presently came forth arm-in-arm with Mr. Gough,
who was clothed in mourning as deep as his own, and with scarf and headband to match. This
happened on July 9, 1752.
'After the funeral ceremony, Lord Dalmeny departed from the scene in great grief and to all
appearance quite inconsolable, declaring that he should leave not only the shores of Essex, but
those of England, for ever. Whether he kept his word in this respect is more than I can tell; but
the tragical occurrence would seem to have shortened his days, for he survived his beloved 
Kitty little more than three years, dying at the age of thirty on August 11, 1755, in the lifetime 
of his father the earl, over whom the grave closed in the November following.'
Hercules George Robert Robinson,1st baronet and later 1st Baron Rosmead
Robinson, together with Sir George Grey, was probably the most able of Britain's colonial 
administrators during the 19th century. The following biography of Robinson is taken from the
December 1958 issue of the Australian monthly magazine "Parade":-
'Bitter controversies split New South Wales in the mid-1870s. Hostile camps brawled over state
border duties, protection versus free trade, the "evils" of horse racing and the fate of bush-
ranger Frank Gardiner. Political parties rowed within themselves. The position would have been
calamitous but for one man - Governor Sir Hercules Robinson. Through every impasse he cut
with clear, uncompromising views. Mostly he was right. On the few occasions when hardy souls
claimed he was wrong, he was strong enough to get away with it. Not for nothing did Britain 
send one of her major but most tactful trouble-shooters to preside over a turbulent colony at
a critical time in her destiny. In his half-century of service to the Crown, Sir Hercules Robinson,
later Baron Rosmead, distinguished himself wherever trouble flared, from Ireland to Fiji.
'Hercules Robinson was born at Rosmead, County Westmeath, on December 19, 1824. He took
the unusual name Hercules from his admiral father, who sent him to the Army's Sandhurst. He
was already a captain when he left to join the civil service at 22. His first post was to Ireland's
Board of Public Works. Hardly had he arrived than potato blight, leaping from America to Europe,
wiped out all Ireland's staple food crop - potatoes. Over the next five years Ireland sloughed
through the worst depression in her unhappy history. A million died of starvation. A million and a 
half fled overseas. Heartless absentee landlords threw rent-defaulting peasants on to the roads.
The killers of the White Boys secret society launched a reign of terror in a desperate bid for 
'In this welter of hunger and hate, Hercules Robinson was one of the few who worked to 
alleviate the misery. As Government agent he directed 750,000 men into building roads, bridges
and drainage systems, paying them sufficient to keep starvation from their families. Robinson did
so well in Ireland that at 30 he was appointed to the presidency of the Leeward Isle of 
Montserrat. A year later he was governor of nearby St. Kitt's and knighted by Queen Victoria.
'By now Robinson was one of the rising young men in Government service. Toughest post for
any trouble-shooter was Hong Kong, seething with hostility following the Second Opium War,
which the British captured by burning the summer palace of the Emperor in Peking. Hong Kong
hated the British when Hercules Robinson was appointed its first [actually fifth] governor. Grimly
he took over Kowloon, the promontory on the mainland ceded to Britain as a result of the war.
Equally grimly he cleaned up the graft rampant on Hong Kong Island. The Chinese paid him 
grudging admiration as he rooted out profiteers and racketeers and bundled them back to 
England. Trade rocketed. The Chinese themselves grew wealthier. Robinson built more docks,
piers and sea walls for the growing fleet of trading ships. He ended currency confusion by 
establishing a mint to stamp special British Hong Kong dollars.
'Meanwhile, trouble brewed in Ceylon. Cingalese leaders claimed they were suppressed by the
British. Some of them greeted Hercules Robinson by walking out of the Legislative Council, 
Robinson talked them back while he investigated. Opposition dwindled as he set up village
councils, private and village schools, a medical school, an Oriental library and established 
freedom of religion for all. With more irrigation and railways, peace and prosperity had settled
on Ceylon when, in 1872, Robinson moved to another trouble spot - Australia.
'Robinson was NSW's 14th Governor. He arrived in Sydney on June 2, 1872, in the midst of
political turmoil. Thirteen Ministries had come and gone in 16 hectic years of self-government.
Dissolution and defeat dogged every party. When Robinson took office, Mr. (later Sir Henry)
Parkes held the reins of government. Parkes was at loggerheads with Victoria and South
Australia, whose Protectionist policies clashed with NSW's Free Trade. NSW producers were
bitter at having to pay border duties on everything they sent into Victoria or South Australia.
Twenty-eight years before it came, Robinson told Parkes bluntly there was only one solution - 
Federation. He added that the different railway gauges were just plain stupid.
'Meanwhile, he soon fell out with the wowsers [Australian slang for anybody who is obnoxiously
puritanical]. Straitlaced pillars of the Church expressed pained surprise when he drove his own
drag [coach] from Government House to Randwick races or to meetings of the Sydney Four-in-
Hand Club. They accused him of gambling and malpractices. Thundered ageing Presbyterian
leader, Dr. John Dunmore Lang, who even deplored cricket and yachting: "Horseracing turns
polished men into clowns, and clowns into brutes." With a twinkle in his eye, Robinson admitted
there were some abuses in horseracing. All true lovers of sport deplored them. "But, generally
speaking, racing was innocent," he claimed. "It would always flourish wherever there was a
tolerably well-to-do community. It was a fine old British institution."
'Robinson's guidance was felt in every phase of New South Wales life. In education he deplored
the over-emphasis on technical subjects instead of classical. He told Sydney Grammar School
at a prize-giving that their neglected playground was little better than a goat walk. He brought
Henry Parkes and his enemy John Robertson together to form the first stable government. Under
his urging, the railway lines pushed on to Bathurst and Tamworth. He saw the opening of the
telegraph between Australia and Europe. The great Sydney international exhibition would have
crashed in failure had he not swung Government financial support behind it. Robinson was again
prophetic when he unveiled the statue of Captain Cook in Hyde Park. He predicted a great 
future - for a united, federated Australia.
'Hercules Robinson left Sydney briefly to add Fiji to the British Empire. Fiji King Thakombau [more
correctly Cakobau - a "c" in Fijiian is pronounced as a hard "th" as in "then" and a "b" is 
pronounced as if was preceded by an "m"] was being pressed by his tribal enemies. Fijiians, not
far removed from their cannibal state, were murdering European settlers and burning their 
homes. Thakombau wished to cede in return for guarantees. The ideal man for such a job was
trouble-shooter Hercules Robinson. He made a quick trip to Fiji, persuaded Thakombau to grant
unconditional cession in return for a pension of £1,500 and ran up the British flag over the 
'Despite his successes, Hercules Robinson was frequently in strife with his tough colonials. The
greatest storm came when he released bushranger Frank Gardiner from gaol on licence. Gardiner
had lived a respectable life in the period between committing his crimes and arrest.
Humanitarians like W[illiam] B[ede] Dalley and William Forster, Colonial Secretary, said he should
be given a chance. Other citizens opposed his release. Robinson let him out. [For information on
Gardiner's fate, see the note under Sir Henry Pottinger, 2nd baronet] The resultant clamour of
protest brought about the overthrow of the Parkes Ministry, but left the doughty Governor 
'Hercules Robinson had lived this down when he left Sydney in March, 1879. Crowds of small 
craft accompanied his ship down the harbour. Newspapers hailed him as the most progressive
administrator the State had ever had.
'After a year in New Zealand the Government sent Robinson as High Commissioner to the new
trouble spot, South Africa, where the Boers declared the Transvaal a republic and cut to pieces
a British force at Majuba Hill. Robinson negotiated an uneasy peace. When Boer freebooters
entered their State, however, he got tough, sent Sir Charles Warren and an army to hunt them
back and annexed Bechuanaland [now Botswana] to Britain.
'Robinson was leading a quiet life in semi-retirement in England when Boer President Kruger
refused to let the British railway pass through his territory. The Government again sent Robinson.
He had persuaded Kruger to back down when Dr. Jameson collected his irregular roughriders and
made his ill-advised raid deep into the Transvaal. Robinson again prevented war. He arranged 
the release of the captured raiders and sent Jameson back to England for trial and sentence.
'For two years Robinson kept a hand on the uneasy peace. A grateful Government, unready for 
war, elevated him to the Barony of Rosmead. By then he was 72. Ill-health dogged him. He
returned home and died on October 28, 1897, hailed as one of Britain's greatest administrators.'
Richard Parsons, 2nd Earl of Rosse (first creation)
Rosse was one of the founders of the Irish Hell-Fire Club and a noted libertine.
One story concerning him is that he received a letter from a neighbouring cleric upbraiding
him for his many and varied sins. Unperturbed, Rosse, having noted that the letter was
addressed only to 'My Lord', immediately forwarded the letter to the Earl of Kildare, a man
famous for his virtue and piety.
Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse (second creation)
The 4th Earl's father, the 3rd Earl of Rosse, was one of the world's leading astronomers during
the nineteenth century. In 1845, the 3rd Earl completed construction of what was then the
world's largest telescope, a six-foot reflecting telescope known as the "Leviathan of 
Parsonstown" which revealed the existence of spiral nebulas.
The 4th Earl inherited his father's scientific interests. By all accounts, the Earl was somewhat
careless regarding his clothing. According to one anecdote, he once was discovered in the
engine room of a large manufacturing concern and was challenged by the chief engineer, who
demanded to know his business there. The Earl calmly replied that he was waiting for the
boiler to explode, at which the engineer prepared to throw him out, believing that the Earl was
a dangerous lunatic. The Earl pointed out that unless the engineer tightened a certain screw,
the boiler was bound to explode within the next ten minutes. When the engineer checked, he
discovered that the Earl was correct, and demanded to know why he had not said anything
sooner, to which the Earl responded that he had never had the opportunity of seeing a boiler
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