Robert Brooke (Virginia)

Robert Brooke (Virginia)

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Robert Brooke was the son of Richard Brooke, and grandson of Robert Brooke, a skilled surveyor, who had been one of Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood
Alexander Spotswood
Alexander Spotswood was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army and a noted Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He is noted in Virginia and American history for a number of his projects as Governor, including his exploring beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, his establishing what was perhaps the first...

's "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition
Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition
The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition took place in 1716 in the British Colony of Virginia. The Royal Governor and a number of prominent citizens traveled westward, across the Blue Ridge Mountains on an exploratory expedition...

". About 1795, Robert Brooke, the tenth Governor of Virginia
Governor of Virginia
The governor of Virginia serves as the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a four-year term. The position is currently held by Republican Bob McDonnell, who was inaugurated on January 16, 2010, as the 71st governor of Virginia....

, built his home upon Federal Hill, which looked over Sandy Bottom to Marye's Heights, a thousand yards away. He was educated at Edinburgh University, and on returning home at the beginning of the revolution was captured by Howe, British admiral, and sent back to England, whence he went to Scotland, then to France, and reached Virginia in a French vessel carrying arms for the continentals. He joined Captain Larkin Smith's company of cavalry, was captured near Richmond by Simcoe in 1781, was exchanged, and rejoined the army. In 1794 he represented Spotsylvania county in the house of delegates, and on December 1, of the same year, was elected governor and served two years. He was a Republican, and in 1798 was elected attorney-general of the state, over Bushrod Washington, nephew of General Washington.

Brooke was a Freemason in Virginia, 1795-97. and in November 1795 succeeded John Marshall
John Marshall
John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

 as Grand Master
Grand Master (Masonic)
In Freemasonry a Grand Master is the leader of the lodges within his Masonic jurisdiction. He presides over a Grand Lodge, and has certain rights in the constituent lodges that form his jurisdiction....

 of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.

He died while still attorney-general.

The county of Brooke, formed from Ohio county Va., now in West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 is called, Brooke County, West Virginia
Brooke County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,447 people, 10,396 households, and 7,152 families residing in the county. The population density was 286 people per square mile . There were 11,150 housing units at an average density of 126 per square mile...

, and was named in his honor.

Brooke (England) AND Taliaferro (Venice, Italy)
  • Father Richard Brooke, b. 1732
  • Mother Ann Hay Taliaferro, b. 7 Sep 1731
  • Robert Brooke (c.1761—d. 27 Feb 1800, Fredericksburg, Va.)
  • Married 1786 Mary Ritchie
  • Children: Richard Brooke, b. 14 Aug 1787
  • Descendants: Many living 2009.
  • Related to Washington family; descended from Patrick Henry's family (John Fontaine m. Martha Henry); Patrick Henry's family descended from Gen. Alexander Spottswood's family of Virginia, of "Knights of the Golden Horshoe" history.


  • Maury Family Tree by Sue West for family—privately printed.
  • Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars by Maj. Gen. Dabney Herndon Maury
  • Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume IIII—Governors of the State—1776-1861
  • Obituaries in Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 28 Feb. 1800, and Richmond Virginia Argus, 7 Mar. 1800.
  • Biography in John T. Kneebone et al., eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1998- ), 2:267-269. ISBN 0-88490-199-8.

External links

Archival Records