Biographies A-Z

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Robinson, Mina

Robinson, Mina (fl. 1893–1910), founder of the Irish Decorative Art Association, was probably born in Belfast; nothing is known of her early life. In the early 1890s she began holding art classes from her home in Cliftonville in that city and then, from 1894, from her…

Robinson, Paschal

Robinson, Paschal (1870–1948), journalist, medieval historian, diplomat, and papal nuncio to Ireland, was born 26 April 1870 in 49 Percy Place, Dublin, and christened Charles Edward Neville, second of three sons of Nugent Robinson, treasurer of Dublin corporation, and Jannet Robinson (…

Robinson, Richard

Robinson, Richard (1709–94), 1st Baron Rokeby , Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh, was the sixth son of Sir William Robinson (1675–1720), landowner, of Rokeby Park, Greta Bridge, Yorkshire, and Anne (d. 1730), daughter of Robert Walters of Cundall, Yorkshire. Robinson was…

Robinson, Robert

Robinson, Robert (c.1713–1770), MD, state physician, and lecturer, was second of three sons of Bryan Robinson (qv), physician, and Mary Robinson of Mary St., Dublin. Robert entered TCD…

Robinson, Samuel

Robinson, Samuel (1865–1958), businessman and philanthropist, was born 9 June 1865 in Culcrum, near Cloughmills, Co. Antrim, eldest son among three sons and two daughters of Samuel Robinson, farmer, and Margaret Robinson (née Megaw). His mother's family, the Megaws, produced…

Robinson, Séamus

Robinson, Séamus (1890–1961), republican, was born James Robinson on 6 January 1890 at 22 Sevastapol St., Belfast, son of James Robinson, insurance agent, and Sarah Jane Robinson (née Black). His grandfather had been a Fenian and spent some time in exile in France, where his…

Robinson, Sir Henry Augustus

Robinson, Sir Henry Augustus (1857–1927), public servant, was born 20 November 1857 in Dublin, second son of Sir Henry Robinson, KCB, senior civil servant, and his wife Eva, daughter of the 10th Viscount Valentia. At the age of 17…

Robinson, Sir Hercules George Robert

Robinson, Sir Hercules George Robert (1824–97), colonial governor and 1st Baron Rosmead , was born 19 December 1824 at Rosmead, Co. Westmeath, second among six sons of Adm. Hercules Robinson, and Frances Elizabeth Robinson (née Widman Wood); he was the…

Robinson, Sir William

Robinson, Sir William (1644–1712), architect and politician, was baptised on 18 May 1644, son of Walter Robinson, of a Yorkshire family. His youth was supposedly spent working in a kitchen, but his early life remains largely obscure. Probably trained in England, he came to Ireland…

Robinson, Thomas

Robinson, Thomas (c.1767–1810), portrait painter, was born near Lake Windermere, Westmorland, England; nothing else is known of his family background. Educated locally, he displayed an early aptitude for art and around 1785 his talent caught the eye of John Christian Curwen…

Robinson, Thomas Romney

Robinson, Thomas Romney (1793–1882), astronomer and mathematical physicist, was born 23 April 1793 in St Anne's parish, Dublin, eldest son of Thomas Robinson, an English portrait painter, and Ruth Robinson (née Buck). He was named after his father's painting master, George Romney.…

Robinson, William

Robinson, William (1840–1921), inventor and engineer, was born 22 November 1840 at Coalisland, Co. Tyrone. His family emigrated to America when he was four, and settled at Brooklyn, New York. Educated locally, Robinson entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where he…

Robinson, William

Robinson, William (1838–1935), horticulturist and author, was born 15 July 1838 in Co. Down to a family of agricultural labourers. He worked as a garden boy on the estate of Sir Hunt Johnson-Walshe in Ballykilcaven, Co. Laois, before taking the position of under-gardener at the…

Robinson, William Erigena

Robinson, William Erigena (1814–92), journalist and politician, was born 6 May 1814 in Unagh, near Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, son of Thomas Robinson, farmer, and Mary Robinson (née Sloss). He was educated at the classical school in Cookstown and the…

Robson, Christopher (‘Chris’)

Robson, Christopher (‘Chris’) (1941–2013), architect and activist, was born on 29 January 1941 in Dublin, one of three children (two boys and a girl) of Harry Stanley Robson (1909–2003), an English architect working at the Office of Public Works (OPW), and his Irish wife Anne (née…

Roche, David

Roche, David (c.1573–1635), 2nd Viscount Fermoy , politician, was the eldest surviving son and heir of Maurice Roche and his first wife, Eleanor, sister of the famous adventurer James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald (qv),…

Roche, David ‘Tiger’ (or ‘Tyger’)

Roche, David ‘Tiger’ (or ‘Tyger’) (c.1739–1779), adventurer and duellist, was born in Dublin, youngest son by a second marriage of James Roche, barrister. The family was well connected but ‘Tiger’ was not, as sometimes stated in nineteenth-century Dublin, a brother of the…

Roche, Eamonn

Roche, Eamonn (1884–1952), co-operative manager and republican, was born Edmond Roche on 22 August 1884 in Fihertagh, Bansha, Co. Tipperary, the second son and second child among seven surviving children of Laurence Roche, a farmer of Fihertagh, and his wife Elizabeth (née Keating…

Roche, Gerald de la

Roche, Gerald de la (c.1200–1262), son of David fitz Robert, first appears in the record of the Irish lordship in 1229 in connection with a legal dispute over his lands. His father had been granted lands in Wicklow, which Gerald inherited after his father's death,…

Roche, James

Roche, James (1770–1853), catholic businessman, banker, and literatus of Cork, was born 30 December 1770, probably in Limerick, possibly in Cork, third among four sons of Stephen Roche and his second wife, Sarah, daughter of John O'Bryen (O'Brien) of Moyvanine and…

Roche, James Jeffrey

Roche, James Jeffrey (1847–1908), poet and journalist, was born 31 May 1847 at Mountmellick, Queen's Co. (Laois), son of Edward Roche, schoolteacher, and his wife, Margaret (née Doyle). Roche had at least four brothers and two sisters. When Roche was an infant his parents…

Roche, James (‘Jem’)

Roche, James (‘Jem’) (1878–1934), heavyweight boxer and Gaelic footballer, was born 5 September 1878 at Ballinclay, in the catholic parish of Glynn, Co. Wexford, son of John Roche, labourer, and his wife Mary Moran. Educated locally, he left school at a young age to train as a…

Roche, Laurence

Roche, Laurence (1927–99), forester, was born 20 October 1927 in Wexford town, second son and second child among five sons and four daughters of William Roche, shopkeeper, of 9 Monument Place, Wexford, and Bridget Roche (née Banville), from a well known literary family. Having…

Rochelle (Rokele, Rokesle, Rupella, Rupellis), Richard de la

Rochelle (Rokele, Rokesle, Rupella, Rupellis), Richard de la (d. 1276), justiciar of Ireland, was probably the nephew of John FitzGeoffrey (qv), an important member of Henry III's household, with whom much of his early career was…

Roche, Maurice

Roche, Maurice (1597–1670), 3rd Viscount Fermoy , politician, was son and heir of David Roche (qv) and Joan, daughter of James FitzRichard, Viscount Buttevant. Maurice assumed a leading role in provincial politics at an early age, gaining a…