Jocelyn, Robert (1721–97), 1st earl of Roden , politician, seems to have been baptised in July 1721, the only son of Robert Jocelyn (qv), 1st Viscount Jocelyn, and his first wife, Charlotte Jocelyn (née Anderson). In 1740 he entered Exeter College, Oxford, and Lincoln's Inn in London; he was called to the bar in the same year. Secretary to his father (1739–55) during the latter's lord chancellorship, Robert sat in the Irish house of commons for Old Leighlin from 1745 until he succeeded to his father's viscountcy in 1756. He was created earl of Roden in 1771 and held many local and minor offices, but his most important appointments were as auditor general of Ireland (1750 to his death) and member of the privy council (1758–74). In the house of lords he was said to be totally in the power of Dublin Castle. He succeeded on the death of his cousin, Sir Conyers Jocelyn (1778), to the latter's baronetcy and estates at Hyde Hall in Hertfordshire (held by the family since the early thirteenth century). He built a house at Brockley Park, near Stradbally, Queen's Co., while he had another residence at Donnybrook Green, Co. Dublin.
He married, in 1752, Lady Anne Hamilton (1730–1802), daughter of James Hamilton, 1st earl of Clanbrassil, and his wife, Henrietta, daughter of William Bentinck, 1st earl of Portland. His wife inherited a large fortune on the death of her brother James, 2nd earl of Clanbrassil, in 1798. The couple had five sons and eight daughters; three of the sons were members of the house of commons, and another, Percy Jocelyn (qv), was a bishop of the Church of Ireland. Roden died 21 June 1797 in York Street, Dublin.
The eldest son, Robert Jocelyn (1756–1820), 2nd earl of Roden , was born 26 October 1756 at Dundalk and was styled Viscount Jocelyn (1771–97). He entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1773, graduating MA in 1776. He sat in the Irish house of commons for Maryborough, Co. Cork (1776–8), and for Dundalk, Co. Louth, the borough of his uncle, the earl of Clanbrassil, from 1783 until he succeeded as 2nd earl of Roden in 1797. One of his brothers, George Jocelyn (1762–98) was the other member for Dundalk from 1783 to his death. Another brother, John Jocelyn (1768–1828), became MP for Dundalk (1797–1800) when his elder brother went to the house of lords, and later sat at Westminster for Co. Louth (1807–9, 1820–26). In parliament the Jocelyns generally supported the government and voted for the act of union. Roden was later (1801–20) one of the twenty-eight representative Irish peers chosen to sit in the house of lords of the United Kingdom.
He commanded the 1st Irish fencible dragoons (nicknamed ‘Roden's Foxhunters’ because of their superb horses) who were highly active in putting down the rebellion of 1798. They routed insurgents at Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin (24 May), and saw action in Co. Wexford (May-June), at Castlebar, Co. Mayo (27 August), and in pursuit of the French invasion force through Connacht (September). Fiercely anti-catholic, at the battle of Vinegar Hill (21 June), Roden pursued a priest from Enniscorthy, Father John Clinch, who was killed by one of his officers; he was also a member of the court martial that condemned Father John Murphy (qv) of Boolavogue. He died on 2 July 1820 at Hyde Hall, Hertfordshire.
He had married first, in 1788, Frances (d. 1802), eldest daughter of Robert Bligh, dean of Elphin, and his wife, Frances Bligh (née Winthrop). He married secondly, in 1804, Juliana (d. 1856), daughter of John Orde of Weetwood, Northumberland, and his wife, Rosamond (née Daglish). He was succeeded by his eldest son, Robert Jocelyn (qv). The Hardwicke papers in the British Library contain a few letters from the 1st earl of Roden and a larger number from the 2nd earl.