Rochford (Rochfort), Robert (d. 1603), Palesman and lawyer, was the son of Christopher Rochford, of Kilbride, Co. Meath, and Margaret Lynce. On 20 August 1576 he was granted livery of his late father's lands, for which he paid a fine of £35. He was a prominent lawyer, and served on a number of commissions, such as one in July 1584 to assess the military capabilities of the inhabitants of Co. Meath. However, his adherence to the Roman catholic faith drew criticism from important people such as Lord Deputy Sir William Fitzwilliam (qv) and Archbishop Adam Loftus (qv), who complained that he had convinced his father-in-law, Sir Lucas Dillon (qv), who was a leading government official, not to attend protestant church services. About 28 January 1591 he was imprisoned in Dublin castle. After he complained to the privy council that he was being detained even though no charges had been preferred against him, the English privy council ordered Fitzwilliam on 30 June to bring him to trial or release him upon surety, or to inform the privy council why he was being detained without charge. He was probably released soon afterwards.
As well as being a recusant, Rochford was active in the campaign of the Palesmen against the cess, the system of support for the army in Ireland. In summer 1600 he was one of three representatives of the Palesmen who went to England to complain to the queen about the cess and other matters, and in April 1603 he called for further envoys of the Palesmen to be sent to London. He was accused by Henry Dillon of having disparaged the privy council at that meeting in April 1603, and was summoned to appear before them to answer this charge. He appeared but, as Dillon had not finalised his evidence against him, all parties were ordered to return at a later date. However, before the appointed day Rochford fled to London, where he apparently died, possibly on 14 September 1603.
Rochford held land in counties Meath and Kildare which in 1576 was estimated to yield an income of £40 p.a., and on 12 September 1577 he leased additional lands in Co. Kildare from one David Sutton for thirty-one years. With his wife, Eleanor Dillon, he had six sons, John, Christopher, Luke, Thomas, Robert, and Barnabas, and four daughters, Margaret, Mary, Jane, and Brigid. His son Luke Rochford (qv) became a catholic priest and writer.