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Robert Livingston (1718–1775)

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Robert Robert Livingston[1] also called The Judge (August 1718 – December 9, 1775),[2] was a prominent colonial American politician, and a leading Whig in New York in the years leading up to the American Revolution.[3]

Robert R. Livingston
Robert R Livingston (1718-1775).jpg
Judge of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature
In office
Member of the New York Provincial Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born Robert Robert Livingston
August 1718
Clermont, Province of New York
Died December 9, 1775(1775-12-09) (aged 57)
Clermont, New York, U.S.
Margaret Beekman
(m. 1742; his death 1775)
Relations See Livingston family
Children Robert, Henry, John, Gertrude, Edward
Parents Robert Livingston
Margaret Howarden


Early lifeEdit

Robert R. Livingston was born in August 1718 at Clermont Manor in what was then the Province of New York, a part of British America.[4] He was the only child of Robert Livingston (1688–1775), known as "Robert of Clermont" and Margaret Howarden (1693–1758).[5] His mother was the daughter of a wealthy English merchant in New York and granddaughter of Captain Isaac Bedlow, a Huguenot after whom Bedloe's Island is named.[6]

His paternal grandparents were Robert Livingston the Elder (1654–1728) and Alida (née Schuyler) Van Rensselaer Livingston (1656–1727), daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler (1628–1683) and widow of Nicholas Van Rensselaer.[7] His uncle was Philip Livingston (1686–1749), the second Lord of Livingston Manor. His great-grandfather was Reverend John Livingston, a Church of Scotland minister who died in exile in 1673.[8]


Livingston, known as 'Judge Livingston' to distinguish him from his eponymous father and other prominent Livingstons, was a member of the New York Provincial Assembly from 1759 to 1768. He served as judge of the admiralty court from 1760 to 1763. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765,[8] and, in 1775, a member of the Committee of One Hundred,[9] which briefly governed New York City.[10]

From 1763 until 1775, he served as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature.[11]


Robert's daughter, Alida Livingston Armstrong and Daughter, by Rembrandt Peale, ca. 1810

In 1742, he married Margaret Beekman, daughter of Henry Beekman and Janet Livingston (his second cousin), a descendant of Wilhelmus Beekman and heir to immense tracts of land in Dutchess and Ulster counties.[12] Their children included:[5]

Livingston died on December 9, 1775 at his estate in Clermont, New York, several months after his own father's death on June 27, 1775.[12]


Through his son Major John R., he was the grandfather of Robert Montgomery Livingston (1790–1838), who married Sarah Barclay Bache in 1811.[19] Livingston and his father were known for their quarrels with Cornelius Vanderbilt and Thomas Gibbons over his operation of steamboats and the breakup of the Chancellor Livingston and Gov. Aaron Ogden monopoly resulting from the landmark Supreme Court decision in Gibbons v. Ogden.[20]

His grandson-in-law was George Croghan, a nephew of William Clark, the explorer, Lewis Livingston, Charles Edward Livingston and George Rogers Clark. His granddaughters include Margaret Lewis, Elizabeth Stevens Livingston, Margaret Maria Livingston, Julia Livingston, and Coralie Livingston.[5]

Through Chancellor Livingston, he was the 2x great-grandfather of Mary Livingston Ludlow (1843–1919), herself the mother of his 3x great-granddaughter, Anna Hall Roosevelt (1863–1892), herself the mother of First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962).[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Brooke, John L. (2013). Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson. UNC Press Books. pp. 478–479. ISBN 9780807838877. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ Adams, Arthur G. (1981). The Hudson. SUNY Press. p. 255. ISBN 9780791494226. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Archives Directory for the History of Collecting". Frick Collection. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  4. ^ Bonomi, Patricia U. (2014). A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York. Cornell University Press. p. 72. ISBN 9780801455346. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1910). The Livingstons of Livingston Manor: Being the History of that Branch of the Scottish House of Callendar which Settled in the English Province of New York During the Reign of Charles the Second; and Also Including an Account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The Nephew," a Settler in the Same Province and His Principal Descendants. Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Spell it with a "W" It should not be Bedloo's Island but "Bedlow's"" (pdf). The New York Times. August 14, 1886. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  7. ^ "The Seventeenth Century · Clio's Sisters: Women Who Made History In and Around Bard". Stevenson Library Digital Collections. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Livingston, Robert R. (1718-1775), [The Petition of Michael Theyser of the City of New York, Innkeeper]". The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  9. ^ Harrison, Mrs. Burton; Lamb, Mrs. Martha J. (1896). HISTORY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; ITS ORGIN RISE, AND PROGRESS. p. 900. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b Shelton, Hal T. (1996). General Richard Montgomery and the American Revolution: From Redcoat to Rebel. NYU Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780814780398. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Robert R. Livingston, Judge of the NY Supreme Court of Judicature, 1763-1775". Historical Society of the New York Courts. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b "The Clermont Estate | Town of Clermont". Town of Clermont. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Livingston, Robert (1746-1813) to John R. Livingston". Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Friends of Clermont Historic Site". Friends of Clermont Historic Site. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  15. ^ Andrews, Dee E. (2010). The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture. Princeton University Press. p. 302. ISBN 1400823595. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  16. ^ Clermont State Historic Site (16 May 2016). "Clermont State Historic Site: Was John R. Livingston a Murderer?". Clermont State Historic Site. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  17. ^ "John R. Livingston (1755-1851)". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  18. ^ Hess, Stephen (2017). America's Political Dynasties. Routledge. p. 552. ISBN 9781351532150. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  19. ^ a b Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1339. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  20. ^ Garner, Dwight (28 April 2009). "Vanderbilt as Robber Baron in T. J. Stiles's 'The First Tycoon'". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  21. ^ Appleseed, Peter (2014). Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Life and Times. p. 108. ISBN 9781312213746. Retrieved 17 January 2018.

External linksEdit