Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, Robert (1599?-1657)

KING, Sir ROBERT (1599?–1657), Irish soldier and statesman, born in Ireland about 1599, was eldest son of Sir John King (d. 1637) [q. v.] He enjoyed the offices of mustermaster-general and clerk of the cheque in Ireland by virtue of his reversionary grant, dated 8 May 1618 (Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1615–25, p. 193), which was renewed to him on 11 Jan. 1637–8. On 13 Aug. 1621 he was knighted (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 179). He entered parliament as member for Boyle, co. Roscommon, in 1634, was re-elected in 1639; and in 1640 was returned for Roscommon county. In November 1641 he was appointed governor of Boyle Castle, and soon became conspicuous for his military skill and activity. During the Irish rebellion he distinguished himself at the battle of Balintobber, co. Roscommon, in 1642. But he lost heavily during the rebellion, and left Ireland in 1642 for London, where Cecil or Wimbledon House, in the Strand, had come to him through his second marriage. He now entered the service of the parliament, and was sent in October 1645 to Ulster, with two others, to manage the parliament's affairs. In 1647 he was one of the five commissioners appointed to receive the sword from the Marquis of Ormonde, the viceroy of Charles. He contrived to increase his estate by easy purchases and the allotment of lands in satisfaction of his arrears for service in Ireland. By act of parliament dated 8 March 1649–50 he was nominated a trustee for the new university of Dublin (Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1603–6, p. xcvii). On 15 Dec. following he was desired, along with the attorney-general, to have a complete inventory taken of all books and records concerning the herald's office.

On 24 Sept. 1651 King was empowered, with Colonel Hewson, to sign warrants for 2,000l. for payment of the Leinster forces, which order was renewed on 8 Oct. ensuing, and on 17 Nov. he was authorised to issue warrants for 1,000l. towards payment of the forces in Dublin. On 13 Dec. he was ordered to receive 100l. for his services as commissioner of the public revenue for one year, commencing on 1 May previously. On 23 May 1653 he was appointed an overseer of the poor within Dublin and parts adjacent, and was also made overseer for stating the accounts of the army. He was sworn a member of the council of state on 4 Nov. of that year (ib. Dom. 1653–4, p. 230), and sat in Cromwell's parliament of 1654 as member for Sligo, Roscommon, and Leitrim counties (Official Return of Members of Parliament, pt. ii.)

King died at Cecil House about June 1657. He married, first, Frances (d. 1638), daughter of Sir Henry Folliott, the first lord Folliott of Ballyshannon, by whom he had John, first lord Kingston [q. v.], and three other sons and six daughters; and secondly, Sophia (d. 1691), daughter of Sir William Zouch of Woking, Surrey, and widow of Sir Edward Cecil, viscount Wimbledon, by whom he had two daughters.

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall). iii. 223–6; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1644–57.]

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