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ST. LAWRENCE, ROBERT, fifteenth, or more properly third, Baron Howth (d. 1483), son of Christopher, fourteenth baron, whose father Christopher, thirteenth lord of Howth, created a peer by writ shortly before 1430, was head of the ancient family of St. Lawrence. Their ancestor, Almaric de Tristram, landed in Ireland with De Courci in 1176, and having distinguished himself by his conduct in the first engagement with the Irish at the hill of Howth, received as a reward the grant of the district. He assumed the name of St. Lawrence after defeating the Danes near Clontarf on St. Lawrence's day, and fell in battle in 1189. Robert's mother was Elizabeth Bermingham of Athenry. He succeeded to the barony on the death of his father about 1463, and was created chancellor of the green wax of the exchequer by patent on 22 Feb. 1467 (Harl. MS. 433). In 1474 he formed one of the ‘thirteen most noble and worthy persons within the four shires,’ known as the brotherhood of St. George, who were entrusted by an act of parliament of that year with the duty of defending the Pale against Irish invasions and of preserving order within its bounds (Cal. of Irish State Papers, Carew MS. Misc. 403). On 20 May 1483 he was appointed lord chancellor of Ireland by Richard III, but he died a few months later. He married Joan, second daughter of Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, and great-uncle of Henry VII, who afterwards married Sir Richard Fry. By her he had four sons—Nicholas [q. v.], Thomas, Walter, and Christopher—and two daughters, Genet and Anne.

[Lodge's Irish Peerage, ed. Archdall, iii. 187; G. E. C.'s Peerage, iv. 272; Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 181; D'Alton's History of Dublin, p. 160; Harleian MS. 1425, f. 104; O'Flanagan's Lord Chancellors of Ireland.]

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