Robert Brooke (Virginia)

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Robert Brooke
Robert Brooke Virginia Governor.jpg
10th Governor of Virginia
In office
December 1, 1794 – December 1, 1796
Preceded by Henry Lee III
Succeeded by James Wood
Attorney General of Virginia
In office
1796 – February 27, 1800
Preceded by John Marshall
Succeeded by Philip Norborne Nicholas
Personal details
Born c. 1761
Suspected to be Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Died February 27, 1800
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Ritchie Hopper
Children Richard Brooke
Alma mater Edinburgh University

Robert Brooke (c. 1761 – February 27, 1800) was a soldier and Virginia political figure who served as the tenth Governor of Virginia.


Robert Brooke, likely born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia,[1] was the son of Richard Brooke, and grandson of Robert Brooke, a skilled surveyor, who had been one of Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood's "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition". About 1795, Robert Brooke built his home upon Federal Hill, which looked over Sandy Bottom to Marye's Heights, a thousand yards away. He was educated at Edinburgh University, and on returning home at the beginning of the revolution was captured by Howe, British admiral, and sent back to England, whence he went to Scotland, then to France, and reached Virginia in a French vessel carrying arms for the continentals. He joined Captain Larkin Smith's company of cavalry, was captured near Richmond by Simcoe in 1781, was exchanged, and rejoined the army. In 1794 he represented Spotsylvania county in the house of delegates, and on December 1, of the same year, was elected governor and served two years. He was a Democratic-Republican, and in 1798 was elected attorney-general of the state, over Bushrod Washington, nephew of General Washington.

Brooke was a Freemason in Virginia, 1795-97. and in November 1795 succeeded John Marshall as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.

He died while still attorney-general.

The county of Brooke, formed from Ohio county Va., now in West Virginia is called, Brooke County, West Virginia, and was named in his honor.


Brooke (England) AND Taliaferro (Venice, Italy)

  • Father Richard Brooke, b. 1732
  • Mother Ann Hay Taliaferro, b. 7 Sep 1731
  • Robert Brooke (c.1761—d. 27 Feb 1800, Fredericksburg, Va.)
  • Married 1786 Mary Ritchie
  • Children: Richard Brooke, b. 14 Aug 1787
  • Descendants: Many living 2009.
  • Related to Washington family; descended from Patrick Henry's family (John Fontaine m. Martha Henry); Patrick Henry's family descended from Gen. Alexander Spottswood's family of Virginia, of "Knights of the Golden Horshoe" history.



  • Maury Family Tree by Sue West for family—privately printed.
  • Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars by Maj. Gen. Dabney Herndon Maury
  • Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume IIII—Governors of the State—1776-1861
  • Obituaries in Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 28 Feb. 1800, and Richmond Virginia Argus, 7 Mar. 1800.
  • Biography in John T. Kneebone et al., eds., Dictionary of Virginia Biography (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1998- ), 2:267-269. ISBN 0-88490-199-8.

External links

Archival Records
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Lee III
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
James Wood
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Marshall (acting)
Attorney General of Virginia
1796 – 1800
Succeeded by
Philip Norborne Nicholas