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Robert Brooke

Birthplace: Whitemarsh, Southampton, England
Death: July 20, 1655 (53)
Brooke Place Manor, Leonard's Creek Hundred, Calvert County, Province of Maryland
Place of Burial: Leonard's Creek Hundred, Calvert County, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hon. Thomas Brooke and Susanna Brooke
Husband of Mary Brooke and Mary Brooke
Father of Roger Brooke; Baker Brooke; Baker Brooke; Mary Brooke; Thomas Brooke and 13 others
Brother of Thomas Brooke; Richard Brooke; John Brooke, M.D.; Humphrey Brooke; Elizabeth Brooke and 4 others

Occupation: Governor, Minister, governor of colony of Maryland, Colonial Governor of Maryland, Governor of MD 1653
Managed by: Keith Neville Bystrom
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Brooke

Of royal descent; B.A. Oxford 1620, M.A. 1624; from England in his own ship with his family and 28 servants June 30, 1634. Settled at de la Brooke Manor on the Patuxent River, Charles County, Maryland; President of Provincial Council 1652; acting Governor 1652. (American Compendium of Genealogy, vol 8, page 750. Governor 1653?,_Sr._

Robert Brooke, Sr. (1602–55) was a colonial Governor of Maryland.

Robert was born in Whitemarsh, Southampton on June 23, 1602, and matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford University on April 28, 1618. He received the degree of B.A. July 6, 1620, and M.A. April 20, 1624. He was educated for the ministry and was admitted to “Orders”, but whether he was ever the incumbent of a parish is not shown. However, a manuscript copy of the Visitations of Hampshire in 1634, in the British Museum has under his name the note, “This Robert is a minister”. He resided at his estate in Whitchurch, Hampshire, England.

First marriage

Robert married Mary Baker (1602–34) on February 25, 1627 on Shrove Monday (Carnival Monday) in London. Mary, the only daughter of Thomas Baker, was born on June 3, 1602 in Battle, Sussex. She died in 1634, probably at the birth of her daughter, Barbara.

Mary was the daughter of Thomas Baker II and Mary Engham. Thomas was barrister of Battle, Sussex, England, and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Engham, Knight of Goodelstone Kent, England. Battle, Sussex, is the Abbytown of the Great Battle Abbey built by William the Conqueror to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Hastings. Thomas Baker resided at “Goodnestone”, Kent. This Baker family had its family arms registered at the Visitation of 1619. They were described as “Argent, a tower between three keys erect sable”. Crest: “On a tower sable an arm embowed in mail holding a piece of flint stone proper”.

Robert and Mary (Baker) Brooke had four children: Baker, Mary, Thomas, and Barbara. Mary died in 1634, probably at the time of her fourth child.

Second marriage

Robert married secondly on May 11, 1635, Mary Mainwaring (1611–63). Mary was the second daughter of Rt Rev Roger Mainwaring (1582–53), the Doctor of Divinity, Dean of Worcester and Bishop of St David's, and his wife, Cecilia Proper. Roger was heavily fined by Parliament for his advocacy of the doctorine of Divine Right of Kings. The Mainwarings were of ancient and noble family allied by marriage with the family of Hugh Kivelioc de Meschines. The family is an ancient armorial one of Cheshire which used the following arms: “Argent, two bars gules”. Crest: “Out of a ducal coronet an ass’ head haltered proper”. Motto: “Devant, si je puis”. Robert and Mary (Mainwaring) Brooke had eleven children: Charles, Roger, Robert, John, Mary, William, Ann, Francis, Basil, Henry, and Elizabeth. (The last three of these children were born after the family emigrated from England to America.)

Immigrates to Maryland

Owing to family prestige and personal worth, Robert commanded much influence, and a commission was issued him at London, September 20, 1649, as a Commander of a County in Maryland, to be newly erected. He had an agreement with Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (1605–75), to receive a manor of 2,000 acres (8 km²) for every ten persons he transported. So impressed was Cecil Lord Calvert by the coming of Robert Brooke to Maryland that he made it the subject of a special message to Governor Stone and the Privy Council, instruction them to register his grant to Robert Brooke. The grant consisted of a whole country, and Mr. Brooke was given "such honors, dignities, privileges, fees, perquisites, profits, and immunities belonging to the place and office of commander of the said county." Lord Baltimore, a personal friend, made Robert Brooke Commander of the new county called Charles. In 1652, Robert Brooke moved to "Brooke Place" next to De la Brooke Manor. He later gave De la Brooke Manor to his son, Baker, who married Ann Calvert, niece of Lord Baltimore.

Robert and Cecilius were friends while both attended Oxford. Robert immigrated from Cheshire, England to Maryland on June 30, 1650 aboard his own ships and at his own expense, along with his second wife, ten children, 21 men servants, seven maid servants and a pack of hounds. On July 22, 1650, along with his two sons, Baker and Thomas, Sr., he took the oath of Fidelity to the Proprietor. His sons each received separate grants of land in various counties of Maryland. Robert was constituted as Commander of newly formed Charles County in Maryland on October 30, 1650.

Becomes Governor of Maryland

When the Puritans ascended in 1652, under the Cromwellian Government, Robert was made head of Provisional Council of Maryland. He served in this capacity from March 29 to July 3, 1652. He was one of the five commissioners making up this Council, which was the government of Maryland. During this period, he served as the Council’s President, which was analogous to being Lieutenant-General or Governor of the Province. Robert’s cooperation with the Bennett-Claiborne Puritan faction from 1652–54 brought him the displeasure of Lord Baltimore and the loss of his proprietary offices. Later he allied himself with the conservative Catholic Party. It is thought that he died a Roman Catholic, although no documentation has been found to prove this assertion. His second wife, Mary Mainwaring, was definitely a member of the Roman faith, and most of his sons professed Roman Catholicism.

Historical Note:

The colony of Maryland owed its existence to George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, who petitioned for a charter from King Charles I of England in 1632. Calvert had been converted to Roman Catholicism and desired, among other things, to establish a haven for Roman Catholics. Fundamental to the precept directive of the colony was a religious tolerance, a freedom of spirit, and an independence that attracted many other religious groups. George Calvert died in 1632, before the Charter was sealed. The King then made the grant to Calvert's oldest son, Cecil, second Lord Baltimore. In November 1633, led by Leonard Calvert (brother of Lord Baltimore who later became Maryland's first governor), nearly 200 colonists sailed from England on a pair of sailing ships known as the "Ark" and the "Dove." Four months later, on March 25, 1634, the settlers reached Maryland, landing first at an island which they named St. Clement's Island (now Blakistone Island). Since the early 1900's, the State of Maryland has observed March 25th as a legal holiday in honor of this event.

Property of Robert Brooke

Robert was a large landowner. One of his estates was patented on July 28, 1650, and was termed “De La Brooke Manor”. It was surveyed on November 21, 1650, and consisted of 2,000 acres (8 km²) in Resurrection Hundred, St. Mary's County, Maryland. “De La Brooke” was torn down in 1835 and the present house having already been built in 1830 remains in its spot. It is located about 20 miles up the west bank of the Patuxent River, in what is now St. Mary's County.

In 1652 Robert removed to “Brooke Place Manor” 2,100 acres (8.5 km²) on Battle Creek, Leonard’s Creek Hundred, Calvert County, across the Patuxent, where he built a home almost a replica of “De La Brooke”.[1] This tract had been surveyed on November 30, 1650 for Robert. In addition, Robert also had “Brooke Court” surveyed which constituted 2,000 acres (8 km²) in what is now Prince George’s Co, Maryland. As Manor Lord of “De La Brooke Manor”, "Brooke Place Manor”, and “Brooke Court”, he was granted Court Leet and Court Baron. At the time of his death on July 20, 1655 at “Brooke Place”,[2] Robert had accumulated 8,000 acres (32 km²) of land. Robert established a very prominent political family, the first to have third and fourth generation members holding provincial offices.

Robert was listed in the 1634 Visitation of Hampshire, with the following arms, “Checky or and azure on a bend gules a lion passant”. Crest: “A demi-lion rampant erased or”. The family was also entitled to quarter their arms with that of Twyne, described as “Sable a fesse embattled argent, in chief two estoiles of the last”.

Children with first wife

  • Baker Brooke (1628-1679), who married Anne Calvert (1644-1714), daughter of Gov. Leonard Calvert (1606-1647), 1st Governor of Maryland and Anne Brent.
  • Mary Brooke (1630-ca. 1650), who died young in England.
  • Maj. Thomas Brooke, Sr., Esq. (1632-1676), who married Eleanor Hatton (1642-1725), daughter of Hon. Richard Hatton, Sr. (1605-1648) and Margaret (ca. 1610).
  • Barbara Brooke (1634-ca. 1650), who died young in England.

Children with second wife

  • Charles Brooke (1636-1671), never married.
  • Roger Brooke (1637-1700), who married: Dorothy Neale, daughter of Capt. James Neale (ca. 1615-1684) and Anna Maria Gill; Mary Wolseley, daughter of Walter Wolseley and Mary Beauchamp.
  • Robert Brooke, Jr. (1639-1667), who married Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of William Thompson and Mary Bretton.
  • John Brooke (1640-1677), who married Rebecca Isaacs.
  • Mary Brooke (1642).
  • William Brooke (1643).
  • Ann Brooke (1645), who married Christopher Beanes (ca. 1650-1696).
  • Francis Brooke (1648-1671), never married.
  • Basil Brooke (d. 1651), who died in infancy.
  • Henry Brooke (1655-1672), never married.
  • Elizabeth Brooke (1655), who married Capt. Richard Smith, Jr. (ca. 1660-1714), son of Lt. Richard Smith, Sr., Gent. ( 1690) and his wife, Eleanor.


Robert Sr., was the son of Hon. Thomas Brooke (1561-1612) and Susan Foster (ca. 1570-1612).

Susan was the daughter of Sir Thomas (Forster) Foster V (1548-1612) of “Etherstone”, Hertford, England, and his wife, Susan Foster (1548-1625), co-heiress with her sister Constance.

Thomas was the son of Richard Brooke, Sr., Gent., Esq. (1519-1594) and Elizabeth Twyne (1523-1599).

Richard was the son of Robert Brooke (d. 1593).


  • Maryland Historical Magazine, pp 68
  • Taney, p 25, gives date of death


  • Taney, Roger Brooke (1872). Memoir of Roger Brooke Taney, LL.D.: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. John Murphy & Co..
  • (1906) Maryland Historical Magazine. Maryland Historical Society. Retrieved on 2007-10-06.


Brooke, Robert ( 1602 - 1655 )

  • Wife:
    • 1. by 1627, Mary, daughter of Thomas Baker,
    • 2. by 1635, Mary, daughter of Roger Mainwaring. Children (wife #1):
      • Baker (m. Anne, daughter of Leonard Calvert),
      • Thomas (m. Ellinor, daughter of Richard Hatton),
      • Mary,
      • Barbara; (wife #2):
      • Charles,
      • Roger (m. 1. Dorothy, daughter of James Neale, 2. Mary, daughter of Walter Wolseley),
      • Robert (m. Elizabeth, daughter of William Thompson), John (m. Rebecca Isaac),
      • Basil,
      • William,
      • Henry,
      • Mary,
      • Ann (m. Christopher Beans),
      • Elizabeth (m. Richard Smith).

Local Offices:

  • commander (Charles County), 1650-1654.

Provincial Offices:

  • Council, 1649-1654;
  • justice, Provincial Court, 1650-1654;
  • Parliamentary Commission, 1652-1653.

Land at death, 2000 (possibly 8000 a.), including De La Brooke Manor, 2000 a.


From The Historical Marker Project

Inscription at marker:

Surveyed July 28, 1630 (Ben M. Angel notes: this would predate settlement of the area)

Robert Brooke First Lord of the Manor,

  • Born London 1602;
  • died Brooke Place, 1655.
  • Commander of Charles County, 1650.
  • President Provincial Council and acting Governor of Maryland 1652.
  • Council met at "De La Brooke" 1662.
  • Original manor house destroyed 1835.

From page 93 of The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 11

THE BROOKE FAMILY OF VIRGINIA. By Prof. St. George Tucker Brooke, Morgantown, W. Va.

Thomas Brooke, third son of Richard and Elizabeth (Twyne) Brooke, was born at White Church in 1567; married, 1590, Susan Foster, daughter of Thomas Foster, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and niece of Robert Foster, chief judge of the King's Bench. The Fosters were a branch of the ancient family of Etherstone, in the county of Durham, grandsons of Alexander Comyns, Earl of Bucan, who was descended from Roger de Quincy, Earl of Winchester, Magna Charta Baron, and from David 1st, King of Scotland. King David's father was Malcolm III, who married Margaret, daughter of Edward (the outlaw), son of Edmund "Ironsides," Saxon King of England. King David's grandfather, Duncan I, was murdered by Macbeth, and this royal line goes back without a break to Fergus II, King of Scotland in A. D. 40.J.

The Hon Thomas Brooke died May 18th, 1612.


  • Thomas Brooke, of White Church, born 1593, entertained Charles I in 1644
  • 2nd. Richard Brooke.
  • 3rd. Robert Brooke, born in 1602, emigrated to Maryland; twice married, was educated for the ministry; graduated at Oxford, and was admitted to orders February 25th, 1627. He married Mary, only daughter of Thomas Baker, of Battle, and his wife Mary, daughter of sir Thomas Engham, Knight of Goodelstone in Kent. Robert Brooke had four children by this marriage, and his wife died in 1634. The following year, May 11th, 1635, he married Mary, second daughter of Roger Mainwaring, Doctor of Divinity, Dean of Worcester, and in 1636 Bishop of St. David's.
  • Reference: FamilySearch Genealogy - SmartCopy: Mar 3 2019, 0:15:21 UTC

Immigration 30 June 1650 Maryland, United States

emigration 1650


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Robert Brooke's Timeline

June 3, 1602
Whitemarsh, Southampton, England
November 16, 1628
Battle, Sussex, England
November 16, 1628
Battle, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
February 19, 1630
Battle, Sussex, England
June 23, 1632
Battle, Sussex, England
Battle, Sussex, England
Middlesex, England
September 20, 1637
Calvert County, Maryland