Robert King, 2nd Earl of Kingston

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Robert King
Earl of Kingston
Robert King, 2nd Earl of Kingston.png
PredecessorEdward King
SuccessorGeorge King
Died17 April 1799
Spouse(s)Caroline FitzGerald

Robert King, 2nd Earl of Kingston (1754 – 17 April 1799) was an Anglo-Irish peer. He was styled Viscount Kingsborough between 1768 and 1797.


He was the eldest surviving son of Edward King, 1st Earl of Kingston and Jane Caulfeild. From 1767 to 1768 he was educated at Eton College. He sat in the Irish House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Boyle from 1776 to 1783, and for Cork County between 1783 and 1797, and served as a Governor of County Cork in 1789.[1] In 1797 he succeeded to his father's titles and assumed his seat in the Irish House of Lords. Between 1797 and his death he was Custos Rotulorum of Roscommon.

On 18 May 1798, he was tried by his peers in the Irish House of Lords after allegedly murdering his brother-in-law Colonel Henry Gerald FitzGerald. FitzGerald was a married man who eloped with King's daughter Mary Elizabeth. With public sympathy on King's side and with considerable publicity, he was tried by his peers. He was acquitted as after three summonses no witnesses came forward. After a short conferee the Lords Temporal returned to the House of Commons and delivered the verdict 'not guilty'. The Lord Chancellor pronounced the verdict, broke his wand and dismissed the assembly.[2][3]


Caroline, née Fitzgerald, Countess of Kingston

He married Caroline FitzGerald, daughter of Richard FitzGerald and Margaret King, on 5 December 1769, from whom he later separated. Together they had nine children:[citation needed]

A Naval Biographical Dictionary (1849) by William Richard O'Byrne states that Robert King had a sixth son, James William, who became a rear-admiral in 1846. He married Caroline Cleaver, daughter of the Archbishop of Dublin;[4] one of their daughters was the prominent evangelist Catherine King Pennefather.


  1. ^ E. M. Johnston-Liik, MPs in Dublin: Companion to History of the Irish Parliament, 1692-1800 (Ulster Historical Foundation, 2006), p.100 (Retrieved 6 October 2016).
  2. ^ Lyall, Andrew (1993). "The Irish House of Lords as a Judicial Body, 1783-1800". Irish Jurist. 28: 314–360. JSTOR 44026395.
  3. ^ Johnston-Liik, Mary Edith (2002). history of the Irish Parliament 1692-1800 Volume I. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 328. ISBN 190368871-X.
  4. ^ O'Byrne, William R. (1849). "King, James William" . A Naval Biographical Dictionary. London: John Murray. p. 614.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Boyle
With: Henry King
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Cork County
With: James Bernard (1783–1791)
Abraham Morris (1791–1797)
Viscount Boyle (1797)
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Earl of Kingston
Succeeded by