Robert Livingston (1708–1790)
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December 16, 1708|
Albany, Province of New York
|Died||November 27, 1790(aged 81)|
|Known for||Lord of Livingston Manor|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Thong (m. 1731; d. 1765)
Gertrude (Van Rensselaer) Schuyler (m. 1766; d. 1790)
Catharina Van Brugh
Robert Livingston (December 16, 1708 – November 27, 1790) was the third and final Lord of Livingston Manor and a member of the assembly for the manor from 1737 to 1790.
Robert Livingston was born on December 16, 1708 in Albany, New York, the eldest son of Philip Livingston (1686–1749) and Catharina Van Brugh Livingston. His younger brothers were Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1710–1792), who married Mary Alexander, sister of Lord Stirling, Philip Livingston (1716–1778), who married Christina Ten Broeck, and William Livingston (1723–1790), who married Susannah French. All the brothers had multiple children.
He was the grandson of Robert Livingston the Elder (1654–1728), a New York colonial official, fur trader, and businessman who was granted a patent to 160,000 acres (650 km²/ 250 sq mi) along the Hudson River, and becoming the first lord of Livingston Manor. His paternal grandmother was Alida Schuyler (b. 1656), the daughter of Philip Pieterse Schuyler and the widow of Nicholas Van Rensselaer. His maternal grandparents were Pieter Van Brugh (1666–1740) and Sara Cuyler.
Upon the death of his father in February 1749, Robert inherited Livingston Manor and became Lord of the Manor. Shortly after he acquired 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2; 1,600 sq mi) of the Catskill Mountains in what had formerly been the Hardenbergh Patent.
Livingston found himself embroiled in a border dispute with Massachusetts when some New Englanders began to settle on the eastern portion of the Manor. Some of the settlers were Livingston's own tenants, who tired of paying rent moved east and contended they were now in Massachusetts. By 1767, Livingston Manor had about 285 tenant families, together leasing 30,000 from Robert, according to C.A. Kierner. Settlement was disbursed, with areas adjoining waterways, mills, and ironworks, the more densely populated. The tenants paid their rent in wheat. In 1760 Livingston Manor produced 50,000 bushels; Robert had claim to one-tenth as income.
During the Revolution, he made available to the New York Committee of Safety the iron mines and foundry on the Manor, while his sons, Peter Robert, Walter, John and Henry, were actively involved on the American side.
On May 20, 1731 he married Maria Thong (1711–1765), granddaughter of Governor Rip Van Dam (1660–1749). Robert Livingston expected his sons to take their place as his business agents and had them educated accordingly. Together, they had thirteen children:
- Catherine Livingston (b. 1732), died in infancy
- Philip Robert Livingston (1733–1756), died of kidney trouble
- Sarah Livingston (1735–1745), who died young
- Peter Robert Livingston (1737–1793), a member of the Provincial Convention of 1775, who married distant cousin Margaret Livingston (1738–1809), a granddaughter of Robert Livingston the Younger (1663–1725)
- Maria "Mary" Livingston (1738–1821), who married James Duane (1733–1797)
- Walter Livingston (1740–1797), who was the owner of Teviotdale mansion in Columbia County.
- Robert Livingston (1742–1794), better known as Robert Cambridge due to his attendance of Cambridge University, who married Alice Swift (1751–1816), daughter of John Swift
- Catherine Livingston (1744–1832), who married John Patterson (1740–1823), brother of Walter Patterson and father of Daniel Patterson.
- Sarah Livingston (1745/6–1749), who died young
- Alida Livingston (1747–1791), who married Valentine Gardiner
- Margarita Livingston (1748–1749), died young
- John Livingston (1749–1822), who married first Maria Ann Leroy (1759–1797), daughter of Jacob Leroy and Cornelia Rutgers, and second Catherine (Livingston) Ridley, his first cousin, the daughter of William Livingston and the widow of Matthew Ridley.
- Hendrick "Henry" Livingston (1752–1823), died unmarried.
In 1766, he married Gertrude (née Van Rensselaer) Schuyler (b. 1714), daughter of Maria Van Cortlandt and Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (1663–1719), the fifth Patroon and second Lord of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck. She had previously been married to Adonijah "Adonis" Schuyler (1708–1763), son of Arent Schuyler (1662–1730).
Livingston died on November 27, 1790 at the age of eighty-one. He broke the family tradition of leaving the estate to his eldest son and shared Livingston Manor among his five sons.
- Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1901). The Livingstons of Livingston manor; being the history of that branch of the Scottish house of Callendar which settled in the English province of New York during the reign of Charles the Second; and also including an account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The nephew," a settler in the same province and his principal descendants. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Kierner, Cynthia A., Traders and Gentlefolk: The Livingstons of New York, 1675-1790, Cornell University Press, 1992
- New York Department of State, Calendar of Historical Manuscripts, Relating to the War of the Revolution, Volume I, 1868, page 86
- Sora, Steven (2003). Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. ISBN 9781594778674. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Hirschman, Elizabeth Caldwell; Yates, Donald Neal (2012). Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America: A Genealogical History. McFarland. ISBN 9780786489060. Retrieved 16 September 2016.