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LIVINGSTON, Robert [1654-1728] -- American colonial immigrant, government administrator

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He was born at Ancrum, Roxburghshire, Scotland, Dec. 13, 1654; son of Dr. John Livingston (1608-1672), a Presbyterian minister, who was banished from Scotland in 1663, on account of his nonconformist views, and went to Holland soon after the restoration of Charles II. Robert accompanied his father in his flight to Rotterdam, and immigrated to America in 1673, and after spending part of a year in Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay colony, removed to Albany, N.Y., where he was secretary of the commissaries who superintended the affairs of Albany, Schenectady, and the parts adjacent, 1675-86. He was married in 1683 to Alida, daughter of Philip Pietersen Schuyler, and widow of Nicholas Van Rensselaer. In 1686 he received from Governor Thomas Dougan a grant of land comprising large parts of what was subsequently set off as Dutchess county, and the grant was confirmed by royal charter from George I., who erected the manor and lordship of Livingston. Robert Livingston was appointed to proceed to New York with his brother-in-law, Peter Schuyler, to obtain a charter for the manor from Governor Dougan, under which charter he was town clerk, 1686-1721. In 1689 he attached himself to the anti-Leisler faction. He was secretary of the convention held at Albany, Oct. 25, 1689, which, while it acknowledged the sovereignty of William and Mary, opposed Leisler's proceedings. When Richard Petty, sheriff of Albany, reported to Leisler that Livingston favored the Prince of Orange, Leisler ordered Livingston's arrest, and the latter retired to one of the neighboring provinces until the arrival of Sloughter, in March, 1691. In 1694 he made a voyage to England, was shipwrecked on the coast of Portugal, and obliged to travel through Spain and France by land. He returned to New York in 1696, accompanied by his nephew, Robert Livingston. While in England he was appointed by royal commission, dated Jan. 27, 1695-96, commissioner of excise, receiver of quit rents, town clerk, clerk of the peace, clerk of the common pleas for the city and county of Albany, and secretary for the government of the Indians in New York. He obtained for Robert Kidd a commission to rid the American seas of buccaneers; but Kidd himself turned pirate and the expedition failed. In September, 1696, the charge of alienation was preferred against him by the council, but through the influence of Lord Bellomont, who arrived in April, 1698, to take charge of the government, he was appointed one of the council, September, 1698, and in the autumn of 1700, was reinstated in all his offices. He was accused by the Leislerian commission of appropriating the public money for his own use, and of employing improper influences to induce the Indians to favor his going to England on behalf of their interests at the court. He refused to exonerate himself of the charge by oath and on April 27, 1701, his estates were confiscated and he was suspended from the council board. Through the intercession of Lord Cornbury he was vindicated. On Feb. 2, 1703, he regained his estates, and in September, 1705, he was reinstated in his former offices. He was elected a member of the assembly from Albany in 1711, and from his manor, 1716-25, serving as speaker 1718-25, when he retired on account of ill-health. He died in Albany, N.Y., [1 Oct, 1728] BDNA  -30-
 

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