Robert R. Livingston

Judge of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, 1763-1775

Robert R. Livingston was born in New York City in August 1718. He studied law, was admitted to practice, and became a prominent member of the Bar. He was appointed a judge of the Court of Admiralty in 1760, and was commissioned as Fourth Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature on March 16, 1763.

Livingston represented Dutchess County at the Provincial Congress from 1759 to 1768. He was a member of the Stamp Act Congress of 1765 and the New York-Massachusetts Boundary Commission in 1767 and 1773. He was also a member of the Committee of 1775 which was elected to control all general affairs.

Although Robert R. Livingston was the only justice of the Supreme Court who sided with the colonists at the commencement of the Revolution, he was not in favor of American independence, but rather favored the continuance of the colonial government provided that the colonists were entitled to all the rights of Englishmen. On the Bench, he opposed the practice of granting general warrants to customs officers to search for dutiable goods. He was the father of Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of New York and Edward Livingston, distinguished lawyer and statesman. He died on December 9, 1775.


SOURCES

McAdam, David., ed. A History of the Bench and Bar of New York. Vol. 1. New York, 1897.

The Medico-Legal Journal 22 (1904).