General Robert Hunter

Robert Hunter was bapt Oct 1666, Edinburgh. He began his military career 1688 when a guard was formed to protect the future Queen Anne as the rift began with her father James II. In 1690 he became Captain in Colonel John Hill’s regiment of foot. On 28th Feb 1694 he was transferred to the Royal Scots Dragoons with rank of Captain. On 28th May 1695 he was appointed Major of brigade in Flanders. Appointed Major of Charles Ross’ dragoons (5th Royal Irish Dragoons) on 23rd Apr 1698. Promoted to brevet Lieutenant Colonel on 1st Jan 1703. Distinguished himself as a soldier under Marlborough. He fought with Marlborough at Blenheim 1704. He served under Lord John Hay, commander of the Scots Greys, and after his death Aug 1706 he married his widow.

He married 1707 to Elizabeth Orby born 1686, descendant of Edward III. She was widow of Hunter’s commander Lord John Hay, and a wealthy heiress. Through her he inherited estates at Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire, and at Chertsey, Surrey. His family took the name “Orby Hunter”.

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 1707.

Governor of New York and New Jersey, 1710-19.

Elizabeth died in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, 9 Aug 1716, age 30 yrs.
She was buried in the Chapel in Fort George, Manhattan, New York City.

Robert and Elizabeth had children: Charles, Thomas, Henrietta, Catherine and Charlotte.

Hunter had an affair c.1716 with Betty Holland (a New York seamstress) and had an illegitimate daughter.

Brigadier General became Governor of Jamaica 1727-34. He set up a sugar plantation c.1730 which he called “Hunterston” in Portland Parish, NE Jamaica.

He died Jamaica, 31st Mar 1734, age 67 yrs. His will dated 5th Jan 1733. He was buried 1st Apr 1734, churchyard of the Anglican church, Spanish Town, Jamaica. The church survives but Hunter’s grave does not survive. He is described as lord of the manor of Croyland at death 1734. His will proved with codicil in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 4th Nov 1734.

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