Early Life of Robert Bourke
Robert Bourke was born on June 11, 1827 at Hayes in County Meath, Ireland, in an Anglo-Irish aristocratic family. He was the 3rd son of Robert Bourke, 5th Earl of Mayo, and Anne Charlotte, daughter of The Hon. John Jocelyn. The 6th Earl of Mayo, a Viceroy of India was his older brother. Bourke completed his studies at the Hall Place School in Bexley, Kent and later at Trinity College in Dublin. He was called to the Bar, Inner Temple in the year 1852
Career of Robert Bourke
Robert Bourke was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for King's Lynn in the year 1868. He was made Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the second administration of Benjamin Disraeli in 1874. Later in 1880, Bourke was also sworn of the Privy Council. He also held the same position during the first administration of Lord Salisbury from the year 1885 to 1886.
Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, GCIE, PC was appointed as the Governor of Madras Presidency on 8 December 1886. He was preceded by Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff GCSI, CIE, PC FRS. The Madras Presidency, also known as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province, was an administrative sub division of British dominated India. The territory included most of southern India, such as the modern states of Tamil Nadu, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep Islands, the Malabar region of North Kerala, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur and Gajapati districts of southern Orissa and the Bellary, Ganjam, Dakshina Kannada, Rayagada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. He served in office till 1 December 1890 and was succeeded by John Henry Garstinas the Governor of Madras Presidency.
Bourke laid the foundations of the Connemara Public Library in Madras (now Chennai) in 1890. Moreover the construction of the Madras High Court was started in the year 1889 during his administration. He also developed and expanded the east coast railway line connecting Madras with Calcutta (now Kolkata). He resigned from the position of the Governor of Madras Presidency on 8 November 1890.
Personal Life of Robert Bourke
Lord Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, GCIE, PC was firstly married with Lady Susan Georgiana, who was the daughter of The 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, in 1863. The couple got divorced in the year 1890. Bourke was married for a second time with Gertrude, who was the former wife of Edward Coleman in 1894. Robert Bourke died on September 3, 1902 at the age of 75 years, in London, England. His barony became extinct after his death.