Thomas Rokeby

(c. 1339—1357) sheriff of Yorkshire and justiciar of Ireland

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(d. 1357), justiciar of Ireland 1349–55 and 1356–7, praised by the Dublin annals for his abstemiousness and for husbanding resources for soldiers' wages. He came to Ireland after long service in the Anglo-Scottish wars; as sheriff of Yorkshire, he was one of the commanders who defeated the Scots at the battle of Neville's Cross (1346). In 1351 he held a council that issued peacekeeping ordinances foreshadowing the Statute of Kilkenny. He led expeditions in Wicklow and organized the building of fortifications. He had close diplomatic ties with Gaelic and settler lineages in Leinster, presiding over the election of leaders of the Harolds, Archbolds, and O'Byrnes in 1350, and paying annual retainers to several Leinster chiefs. His campaign in Munster in 1352–3, when he is credited with expelling the MacCarthys from the Lee valley, prompted the citizens of Cork to ask Edward III to reappoint him in 1355.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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