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Sir Robert was 3rd Baronet Bromley of East Stoke, succeeding his father, Sir George Smith, afterwards Bromley, in 1808. After entering the Navy in 1791 Sir Robert worked his way up through the ranks, becoming Vice-Admiral of the Red in 1848, of the Blue in 1851 and of the White in 1854.
Sir Robert was active in local Nottinghamshire politics and used his influence to help bring in the Earl of Lincoln for the South Nottinghamshire constituency in 1832. Of Conservative principles, he remained loyal to Lincoln and indeed nominated him for the acrimonious South Nottinghamshire election in 1846.
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