Sir Robert MacLeish (1837-1879) inherited his home from his father, Sir George MacLeish. Sir Robert never understood the work his father and Prince Albert, the Queen's consort, had undertaken in the observatory of Torchwood House.
In 1879, the Brethren came; he was unable to stop them taking over the house and setting a trap for the Queen. They held captive his wife, Lady Isobel, and the entire household, blackmailing him into assisting them. When the Queen arrived, he subtly attempted to tell her something was up and to ward her away, though was unsuccessful. He also met the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler.
Attending supper with the Doctor, the Queen, and Captain Reynolds, he told them the story of a werewolf, noting that his father didn't treat it as a story but rather felt it was real, and that he should've listened to his father. He also told them of the Brethren, theorising that they turned from God and worshipped the wolf; the Doctor rhetorically asked if they were present at that very moment.
After the Host escaped, the Doctor, Rose, the Queen and Sir Robert eventually reached the observatory, the Doctor needing time to activate the light chamber. Realising that the only way to salvage his name and reputation was to sacrifice himself to protect the Queen, and not seeing any other way to keep them safe, Sir Robert volunteered to buy them time. Arming himself with a sword, he held the werewolf off for a few vital seconds outside the observatory, allowing the Tenth Doctor the time he needed to kill the werewolf and protect the Queen. (TV: Tooth and Claw)