He represented Carbonear in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly from 1863 to 1882 as a Conservative and Confederate. He was born in Athlone and came to Newfoundland in 1824, working as a clerk for Bennett and Ridley, a fishery supply firm. In 1830, he established his own firm in Carbonear.
Rorke married Mary Toque.
In 1859, a fire destroyed most of Carbonear, including Rorke"s business and home. Rebuilding began in the following year, and some of the rebuilt stone buildings remain as heritage structures in Carbonear.
He died in Carbonear at the age of 89.