ROBINSON, Samuel (1666-1729), of Cheshunt, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 19 Oct. 1666, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of William Robinson of Bishop’s Lane, Cheshunt by his 1st w. Winifred, da. of Walter Bourchier of Barnsley, Glos. educ. G. Inn 1686. unm. suc. fa. 1686.1
According to family tradition the Robinsons had originated in Westmorland, where one particularly cherished ancestor had fought the Scots with distinction under Hotspur. Latterly they had been established in London, moving to ‘a fair house and estate’ in Cheshunt at the turn of the 17th century. The Member’s father was a small, though not insubstantial, landowner, able to bequeath his younger children £4,000, who also maintained his London connexions and held some property in the City. No evidence, however, has been found to bear out the suggestion that Samuel himself participated in commerce, except perhaps his links with the Fox family. It was as a ‘friend’ of Charles Fox* that he was chosen for Cricklade in 1710, and not because he was a cousin of a previous (Whig) Member, Samuel Barker (whose will he had witnessed), or because he had himself inherited from an aunt some Gloucestershire estates, however much these additional advantages might have helped him. His kinship with Barker possibly accounts for his being classed as ‘doubtful’ in an analysis of the new Parliament, although his Tory inclinations are suggested by his having been struck off the Hertfordshire commission of the peace in 1709 and restored by the new ministry in 1710. In 1711 Robinson was listed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who had helped to detect the mismanagements of the previous ministry and as a member of the October Club, but his parliamentary activity is difficult to distinguish from that of George Robinson*, another Tory; one of them was an active teller. On 18 June 1713 Samuel Robinson voted for the French commerce bill.2
Defeated by a Whig at Cricklade in 1713, Robinson came in for the borough at a by-election when his Tory partner opted to sit for Colchester. He was marked as a Tory in the Worsley list. One of a number of Tories surprisingly retained as Hertfordshire j.p.s by their county compatriot Lord Cowper (William*) in 1714, Robinson was removed from the commission five years later, and in 1721 his name was sent to the Pretender as a possible supporter in the event of a rising. Nothing has been discovered of his later life, other than that he and four other Cheshunt residents were presented by the grand jury in 1725 ‘for not keeping up their offences’. Robinson died on 9 Dec. 1729, leaving as his heir ‘my friend Mr Timothy Drew of Cheshunt, gentleman’.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. IGI, Herts.; Clutterbuck, Herts. ii. 116; PCC 63 Lloyd, 144 Auber.
- 2. Chauncy, Herts. i. 587–8; PCC 63 Lloyd, 8 Lane; Huntington Lib. Q. xxxiii. 158; Dorset RO, Fox-Strangways mss, Richard Painter to Charles Fox, 15, 22 July 1710; Huntington Lib. Stowe mss 58(7), p. 4; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs. 204, 257.
- 3. Glos. RO, Ducie mss, Christopher Sanders et al. to Matthew Ducie Moreton*, 17 Apr. 1714, Edmund Bray* to same, 2 May 1714; Glassey, 242, 257; P. S. Fritz, Ministers and Jacobitism 1715–45, p. 151; Hertford County Recs. ed. Hardy, vii. 200; Hist. Reg. Chron. 1729, p. 68; PCC 144 Auber.