ROBINSON, Sir William, 1st Bt. (?1654-1736), of Newby, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 1695
1698 - 1722

Family and Education

b. ?1654, 1st s. of Thomas Robinson, Turkey merchant, of York by Elizabeth, da. of Charles Tancred of Arden, Yorks. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 6 Feb. 1671, aged 16; G. Inn 1674. m. 8 Sept. 1679, Mary, da. of George Aislabie of Studley Royal, Yorks., sis. of John Aislabie, 5s. 1da. suc. fa. 1676; uncle Sir Metcalfe Robinson, 1st Bt. (1660 creation, M.P. York 1660-79, 1685-7), to Newby 1689; cr. Bt. 13 Feb. 1690.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Yorks. 1689-90; alderman, York 1698, res. 1718, ld. mayor 1700.


Robinson was descended from an eminent Hamburg merchant, twice M.P. for York and lord mayor of the city under Elizabeth. Succeeding to the estates of his uncle, who had represented York under Charles II and James II, he sat for the city as a Whig uninterruptedly for nearly a quarter of a century. Returned at the top of the poll in 1715, he voted with the Government on the septennial bill in 1716. In 1719 he voted against them on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, and was put down as ‘doubtful’, to be spoken to by Aislabie, in a list drawn up by Craggs before the peerage bill, on which he did not vote. During the debates on the South Sea bubble, he wrote to Lord Carlisle, 12 Jan. 1721:

I wish the Parliament is able to afford suitable remedies to the present malady; the calamity is so universal that infinite numbers must suffer, [even] if we were unanimous in applying proper plaisters to the hurts done to all degree of people by the vile practice of the directors. There seems a spirit in both Houses to pursue them to condign punishment. Though Mr. Walpole’s scheme was carried in our House by a great majority, yet I find the city does not relish the project of ingrafting nine millions to the Bank and India Companies believing the stock cannot rise above 200, which will not answer the expectations of the poor annuitants, nor the subscription people; but if some further aid of Parliament could be had to raise the stock to 300, most people would sit down tolerably easy under their respective losses.

He did not stand in 1722, writing ‘I am just wore out in the city’s service, so decline the fatigue of Parliament’.1 He died 22 Dec. 1736.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. HMC Carlisle, 27.