[The personal account of Lady Peterborough in Burney's History of Music (iv. 245-97) is based on recollections of Mrs. Delany; that in Sir John Hawkins's History of Music (1853, ii. 870-3) on information from the Dowager Duchess of Portland. Other sources of information are the Lives of Lord Peterborough by Colonel Russell, 1887, ii. 238-48, 311, 327-9, and Mr. W. Stebbing, 1890; Pope's Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope, vi. 351, vii 115, 475, 485, viii. 312-13, ix. 41, 296, 218, 451, x. 185-194; Aitken's Life of Arbuthnot, 1892, pp. 104, 120, 128, 152-3.]
ROBINSON, ANTHONY (1762–1827), unitarian, was born in January 1762 at Kirkland, near Wigton in Cumberland, where his father possessed some property. He was educated at an academy belonging to the particular baptists at Bristol—Robert Hall [q. v.] was a fellow student—and subsequently became pastor of a baptist church at Fairford in Gloucestershire. Thence he removed to the general baptists’ church in Worship Street, London, but gave up the charge about 1790 on succeeding to his father’s estate, and retired to the country. In 1796 he returned to London, and entered into business as a sugar refiner, acquiring a considerable fortune. He made the acquaintance of Priestley, and, through Priestley's friend Rutt, of Henry Crabb Robinson [q.v.] The latter, who was no relative, declared Anthony’s powers of conversation to be greater than those of any others of his acquaintance. Crabb Robinson introduced him to the Lambs and William Hazlitt. He died in Hatton Garden on 20 Jan. 1827, aged 65, and was buried in the Worship Street baptist churchyard. His widow then removed to Enfield, where she lived opposite the Lambs. His son Anthony, who disappeared in 1827, was a reputed victim of Burke and Hare.
Robinson wrote: 1. ‘A Short History were of the Persecution of Christians by Jews, Heathens, and Christians,’ Carlisle, 1793, 8vo. 2. ‘A View of the Causes and Consequences of English Wars,’ London, 1798, 8vo. dedicated to William Morgan [q. v.]; in this work Robinson endeavoured to show that all English wars had proved injurious to the people; he vehemently attacked Pitt for declaring war with France, for which the 'British Critic’ denounced him as a Jacobin. 3. ‘An Examination of a Sermon preached at Cambridge by Robert Hall on Modern Infidelity,’ London, 1800, 8vo; a vigorous attack on all, which the 'British Critic’ termed a ‘senseless and shameless pamphlet.’ Robinson was also a frequent contributor to the ‘Analytical Review,’ ‘Monthly Magazine,’ and ‘Monthly Repository,’ to the last of which he sent an account of Priestley (xvii. 169 et seq.), which was used by Rutt in his ‘Life of Priestley.’
A contemporary Anthony Robinson, a surgeon of Sunderland, went to Jamaica and made manuscript collections on the flora of the island, which used by John Lunan in his ‘Hortus Jamaicensis,’ 1814, 8vo, 2 vols.
[Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Gent. Mag. 1827 i. 187; Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; 194; Rutt's Life of Priestley, i. 33, ii. 533; Monthly Review, xi. 145, xxviii. 231, xxxii. 446; British Critic xiii. 593, xvi., 213; Crabb Robinson’s Diary, passim; Monthly Repository, 1827, p. 293.]
ROBINSON, BENJAMIN (1666–1724), presbyterian minister, born at Derby in 1666, was a pupil of Samuel Ogden (1626?-1697) [q. v.], and was educated for the ministry by John Woodhouse [q. v.] at. Sheriffhales, Shropshire. He began life as chaplain and tutor in the family of Sir John Gell at Hopton, Derbyshire, where he made the acquaintance of Richard Baxter. He was subsequently chaplain at Normanton to Samuel Saunders, upon whose death he married and settled as presbyterian minister of Findern, Derbyshire, being ordained on 10 Oct. 1688. In 1693 he opened a school at Findern, and for so doing was cited into the bishop's court. Knowing William Lloyd (1627-1717) [q. v.], then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, he went to remonstrate with him. Lloyd stayed the prosecution, and discussed nonconformity with Robinson till two o‘clock in the morning; they afterwards corresponded. John Howe recommended him to a congregation at Hungerford, Berkshire, to which he removed from Findern in 1693. Here also, in 1696, he set up a school which developed into an academy for training ministers; students sent to him by the presbyterian fund. Gilbert Burnet [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury, being at Hungerford on a visitation, sent for Burnet’s friendship. Subsequently he and Edmund Calamy had several interviews with Burnet in 1702, when nonconformist matters were before parliament.
In 1700 he succeeded Woodhouse, his former tutor, as presbyterisn minister at Little St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate Street. Here he enjoyed great popularity as a preacher, having much natural eloquence, and a gift of rapid composition with a strong pen. In 1705 he succeeded George Hammond as one of the Salters' Hall lecturers, and made this his first business when declining health compelled him to limit his work. He was assisted