Robinson, William (1777-1848) (DNB00)

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ROBINSON, WILLIAM (1777–1848), topographer and legal writer, born in 1777, practised for many years as a solicitor in Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn, London, but was called to the bar by the Middle Temple on 25 May 1827. He was elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 25 March 1819, and received the degree of LL.D. from the university of Aberdeen on 3 May 1822. He died at Tottenham, Middlesex, on 1 June 1848. By his marriage, on 28 Jan. 1803, to Mary, second daughter of William Ridge of Chichester, he had a large family. One of his daughters became the second wife of Sir Frederic Madden [q. v.]

Robinson was interested in the local history of Tottenham, the parish in which he owned property, and its vicinity, and he compiled several excellent volumes on the subject. Their titles are: 1. ‘History and Antiquities of … Tottenham,’ 8vo, Tottenham, 1818; 2nd edit. 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1840. 2. ‘History and Antiquities of … Edmonton,’ 8vo, London, 1819; another edit. 1839. 3. ‘History and Antiquities of Stoke Newington,’ 8vo, London, 1820; 2nd edit. 1842. 4. ‘History and Antiquities of Enfield,’ 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1823. 5. ‘History and Antiquities of … Hackney,’ 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1842–3. The value of these volumes is diminished by the want of proper indexes.

Robinson's legal writings include: 1. ‘The Magistrates' Pocket Book,’ 12mo, London, 1825; 4th edit. by J. F. Archbold, 1842. 2. ‘Lex Parochialis, or a Compendium of the Laws relating to the Poor,’ 8vo, London, 1827. 3. ‘Formularies, or the Magistrate's Assistant,’ 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1827. 4. ‘Analysis of and Digested Index to the Criminal Statutes,’ 12mo, London, 1829. 5. ‘Introduction of a Justice of the Peace to the Court of Quarter Sessions,’ 12mo, London, 1836. 6. ‘Breviary of the Poor Laws,’ 12mo, London, 1837.

A portrait of Robinson, drawn by F. Simonau, was engraved by J. Mills in 1822.

[Gent. Mag. 1803 i. 191, 1819 ii. 432, 1820 i. 44, 1828 i. 277, 1848 ii. 211; Robinson's Hist. of Tottenham, 2nd edit. ii. 66; Cat. of Lincoln's Inn Library; Sweet's Cat. of Law books, 1846.]

G. G.