1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Robinson, John (diplomatist)

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ROBINSON, JOHN (1650-1723), English diplomatist and prelate, a son of John Robinson (d. 1651), was born at Cleasby, near Darlington, on the 7th of November 1650. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, he became a fellow of Oriel College, and about 1680 chaplain to the British embassy to Stockholm, and remained in Sweden for nearly thirty years. During the absence of the minister, Philip Warwick, Robinson acted as resident and as envoy extraordinary, and he was thus in Sweden during a very interesting and important period, and was performing diplomatic duties at a time when the affairs of northern Europe were attracting -an unusual amount of attention. Among his adventures not the least noteworthy was his journey to Narva with Charles XII. in 1700. In 1709 Robinson returned to England, and was appointed dean of Windsor and of Wolverhampton; in 1710 he was elected bishop of Bristol, and among other ecclesiastical positions he held that of dean of the Chapel Royal. In August 1711 he became lord privy seal, this being, says Lord Stanhope, “the last time that a bishop has been called upon to fill a political office.” In 1712 the bishop represented England at the important congress of Utrecht, and at first plenipotentiary he signed the treaty of Utrecht in April 1713. Just after his return to England he was chosen bishop of London in succession to Henry Compton. He died at Hampstead on the 11th of April 1723, having been a great benefactor to Oriel College. Robinson wrote an Account of Sweden: together with an Extract-of the History of that Kingdom. By a person of note who resided many years there (London, 1695). This was translated into French (Amsterdam, 1712), and in 1738 was published with Viscount Molesworth's Acconnt of Denmark in 1692. Some of his letters are among the Stratford papers in the British Museum.

A member of the same family was Sir Frederick Philipse Robinson (1763-1852), a Virginian soldier, who fought for England during the American War of Independence. On the conclusion of peace he went to England, and in 1813 and 1814 he commanded a brigade under Wellington in Spain- Afterwards he was governor of Tobago, and he became a general in 1841. He died at Brighton on the 1st of January 1852.