Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Robinson, George

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ROBINSON, GEORGE (1737–1801), bookseller, was born at Dalston in Cumberland in 1737, and came up to London about 1755. He was for some time in the house of John Rivington (1720–1792), publisher [q. v.] of St. Paul's Churchyard, from whom he went to Mr. Johnstone on Ludgate Hill. In 1763–4 he commenced business at Paternoster Row, in partnership with John Roberts, who died about 1776. Robinson purchased many copyrights, and before 1780 carried on a very large wholesale trade. In 1784 he took into partnership his son George (d. 1811) and his brother John (1753–1813), who were his successors. They were fined, on 26 Nov. 1793, for selling copies of Paine's ‘Rights of Man.’ In the opinion of Alderman Cadell, ‘of George Robinson's integrity too much cannot be said.’ William West [q. v.], in his ‘Recollections,’ gives some anecdotes of Robinson—‘the king of booksellers’—and of his hospitality at his villa at Streatham. He died in Paternoster Row on 6 June 1801.

[Gent. Mag. 1801, i. 578; West's Recollections of an Old Bookseller, p. 92; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 445–9, vi. 282, ix. 542; Nichols's Illustr. viii. 469–70; Timperley's Encyclopædia, 1842, pp. 781, 808, 843.]

H. R. T.