Robinson, Thomas (1790-1873) (DNB00)

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ROBINSON, THOMAS (1790–1873), master of the Temple, born in 1790, was the youngest son of Thomas Robinson (1749–1813) [q. v.] He was educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge, whence he matriculated as a scholar in 1809. In 1810 he gained the first Bell scholarship, and graduated B.A. in 1813 as thirteenth wrangler and second classical medallist. He proceeded M.A. in 1816, was admitted ad eundem at Oxford in 1839, and graduated D.D. in 1844. He was ordained deacon in 1815 and priest in 1816, going out at once as a missionary to India. He was appointed chaplain on the Bombay establishment, and was stationed first at Seroor and then at Poonah, where he was engaged in translating the Old Testament into Persian. The first part, entitled ‘The History of Joseph from the Pentateuch,’ appeared in 1825, and two others, ‘Isaiah to Malachi’ and ‘Chronicles to Canticles,’ in 1837 and 1838. He attracted the favourable notice of Thomas Fanshaw Middleton [q. v.], bishop of Calcutta, to whom in 1819 he dedicated his ‘Discourses on the Evidences of Christianity,’ published at Calcutta. In 1825 he was appointed chaplain to Middleton's successor, Reginald Heber [q. v.], whose constant companion he was during the bishop's episcopal visitations. He was present at Trichinopoly on 2 April 1826, when Heber was drowned, and preached and published a funeral sermon. He also wrote an elaborate account of ‘The Last Days of Bishop Heber,’ Madras, 1829, 8vo. Before the end of 1826 he was made archdeacon of Madras.

In 1837 Robinson was appointed lord almoner's professor of Arabic in the university of Cambridge. He delivered his inaugural lecture on 22 May 1838, and published it the same year, under the title of ‘On the Study of Oriental Literature.’ In 1845 he was elected master of the Temple, and in 1853 was presented to the rectory of Therfield, Hampshire. In the following year he was made canon of Rochester, resigning his professorship at Cambridge. He gave up his rectory in 1860, and the mastership of the Temple in 1869, being succeeded by Charles John Vaughan, dean of Llandaff. He died at the Precincts, Rochester, on 13 May 1873.

Besides the works already mentioned and many single sermons, Robinson published: 1. ‘The Character of St. Paul the Model of the Christian Ministry,’ Cambridge, 1840, 8vo. 2. ‘The Twin Fallacies of Rome, Supremacy and Infallibility,’ London, 1851, 8vo.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Grad. Cantabr.; Cambridge Cal.; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1873; Times, 14 May 1873; Men of the Reign; Darling's Cycl.; Le Bas's Life of Bishop Middleton, 1831, ii. 427; Norton's Life of Heber, 1870, pp. 120, 126, 131; Life of Heber by his Widow; Heber's Journals, passim.]

A. F. P.