ROBINSON, John II (c.1617-81), of Monachty Grange, Anglesey and Gwersyllt Hall, Denb.
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Family and Education
b. c.1617, 1st s. of William Robinson of Gwersyllt by Jane, da. of John Price of Newtown Hall, Mont. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 26 Sept. 1634, aged 17; G. Inn 1637. m. (1) Sage, da. of Rees Lloyd of Bronwydd, Carm., s.p.; (2) aft. 1664, Margaret, da. and h. of Edward Norris of Speke, Lancs., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1644.1
Capt. of ft. (royalist) by 1643, lt.-col. by 1646; gov. Holt Castle 1643-5.2
J.p. Denb. 1643-6, Anglesey and Denb. July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Denb. Aug. 1660-80, Anglesey 1661-80; dep. lt. Anglesey and Denb. 1661-d.; col. of militia ft. Denb. by 1662-d.; commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Anglesey and Denb. 1662; v.-adm. N. Wales 1666-79.3
Robinson was descended from Sir William Norris, a Cheshire knight who married a sister of Owen Tudor and settled in Wales. The third generation adopted the Welsh custom of using a patronymic as surname. Robinson’s grandfather, bishop of Bangor from 1566 to 1585, and a leading figure in the introduction of Protestantism to North Wales, increased the family estates by a grant of the ex-monastic property of Monachty. His father was a commissioner of array, while Robinson himself won distinction by his defence of Holt Castle in 1643 and at the battle of Rowton Heath. After negotiating the surrender of Beaumaris in 1646, he was again active in the second Civil War. He attempted to establish a royalist privateering base on Bardsey Island, and was captured at Wigan in 1651. His lands were included in the sale of delinquents’ estates in 1652, but bought from the treason trustees by two of his kinsmen. He seems to have passed most of the Interregnum in Paris, sharing ‘a mean lodging’ with Sir Edward Herbert. He regained his estates at the Restoration, but they were much encumbered with mortgages, and in the list of proposed knights of the Royal Oak they were valued at only £800 p.a.4
When Heneage Finch chose to sit for Oxford University in the Cavalier Parliament, Robinson was recommended to Robert Bulkeley, Viscount Bulkeley on the King’s express instructions to fill the vacancy at Beaumaris, the first of his family to enter Parliament. Although until 1665 there is the possibility of confusion with Thomas Robinson in his record as a committeeman, he was probably an inactive Member, serving on only 31 committees and making no speeches. On 6 Feb. 1662 he petitioned for a commission to keep the toll books in Welsh fairs and markets, and in the following year he was granted, together with Sir William Compton and Sir John Owen, any surplus that could be recovered from prizes taken under Commonwealth letters of marque. In this year he was added to the committee examining the defects in the Corporations Act, and appointed to that for the sectaries bill. He was also active against local dissenters as a militia officer. He first appears as an excise pensioner in 1674-5, with £300 p.a., although in A Seasonable Argument the sum was given as £400. He received the government whip for the autumn session in 1675, and was listed as a court dependant and a government supporter by Sir Richard Wiseman. He was marked ‘thrice vile’ on Shaftesbury’s list, and appeared on both lists of the court party in 1678. He probably did not stand again, dying on 15 Mar. 1681, ‘worn out as well as ennobled by honourable wounds’. His grandson William sat for Denbigh Boroughs from 1705 to 1708.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 23; Chirk Castle Accounts, 173; Arch. Camb. ser. 4, i. 185-6; Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxv), 220.
- 2. Arch. Camb. i. 36; Trans. Denb. Hist. Soc. iv. 28, 36; N. Tucker, Royalist Officers of North Wales, 53.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 205; 1671-2, p. 330; Ind. 24557.
- 4. DWB, 887; Carte, Ormond, v. 515; Cal. Cl. SP. i. 440-1; iii. 332; Cal. Comm. Comp. 2977; Whitelocke Mems. iii. 160; Nicholas Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. l) 91; CSP Dom. 1657-8, p. 298.
- 5. Bodl. Carte 214, f. 294; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 267; 1663-4, p. 95.