Sunday, April 11, 2010


Robinsons from Wales Long, Long Ago

Since my grandfather, Frank Hugh Robinson said that his people were originally from Wales and came over here on a ship right after the Mayflower, I've been interested in history.

I've found that there were Robinsons from Wales. The following information came from the Dictionary of Welsh Biography found in the National Library in Wales.

There was a Robinson family of Conway, Caerns, Monachdy, Anglesey, and Gwersyllt, Denbs. They were descended from a Cheshire knight, Sir William Norris who married a sister of Owain Tudor. Their son was Robin Norris. His son, Henry, took the surname of Robinson. He was indeed the son of Robin. Thus we have Henry Robinson.

Nicholas Robinson was born about 1530 and died in 1585, so died at about the age of 55. He was the bishop of Bangor and was the younger son of John Robinson of Conway who was the son of Henry Robinson. His mother was Elin, daughter of the Reverend W. Brickdale of the Wirral and his wife Marsli. Marsli was a descendant of the family of Conway of Bodrhyddan. Nicholas entered Queens' College, Cambridge in March 1545. He was elected Fellow at the instance of Edward VI's Protestant visitors around 1548 before going on for his M.A. in 1551. Nicholas's wife was Jane Brereton, daughter of Randle Brereton. She was also granddaughter of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn, an heir. In Mary's reign he signed the Roman Catholic articles of faith imposed on the University in 1555 and was ordained acolyte, deacon and priest on three days in March 1557. As bishop, he took a strong ine against images, pilgrimages and other superstitions. He had to defend himself against charges of popery in 1582. He died 13 Feb 1585 and was buried in his cathedral.

William Robinson was born in 1576 and died in 1644, living for 68 years. He entered Hart Hall, Oxford, on 11 Feb. 1592 and was sheriff of Denbighshire in 1630. He was the owner of Gwersyllt Uchaf which was bought by his father, and of Anglesey in 1632. He served as commissioner of the array for Denbighshire in Sept. 1642 and married Jane, daughter of John Pryce of Newtown Hall.

Humphrey Robinson was born in 1577 and died in 1621, only living for about 44 years. He entered Hart Hall, Oxford with his brother but graduated from University College with a BA in 1596 and an MA in 1598 and added a Cambridge MA in 1600 when he became rector of Aber and other added promotions.

Hugh Robinson was born in 1584 and died in 1655 at the age of 71. He was educated at Winchester from 1596 to 1603 and New College. He became Fellow of New College in 1605 and Informator or headmaster of Winchester. He also held several English livings from which Parliament extruded him in 1647 till he took the Covenant and was compensated elsewhere. He may have succeeded Humphrey Robinson at Caerhun and Llanbedr in 1613 in 1617 and kept all these positions, inspite of complaints of neglect in 1618 till he was ejected under the Propagation Act in 1650 just after becoming useful to Owen Wynn of Gwydir by reminding the dying archbishop John Williams of a promse to his niece Grace, Wynn's wife.

John Robinson was born in 1617 and died in 1681, living for 64 years. He was a royalist commander and was the eldest son of William Robinson b: 1576. He entered Christ Church, Oxford on26 Sept 1634 and Gray's Inn on 23 Dec 1637. He served in Ireland and was commissioned as Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Forces at home, defending Holt Castle, Denbs, against the Roundheads inNov 1643. He was commander of a company at Rowton Heath on 24 Sept 1645. He had to sign terms of surrender after defending Anglesey and had seized the fort of Lleiniog. He took flight to the Isle of Man and France. He succeeded Sir John Owen as vice-admiral for North Wales and married a NOrris of Speke. In Parliament he supported the Court as he was drawing 200 lbs a year in secret service money in 1679. He was a militia colonel who was active in accusing the Dissenters and Quakers of Denbighshire. He died on 22 March 1681 and is buried at Gresford.

William Robinson was born in 1668 and died in 1717. He served Denbighshire both as sheriff in 1690 and in Parliament from 1705-1707. The line ended with the drowning of Skerries in 1739 of William's grandson and namesake when the estate was in debt and had to be sold to pay them off. A younger grandson of the Royalist Colonel adopted the surname Lytton after a cousin because he inherited the Hertfordshire estate of Knebworth. An ancestor was Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton of Knebworth who was born in 1803 and died in 1873. He was a novelist.

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