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Robinson, John (architect)

Architect and builder of Redditch, born at Aldborough, North Yorks, where his parents were prominent members of the Methodist society. He was commended to a London firm of architects by the Duke of Northumberland, c.1814. His first commission was for Hewell Hall, Worcs., seat of the Earl of Plymouth. Later he was responsible for Studley Castle and Tardebigge church, and the spire of King's Norton church (to which he personally fixed the weathercock). Benjamin Gregory (1820-1900) married his older daughter.

His nephew George Robinson, son of the owner of the Rowington estate in the Black Country, became a journalist and war correspondent of the Daily News during the Franco-Prussian war and was in Metz during its seige. He wrote a two-volume history of the war. His two daughters Agnes Mary Robinson and Mabel Robinson (Mme. Darmesteter) became popular authors.

Quotations

'The first time Mr. Robinson took me in his four-wheeler to Birmingham, as we passed King's Norton church, I broke out in admiration of its lofty, graceful spire, which had not long since been renewed. He replied with quiet satisfaction, "I'm glad you like it, for I built that spire; and as no one of my workmen could trust his head to fix on the weathercock, without a lumbering cradle on the most delicate and tapering point, I had to climb up by outside ladders and fix the burnished bird myself." Mr. Robinson was also a class-leader and circuit-steward. He formed a noble, patriarchal figure, as he stood to address a Society meeting or a Circuit gathering - by reason of his stature, his breadth of bust and shoulder, his massive head, his well-moulded features, and his roseate complexion.'

Benjamin Gregory, Autobiographical Recollections (1903), p.331

Sources

  • Benjamin Gregory, Autobiographical Recollections (1903), pp.331-34

Category: Person

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