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Charles Robinson

(b. March 9, 1731, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire – d. March 31, 1807, Canterbury, Kent )

Gender: M

Charles Robinson (1731-1807) was Elizabeth Montagu’s youngest brother. He attended Scorton Grammar School in Yorkshire with his brothers William and John, and at the age of eleven was put into the Navy with his older brother Robert (1717-1756), but gave this up and followed his brothers Morris and Thomas into the law. He entered Middle Temple in 1749 and was called to the bar in 1753. He had a successful legal career: in 1763 he became Recorder of Canterbury; to which in 1766 he added the positions of Recorder of Hythe, New Romney and Sandwich, and in 1770 that of Recorder of Dover. He was also a bankruptcy commissioner from 1766 to 1792.

Charles was elected one of the two MPs for Canterbury in the 1780 and 1784 elections, his eldest brother Matthew Robinson Morris (1713-1800) having held the seat from 1754-1761. He served the town for ten years but made little impact in parliament (only two speeches have been recorded), and declined to stand again in 1790.

In 1776 it was discovered that Charles had for many years been secretly married to Mary Dawkes and they had an eighteen-year-old daughter, Sarah. His wife was born Mary Greenland, and was the sister of Jane Greenland, the wife of Charles’s brother Morris Robinson. Her husband Richard Dawkes had died in 1755, leaving her with two daughters.

Charles acknowledged his wife and daughter and they lived together in apparent contentment in Canterbury until his wife’s death in 1798. His daughter Sarah married William Hougham and inherited the bulk of his estate. He died in Canterbury and was buried in the church of St Mary Magdalene.

Also known as:

  • Charles Robinson


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