Christopher Robinson (Upper Canada politician)

Christopher Robinson (1763 – November 2, 1798) was an American-born soldier, lawyer and political figure in Upper Canada.

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Virginia in 1763, the son of Oxford-educated Peter Robinson (ca 1719–1768), and nephew of John Robinson, Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and loyalist leader Beverley Robinson (ca 1722–1792). He was also a close relation of John Robinson (bishop of London) (1650–1723), a senior Anglican cleric and influential diplomat.

Born in Virginia to one of the British colony's most influential families, it has been contended that he was educated at the College of William and Mary, although no evidence exists to support that fact. In fact, his early life remains shrouded in mystery and genealogical legerdemain. What is known is that at some point after his father's death in 1768, he moved to New York, likely to his cousin Beverley's household and was there at the beginning of the American Revolution. On June 26, 1781, he was commissioned an Ensign in the Queen's Rangers under John Graves Simcoe and served through the surrender of the British Army at Yorktown, until 1783.


He retired at half pay in New Brunswick and settled briefly in Queensbury Parish. While in New Brunswick, Robinson married in 1784 Esther Sayre, daughter of Rev. John Sayre, who came to the Colonies on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. However, Robinson soon moved to Quebec in search of employment. In 1792, Simcoe, now Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, offered him a post as a minor surveyor general and he moved to Kingston.

In 1794, he received his license to practice law and, in 1796, he was elected to the 2nd Parliament of Upper Canada representing Ontario & Addington. In 1797, he played a role in establishing the Law Society of Upper Canada. A slave owner, in 1797 Robinson sponsored a bill in the Parliament to allow immigrants to bring their slaves with them. The bill was passed but did not become law.[1]

He died suddenly at York (Toronto) in 1798. William Fairfield took his place in the legislative assembly in June 1799.

She died in 1827.

His sons included:


Further readingEdit