John Beverley Robinson

John Beverley Robinson (February 21, 1821 – June 19, 1896) was a Canadian politician, lawyer and businessman. He was mayor of Toronto and a provincial and federal member of parliament. He was the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario between the years 1880–1887.

The Hon.

John Beverley Robinson
John Beverley Robinson.png
12th Mayor of Toronto
In office
Preceded byGeorge William Allan
Succeeded byJohn Hutchison
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Algoma
In office
October 12, 1872 – January 22, 1874
Preceded byFrederick William Cumberland
Succeeded byEdward Borron
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for West Toronto
In office
November 6, 1875 – June 30, 1880
Preceded byThomas Moss
Succeeded byJames Beaty Jr.
5th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
July 1, 1880 – May 31, 1887
Governor GeneralMarquess of Lorne
The Marquess of Lansdowne
PremierOliver Mowat
Preceded byDonald Alexander Macdonald
Succeeded byAlexander Campbell
Personal details
Born(1821-02-21)February 21, 1821
York, Upper Canada
DiedJune 19, 1896(1896-06-19) (aged 75)
Toronto, Ontario
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Mary Jane Hagerman (m. 1847)[1]


He was born in York, Upper Canada (later Toronto) in 1821, the son of Sir John Robinson, an important political figure in Upper Canada. He attended Upper Canada College, where he was a leading cricketer, eventually representing Canada in the inaugural international cricket match, against United States in 1844.[2]

During the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, Robinson served as aide-de-camp to Sir Francis Bond Head. He later studied law and was called to the bar in 1844.[3] He became an alderman in Toronto at St. Patrick's Ward during the 1850s, including a term as mayor in 1856.[1] He was also involved in the incorporation of a number of companies in the Toronto area including the Toronto and Georgian Bay Canal Company in 1856. He was elected to the 6th Parliament of the Province of Canada representing Toronto in 1858. He helped promote the Northern Railway and served as president from 1862 to 1875. He represented Algoma in the House of Commons of Canada in 1872 and represented West Toronto in 1878. He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

He briefly lived at The Grange, a house in Springfield, Toronto Township. Now Erindale, a community in Mississauga, it is home to Heritage Mississauga.[4]

He suffered a stroke while preparing to give a speech at Massey Hall in Toronto and died in 1896.[3]


Augusta Louise (Robinson) Houston

Hon. John Beverley Robinson married Mary Jane Hagerman, daughter of Judge Christopher Alexander Hagerman and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Macaulay. Their daughter Minnie Caroline Robinson was born and educated in Toronto. She married, 1881, William Forsyth-Grant, Esquire, formerly Captain of H.M.'s 82nd Regiment, son of William Forsyth, Esquire, of Ecclesgreig Castle, County Kincardine, Scotland, J. P. and D.L., who, in 1842, assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Grant (Chad-wick). her husband was grandson of John Forsyth of Montreal. She contributed to periodicals and newspapers and authored a travel book "Scenes in Hawaii, or Life in the Sandwich Islands." She served as President of the Woman's Historical Society of Toronto, and was elected President of the Ladies' Relief Society of Toronto, Ontario.

The couple's youngest daughter Augusta Louisa, sang in London at public concerts, in company with other artists, and was also on tour in the Provinces. During John Beverley Robinson's term as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, 1880–87, his wife Mary Jane Robinson and daughter Augusta Louise dispensed the hospitalities of Government House. She frequently sang at Government House and subsequently took vocal instruction in London, from Randegger, and in Paris, from Laborde. In London she lived with the song composer, Maude Valérie White. Augusta Louisa returned to Canada in 1895, and sang on tour with Emma Albani, Pol Plançon, Harry Plunket Greene, and Allan James Foley. She married, October 8, 1898, Stewart Fielde Houston, Barrister.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani fonds. -- 1798-1919". Trent University (Archives). Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  2. ^ Adams, p. 194.
  3. ^ a b "John Beverley Robinson". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 162.


External linksEdit

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Sir John Henry Lefroy
President of the Royal Canadian Institute Succeeded by
George William Allan