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William Robinson (Governor of Hong Kong)

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Sir William Robinson GCMG (Chinese: 威廉·羅便臣; 9 February 1836 – 1 December 1912)[1] was a British colonial governor who was the last Governor of Trinidad and the first Governor of the merged colony of Trinidad and Tobago. He was also the 11th Governor of Hong Kong.[2]

Sir William Robinson
Sir William Robinson.jpg
11th Governor of Hong Kong
In office
10 December 1891 – 25 November 1898
Lieutenant GovernorMG Sir George Barker
MG Sir Wilsone Black
Colonial SecretaryFrancis Fleming
G.T.M. O'Brien
Sir Stewart Lockhart
Preceded bySir William Des Vœux
Succeeded bySir Henry Arthur Blake
Personal details
Born9 February 1836
Wetherden, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Died1 December 1912 (1913-01) (aged 76)
28 Evelyn Mansions, Carlisle Place, London, England, United Kingdom
Spouse(s)Juliana Sophia Dampier
Felicia Ida Helen Rattray
ProfessionColonial administrator


Early life and colonial servicesEdit

Robinson was born in 1836 in Suffolk, England. He was the eldest son of the Rev. Isaac Banks Robinson and Jane Susan (née Syer). He entered the Colonial Office at age 18 as a clerk, and within several years served as private secretary to Herman Merivale, Frederic Rogers and Edward Cardwell.[2]

He became a Member of Slave Trade Commission in 1869 and was appointed Governor of Bahama Isles from 1874 to 1880. A year later, Robinson was appointed governor of the Windward Islands, a position he held until 1884. Afterwards, he became Governor of Barbados, and was transferred to become the Governor of Trinidad a year later. In 1889 the colony of Tobago was merged with Trinidad into the united colony of Trinidad and Tobago, with Robinson as its first governor, a position he held until 1891.[2]

Governor of Hong KongEdit

In 1891, Robinson was appointed Governor of Hong Kong, a position he served until 1898 and later became his last post in the Colonial Services. During his tenure, Sun Yet-Sen graduated from the colony's Medical School. Also, Robinson received the thanks of the Hong Kong government for the settlement of the Fanny Josephine affair (Venezuela).[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Robinson married twice. He married his first wife, Julia Sophia Dampier, 17 July 1862 at St. Saviour's Church, Paddington. The couple had three sons. She died in 1881 and Robinson married FeliciaIda Helen Rattray three years later, 21 July 1884 in Nassau. Helen died ten years later. The couple had three daughters. Robinson himself died of heart disease on 1 December 1912 in London.[2]


Places named after himEdit

Robinson Road, a major thoroughfare in Nassau, Bahamas, is named after Sir William Robinson, during whose term it was laid out. Despite public perceptions to the contrary, there are no places in Hong Kong named after Sir William Robinson. Places in Hong Kong with the name Robinson were actually named for an earlier Governor, Hercules Robinson, later the 1st Baron Rosmead. Robinson, Mark Aitchison Young and Christopher Patten are the only former Governors of Hong Kong who have nothing in Hong Kong named in their honour.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sir William Robinson". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 3 December 1912. p. 9.
  3. ^ "No. 24464". The London Gazette. 30 May 1877. p. 3442.
  4. ^ "No. 10895". The Edinburgh Gazette. 25 June 1897. p. 591.
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Pope Hennessy
Governor of the Bahamas
Succeeded by
Jeremiah Thomas Fitzgerald Callaghan
Preceded by
D. J. Gamble, acting
Governor of Barbados and the Windward Islands
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Cameron Lees
as Governor of Barbados
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Joseph Sendall
as Governor of the Windward Islands
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock
Governor of Trinidad
Post abolished
Preceded by
as Governor of Trinidad
Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Napier Broome
Preceded by
J. C. O'Halloran
as Governor of Tobago
Preceded by
Major-General Digby Barker
as Acting Administrator
11th Governor of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Major-General Wilsone Black
as Acting Administrator