O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'

Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for John James Robinson in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

ROBINSON. (Commander, 1843. f-p., 18; h-p., 5.)

John James Robinson, born in Jan. 181 1, is only son of Capt. Robinson, Hon.E.I.Co.?s service, Bengal.
This officer entered the Navy, 12 Aug. 1824, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Romney 50, arm?e en fl?te, Capts. Wm. Jas. Mingaye and Nicholas Lockyer; and from Dec. 1826 until July, 1830, was employed on the coast of North America in the Tyne 28, Capts. White and Sir Rich. Grant. Volunteering then to serve on the coast of Africa, he took a passage thither in the Athol 28, Capt. Alex. Gordon, and on his arrival joined, as Mate, the Dryad 42, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore John Hayes. On 10 Sept. 1831, being at the time detached in the Fair Rosamond tender, Lieut.-Commander Henry Vere Huntley, armed with 1 gun and having only 21 effective men on board, he was afforded an opportunity of assisting at the very gallant capture of the Regulo and Rapido slavers, carrying between them 13 guns and 140 men. For his conduct in that affair he was promoted by the Commodore, on a death vacancy occurring, to the rank of Lieutenant, and placed in charge of the Fair Rosamond. In about a year afterwards he returned to England in that vessel and paid her off; but to his mortification he was not confirmed. In Dec. 1832 he joined the Griffon brigantine, Lieut.-Commander Jas. Edw. Parlby, for the purpose of again proceeding to the coast of Africa. Before that vessel however had sailed he was received on board the Vernon 50, flag-ship of Sir Geo. Cockburn, Commander-in-Chief on the North America and West India station, where he was by him promoted, 30 April, 1834, into the Dispatch 16, Capt. Geo. Daniell. His next appointments were ? 13 Aug. 1835, to the Forte 44, Capt. Watkin Owen Fell, and, 24 March, 1836, to the command of the Skipjack schooner, both in the West Indies, whence he came home in the summer of 1839 ? 2 Oct. 1841, to the Queen 110, fitting for the flag of the Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, Sir Edw. W. C. R. Owen, to whom he became Flag-Lieutenant 10 March following ? and, in May, 1842, to the acting-command of the Devastation steamer. In the latter vessel he continued until a few weeks after his official promotion to the rank of Commander, which took place 5 Sept. 1843. On the occasion, during that period, of an earthquake and hurricane, he had on board Sir Stratford Canning and suite, two Persian Princes and a Princess, together with others from the different embassies at Constantinople ? in all about 60 persons. Towards the close of 1843, having removed to the Orestes 18, he was sent by Sir Stratford to settle a dispute with the Pacha of the island of Lemnos, accompanied by a nephew of the Consul at the Dardanells as interpreter. When matters, as he conceived, had been placed upon a proper footing. Commander Robinson took his departure, leaving the latter to arrange the details. As soon as the Turks imagined that the Orestes had quitted the island they attacked the interpreter, threatened to bastinado him, and forthwith turned him out of the town. Thus insulted, the Consul?s nephew made the best of his way along a mountainous road of nine miles to the beach, where he contrived to communicate with the British sloop. Landing immediately with 100 men as a guard, Commander Robinson marched with him back, and, surrounding the Pacha?s palace before his Highness was aware of his approach, compelled him to summon his divan, hold an open court, and make a public and ample apology as well for the indignities he had offered the interpreter as for offensive observations he had permitted to be made in regard to the Queen of England. For his conduct on this occasion he had the gratification of receiving the approval of his Admiral, of Sir S. Canning, and of the Foreign Office. His last appointments were ? in Jan. 1844, pro tem., to the Belvidera 38, in the Mediterranean ? and, in the following April, to the Second-Captaincy of the Caledonia 120, Capt. Alex. Milne. He was in the latter ship when she was fitted out in four-and-twenty hours on the eve of a voyage to Tangier, and received for her alacrity the thanks of the Admiralty. He has been on half-pay since April, 1845.
Commander Robinson married, at Campobello, New Brunswick, 9 July, 1839, Cornelia, second daughter of Rear-Admiral Wm. Fitzwilliam Owen, and niece of Admiral Sir Edw. W. C. H. Owen, G.C.B., G.C.H. Agent-J. Hinxman.

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