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Morris Robinson 1759-1815

Morris Robinson 1759 - 1815
Lt. Col. Morris Robinson
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Morris Robinson, born in 1759, was the second surviving son of Colonel Beverley Robinson of the Loyal Americans. On the outbreak of the war, he left his father's estate on the banks on the Hudson River to make his way to New York to join the British - possibly accompanying his elder brother Beverley, since he himself was only seventeen.

According to his younger brother's autobiography Morris was present at an attack made in March, 1779, under Governor Tryon, on the American post at Horse's Neck, where there were extensive salt works, valuable to the Americans. In this action were Colonel Beverley Robinson, three of his sons, and several of his close relations. In July of 1779, when Morris was in command of the Loyal Americans, he was taken prisoner by the Americans at Stoney Point, on the Hudson River.

The prisoners were taken to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, and put on parole; and apparently the next eighteen months were spent pleasantly enough in shooting and fishing. Then Morris was exchanged, "in consequence", his younger brother stated, "of the Embers of Friendship that still remained unextinguished in the breast of my father and General Washington." The spark must have been fairly dim, however, for "he [Washington] would not answer my Father's letters in our favour at the time we were taken." Morris, like the other members of his family, suffered from the special bitterness felt towards his father by the rebels; for when he was taken prisoner and recognised, he "was nearly butchered in cold blood."

After the war, Morris Robinson retained his commission, and rose in the army until he reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant-Barrack-Master-General of the Garrison at Gibraltar.

Lt Col Morris Robinson
Memorial Plaque in Gibralter
The Memorial Plaque in King's Chapel, Gibraltar

On the wall of the King's Chapel in the Convent at Gibraltar, near the south-east corner, is a white marble slab in memory of Colonel Morris Robinson. His tomb is in the Sand-pit Graveyard, south of the Alemada Gardens, now no longer used as a cemetery. The tomb is of limestone, surrounded by iron railings.

On each of the long sides is a white marble slab let in, on which is cut the inscription: "Underneath this stone is interred the remains of Lieutenant-Colonel Morris Robinson, Assistant Barrack Master General. He departed this life on the 28th August, 1815, in the fifty sixth year of his age. On each of the short sides of the tomb is carved a representation of a cypress tree.

In 1806 the claims of Morris Robinson as a Loyalist in the American Revolution were put at £5,500, "until further investigation." In 1811 a settlement of £3,000, apparently final, was made to him. Morris married Margaret, daughter of a Dr. Waring, and had fifteen children, eight of whom survived him. His family, as might well be expected, appears to have been intensely military. His sons entered the British Army, and his daughters married into it. He left some descendants in New Brunswick.

Source: Jarvis (1967) p.85-86.