Robinson, Anthony

Anthony Robinson (1762-1827) was a classmate of John Evans (1767-1827), General Baptist minister at Worship Street, London (both men studied under Robert Hall) at Bristol Baptist Academy in the mid-1780s (Robinson joined the Baptist congregation at Broadmead when he arrived as a student). Upon graduation, Robinson served as minister to the Particular Baptist congregation at Fairford, Gloucestershire, 1786-88, and preached for a year to the General Baptist congregation in Worship Street, London, in 1790, before returning home to his home in Kirkland. In 1792, while preaching ocassionally to a small dissenting congregation there, Robinson published A Short History of the Persecution of Christianity, by Jews, Heathens, and Christians; to which are added, An Account of the Present State of Religion in the United States of America, and some Observations on Civil Establishments of Religion.Robinson moved to London c. 1795 and became a prosperous sugar refiner; he also continued to write and to edit, working with Joseph Johnson at the Analytical Review for a time and later with Robert Aspland’s Unitarian periodical, the Monthly Repository. By the time Robinson left Bristol Academy he had most likely joined with Evans and another fellow student, Stephen Freeman, and become a Unitarian. Like Mary Hays, Benjamin Flower, Thomas Mullett, and George Dyer, Robinson’s movement into Unitarianism was influenced by the Cambridge Particular Baptist minister Robert Robinson. Anthony Robinson visited Cambridge in the 1780s and met George Dyer at that time. By the time he arrived in London in the mid-1790s, he was already an accomplished spokesperson for the movement and a prolific speaker and debater, as evidenced by many comments on Robinson’s presence at the Royston Book Club and other London debating societies at that time. Anthony Robinson would become friends with Godwin, Hays, Mullett, and the family of his son-in-law from Bristol, Joseph Jeffries Evans, as well as a young Crabb Robinson through his relation, another Unitarian, John Towill Rutt.