Thomas Robinson (Gloucester MP)

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Robinson in 1880 T-robinson-1880.jpg
Robinson in 1880

Sir Thomas Robinson (January 1827 – 26 Oct 1897) [1] was an English corn merchant and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1880 and 1895.

Liberal Party (UK) political party of the United Kingdom, 1859–1988

The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.

House of Commons of the United Kingdom lower house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.

Contents

Robinson was born at Weston. He became a corn merchant of Gloucester and was an Alderman [2] and mayor of the city four times. He was also a J.P. [3]

Gloucester City and Non-metropolitan district in England

Gloucester is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

In 1873 Robinson stood in a by-election Gloucester after out manoeuvering former Liberal member John Joseph Powell for the candidature, but was defeated. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Gloucester in 1880 after the Liberals had established a party caucus chosen by ward meetings, resulting in improved organisation. However bribery and corruption were on a major scale in Gloucester and Robinson was unseated in the same year. His willingness to stand down and the unwillingness of the Conservatives to take matters further led to suspicions of collusion between the parties and a Royal Commission was set up to examine electoral practices. The Royal Commission concluded that Gloucester was among the most corrupt of the seven towns investigated and that bribery was endemic in all elections in the city. The Commission concluded that half of the electorate had taken bribes in 1880, and blamed local politicians for most of the corruption. Notwithstanding this, and the virtual halving of the electorate eligible to vote, Robinson was reelected for Gloucester in 1885 when representation had been reduced to one member under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. [4]

Gloucester (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Gloucester is a constituency centred on the cathedral city and county town of the same name, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Richard Graham of the Conservative Party.

John Joseph Powell, was a British barrister, and Member of Parliament for Gloucester, 1862–1865.

Redistribution of Seats Act 1885

The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was a piece of electoral reform legislation that redistributed the seats in the House of Commons, introducing the concept of equally populated constituencies, a concept in the broader global context termed equal apportionment, in an attempt to equalise representation across the UK. It was associated with, but not part of, the Representation of the People Act 1884.

He was knighted in Queen Victoria's 1894 Birthday Honours.

Queen Victoria British monarch who reigned 1837–1901

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India.

The 1884 Birthday Honours were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The Queen, and were published in the London Gazette on 25 May 1894. and in The Times on 26 May 1894.

Personal life

His first cousin Elisha Smith Robinson was also a Liberal politician and Mayor of Bristol.

Elisha Smith Robinson English cricketer

Elisha Smith Robinson (1817–1885) was an English businessman and politician.

Robinson lived at Longford Park, near Gloucester. He died at the age of 70. Robinson married Harriet Godwin in 1852. [3]

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William Killigrew Wait

William Killigrew Wait was a Bristol merchant and the Conservative Party member of Parliament for Gloucester elected in the 1873 Gloucester by-election. His opponent was Thomas Robinson of the Liberal Party who was subsequently elected in 1880. The 1873 by-election was bedeviled by accusations of corruption but an enquiry by the Electoral Commission upheld Wait's victory.

References

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles James Monk
William Killigrew Wait
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
1880–1881
With: Charles James Monk
Succeeded by
Charles James Monk
Writ suspended
Preceded by
Charles James Monk
Writ suspended
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
18851895
Succeeded by
Charles James Monk