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date: 20 October 2019

Robinson, Sir William Cleaver Francislocked

  • Elizabeth Wood

Extract

(b Rosmead, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, Jan 14, 1834; d London, May 2, 1897). British civil administrator, music patron and composer. He had a distinguished career in the Colonial Office during which his posts included Governor of Prince Edward Island (1866), Governor of Western Australia (1874–7, 1880–83, 1890–95) and Governor of South Australia (1883–9). In his 20 years of vice-regal representation he acquired a popular reputation among musical and literary circles. He was patron of numerous societies including the Perth Musical Union (1882), Adelaide Quartet Club until 1886, and the Melbourne Metropolitan Liedertafel in 1883, besides lending his active support to numerous composers including Heuzenroeder, Julius Herz and Marshall-Hall, whose appointment to the Ormond Chair of Music at Melbourne University (1870) was largely due to Robinson’s influence with Sir Charles Hallé and the London selection committee.

Unlike that of his predecessors, Robinson’s influence on public concert-giving and musical taste in Australia stemmed from a personal commitment to music rather than social prestige. Having written partsongs and pieces for military band in London under the pseudonym ‘Owen Hope’, he composed several successful songs in Australia including ...

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