Charles Robin

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Charles Robin (October 30, 1743 – June 10, 1824) was an entrepreneur from the Isle of Jersey.

He was born in Saint Brélade, Jersey in 1743. By 1763, he was the captain of a ship working in the Newfoundland cod trade. In 1765, with his two brothers and two others, they formed a firm which developed fishing grounds off Cape Breton Island and the Gaspé region. The company sold dried cod to Portugal and Spain, and salmon, furs, and timber to England and Quebec. He brought exiled Acadians from France to work on Cape Breton Island and in the Chaleur Bay region. The operation suffered much damage at the hands of American forces during the American revolution. Robin became partner in a new firm under his own name in 1783. The company advanced merchandise to fisherman against future catches; this resulted in a labour force captive to credit and reduced costs for the company. His connections with the government in Quebec gave him access to the best beach locations near the fishing grounds used to cure the fish.

Robin's fishing and trading operations extended around the Gulf of St. Lawrence region and Arichat. Fishermen on Isle Madame sold all of their fish to Robin, allowing him to control the price. Other merchants at Isle Madame included Valpy dit Janvrin, LeVesconte, de Gruchy, Hubert, Jean, and Moore. Many of these firms continued to exploit Isle Madame's fisheries until well into the twentieth century.

Robin groomed his nephews Philip and James to take over the operation of the company, which remained an important part of the region's economy for the century that followed.

Robin himself was a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, a justice of the peace, and served on the land board for the legal District of Gaspé. In 1802, Robin retired to Jersey. He died in Saint Aubin, Jersey in 1824.

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