Robinson was born in York, the son of Canon H. G. Robinson of York Minster. He was educated at Harrow School and New College, Oxford, and rowed in the Oxford eight in the University Boat Race of 1879.
Robinson was appointed an Inspector of Factories in 1882 and promoted to Deputy Chief Inspector in 1908 and Chief Inspector in 1917. He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1918 and knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours shortly before his retirement.
- Obituary, The Times, 30 August 1933
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