William C. F. Robinson

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Sir William Robinson
William C. F. Robinson.jpeg
11th Governor of South Australia
In office
19 February 1883 – 5 March 1889
Monarch Victoria
Premier John Cox Bray (1883-84)
John Colton (1884-85)
Sir John Downer (1885-87)
Thomas Playford II (1887-89)
Preceded by Sir William Jervois
Succeeded by The Rt Hon. Earl of Kintore
9th Governor of Western Australia
In office
11 January 1875 – 11 November 1877
Preceded by Frederick Weld
Succeeded by Harry Ord
In office
10 April 1880 – 1 June 1883
Preceded by Harry Ord
Succeeded by Frederick Broome
In office
20 October 1890 – 22 December 1895
Premier Sir John Forrest
Preceded by Frederick Broome
Succeeded by Gerard Smith
1st Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island
In office
6 October 1870 – 4 July 1874
Monarch Victoria
Governor General The Lord Lisgar
The Earl of Dufferin
Premier James Colledge Pope
Robert Haythorne
Lemuel Owen
Preceded by Robert Hodgson
Succeeded by Robert Hodgson
Personal details
Born (1834-01-14)14 January 1834
County Westmeath, Ireland
Died 2 May 1897(1897-05-02) (aged 63)
South Kensington, London
Nationality British
Olivia Edith Dean (m. 1862)
Children three sons and two daughters
Residence South Kensington, London
Occupation musical composer, colonial administrator
Profession Politician

Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson GCMG FRGS (14 January 1834 – 2 May 1897) was a British colonial administrator and a musical composer, being the author of several well-known songs. He was variously Governor of the Falkland Islands, Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island, Governor of Western Australia, Governor of South Australia and Governor of the Straits Settlements.


Robinson was the fourth son of Admiral Hercules Robinson. In 1858 he entered the service of the Colonial Office as private secretary to his elder brother, Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead, who was then Lieutenant Governor of St. Kitts.[1]

He married in 1862, and in 1866 was appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands. On 10 June 1873 he was appointed the first Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island,[1] and created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG).

After leaving Prince Edward Island he was made Governor of Western Australia and served three terms – 1875 to 1877, 1880 to 1883 and 1890 to 1895 – which included the transition of the colony to self-governance in 1890. He was made a KCMG in 1877 and a GCMG in 1887.[1]

Between the three terms of office in Western Australia, he took the offices of Governor of the Straits Settlements (1877–1879) and Governor of South Australia (1883–1889), during which time he acted as President of the Commission set up to organise the Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition of 1887, and was largely responsible for instituting the Bachelor of Music course at the University of Adelaide.[2]

Robinson retired from active service in 1895 aged 61, and died two years later in South Kensington, London, on 2 May 1897.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Carlyle 1901.
  2. ^ "'Varsity Chairs". The News. XVII, (2, 553). South Australia. 23 September 1931. p. 6. Retrieved 29 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCarlyle, Edward Irving (1901). "Robinson, William Cleaver Francis". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Capt. James George Mackenzie
Governor of the Falkland Islands
Succeeded by
Colonel George Abbas Kooli D'Arcy
Preceded by
Sir Robert Hodgson
Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Hodgson
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Weld
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Major-General Sir Harry Ord
Preceded by
Sir William Jervois
Governor of the Straits Settlements
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld
Preceded by
Major-General Sir Harry Ord
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Broome
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Sir William F.D. Jervois, GCMG, CB
Governor of South Australia
Succeeded by
Right Honourable the Earl of Kintore, PC, GCMG
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Broome
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Gerard Smith