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Robinson, Sir William

Robinson, Sir William (c.1643–1712). English architect and engineer. After becoming Surveyor-General of the Fortifications and Buildings in Ireland in 1671, his main works were the redesigning of Dublin Castle from 1684 (completed by Thomas Burgh and William Molyneux (1656–96), the building of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Co. Dublin (1679–87), and several forts, including Charlemont, Co. Armagh (1673), and Charles, Kinsale, Co. Cork (1677–81). He seems to have played a significant part in the development of Classicism in Ireland, for the Baroque features at the Royal Hospital were of fine quality. After the Williamite wars (1688–91) he designed St Mary's Church (1701–5) and Marsh's Library (1703–4), both in Dublin. He acquired so many official positions in Ireland and amassed such a fortune that the suspicion of corruption on an enormous scale is difficult to avoid, the more so when the Privy Council was obliged to pass an enactment to relieve his creditors in 1724, long after his death.

Bibliography

Country Life, clxxvii (9 & 16 May, 1985), 1260–3, 1320–4;
M. Craig (1982);
IGSB, xvii/1–2 (1974), 3–9;
Irish Sword (1979), 289–98;
Loeber (1981)

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