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William Robinson

Sir William Robinson

Was born on the 9th February 1836 in Suffolk, England.

Died on the 1st December 1912.

The last British Governor and the First  Governor of the merged colony Trinidad and Tobago.

The eldest son of the Rev. Isaac Banks Robinson and Jane Susan (née Syer). He entered the Colonial Office at age of 18 as a clerk.

After several years he then served as private secretary to Herman Merivale, Frederic Rogers, and Edward Cardwell. He became a Member of the Slave Trade Commission in 1869 and was appointed Governor of Bahama Isles from 1874 to 1880.

He was then appointed governor of the Windward Islands, a position he held until 1884. After he became Governor of Barbados.

In early 1887 he was approached by members of the local African community to declare August 1st Emancipation Day.

After refusing prominent barristers Muzumbo Lazare and Edgar Maresse0Smith continued to press for the holiday, gathering more influential support, and called a meeting on the issue at the Chacon Street School in Port of Spain on the 18th June 1888.

They drew up a formal petition which attracted thousands of signatures. The main argument presented was the historical significance of the abolition of slavery. He finally agreed and declared the 1st August 1888 the Emancipation Day holiday, which was abolished and replaced with Discovery Day.

Tobago was merged with Trinidad in 1889, and he became the first Governor of the United Colony Trinidad and Tobago.

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