14 July 2014

Ralph Bernard Robinson in Glossop, Derbyshire


'RALPH BERNARD ROBINSON.
DIED DECEMBER 2ND 1900,
AGED 72 YEARS.
ALSO MARGARET, HIS WIFE,
DIED DECEMBER 16TH 1905,
AGED 72 YEARS.
ALSO WALTER G. ROBINSON,
THEIR SON, DIED MAY 3RD 1896
IN HIS 4TH YEAR.'

The grave of R. A. Robinson is in the Roman Catholic section of Glossop Cemetery, and is another example of a writer mentioned by Thomas Middleton in Poets, Poems, and Rhymes of East Cheshire (1908).  Middleton regrets how little read the 'Mottram poet and historian' Robinson's short book Longdendale: Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Two Parishes of Mottram and Glossop (1863) was, and adds that he was born in Mottram in 1829, first winning fame as a poet.

Robinson's early book Woodbines (1851) contains, reckons Middleton, 'some pretty pieces', but he seems most interested in the long and ambitious 'Melandra', which speaks of Melandra Castle and Mouselow Castle, and is 'full of interest, containing as it does much of the local Arthurian romance'.

Middleton knew Robinson towards the end of his life, when he was 'a tall old man, with dreamy eyes, and hair white as snow. [...] Mr. Robinson was brim full of anecdote. [...] Then we chatted on the scheme for the excavation of Melandra Castle, which was becoming popular about that time, and in this fashion the evening passed along. I met him often after that; he came to see me several times at Hyde, and it was with regret that I heard of his death.'

Robinson moved from Mottram to Glossop, at first working as a schoolmaster and then as a librarian at Glossop Town Hall.

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