Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1900 & 09

Benjamin Robinson (1830 - 1903)

Benjamin Robinson was a Chemist by profession, Mayor of Salford in 1889/91 and the first Chairman of Salford Royal Technical Institute.


Benjamin was born on 27th August 1830 in Kellet, Lancaster, the son of William Robinson, Maltster. He was educated at Bolton-le-Sands Grammar School and at the age of 16 he was apprenticed to Edmund Jackson of Lancaster, Chemist and Druggist. In 1851, at the age of 21, he went to study in London and passed his minor and major examinations of the Pharmaceutical Society. He became Head Assistant at one of the principle London drug houses, before moving to Salford and setting up a Pharmacy at the corner of Cross Lane and Broad Street, Pendleton.


Benjamin married Margaret Gardner of Halton near Lancaster and had three sons. Frederick and Herbert became doctors and William became Manager of his father's other venture: Benjamin Robinson and Co. Wine and Spirit Shippers and British Wine Brewers. The family home was Zurich Villa, Fitzwarren Street, Pendleton,


In 1861, Benjamin ventured into politics by being elected to the Salford Board of Guardians and becoming Chairman of the Finance Committee. However, he resigned after four years due to pressure of business. In 1881 he was elected to the Pendleton Board of Guardians, becoming Vice Chairman in 1883 and Chairman in 1889. He also became Chairman of the Hope Hospital Committee in 1889. It wasn't until 1885 that Benjamin was elected Liberal Councillor for Seedley Ward, and appointed Mayor of Salford for 1889/90. After his year as Mayor, he shocked his colleagues by becoming a Conservative and was made a magistrate. He continued his Council work by becoming an Alderman.


Benjamin was the first Chairman of Salford Royal Technical Institute and hosted the Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George V and Queen Mary) at the official opening on the 25th March 1896. He held the position of Chairman until his death in 1903.


Benjamin Robinson was a warden at Christ Church, Acton Square for 35 years. His interests were microscope investigation, horticulture and globetrotting. On 27th April 1903 he was visiting Lancaster when he died suddenly at the age of 72. His Victorian funeral carriage was driven by four horses in one of the longest corteges seen in Salford for many years.