Robinson Artwork

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This profile contains images and descriptions of paintings and drawings by Thomas James Robinson and his son Thomas Henry Alfred Robinson. These are detailed below in chronological order. They were handed down through various members of the family and are currently in the possession of Martin Honor.


HMS Raleigh

This picture is signed and dated T.Robinson 1885 and therefore can fairly safely be attributed to the elder Thomas Robinson, as his son would have only been 5 or 6 years old. It is executed in pencil and measures approximately 15" x 9½". Thomas was a draughtsman at the Ordnance Survey which would account for the precision of the detail.

After research it is probable the subject is HMS Raleigh, an unarmoured steam frigate launched in 1873 at Chatham Dockyard and completed in 1874. [1] It is very unlikely that this picture was produced "from life", but is possibly a copy of an illustration from a book or periodical.


HMY Alberta

The subject of this little (approx 7½" x 5½") watercolour is the Royal Yacht Alberta, which was a small vessel used for short voyages, mainly to convey members of the Royal Family to and from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. She carried Queen Victoria's body from the island to the mainland on 1st February 1901. The deck house is preserved ashore at Osborne House. [2]

The painting is signed and dated T.Robinson 1895, so this may have been painted by either Thomas James Robinson or his son. The signatures on other pieces are very similar and difficult to tell apart. At this time the junior Thomas would have been 16 years old so this may be his work.


Back of the Walls

This watercolour is by the younger Thomas Robinson. A note with the following was attached to the back

This picture entitled "Back of the Walls" was painted in 1899 by Thomas Robinson, student at the Southampton School of Art. It was entered in the South Kensington Exhibition of 1900, where it was awarded first prize."
An extract from the Southampton Times dated 24th March 1900 states:-
"The First Prize was given to Mr T Robinson for a view of partially demolished houses in the vicinity of Simnel Street, having the spire of St Michael's rising in the background."

This is probably the work referred to in the Hampshire Advertiser of 24 March 1900 which records that Thomas was awarded a Prize of £2 2s for "Painting from Nature, picturesque parts of Southampton or neighbourhood", and was referred to as sent to South Kensington for examination and was accepted towards the art class teachers’ certificate. [3]

Simnel Street still exists in Southampton, now it mainly contains modern buildings. St Micheal's Church survived the bombing of the city during WW2 and still welcomes worshippers to services. [4]


Unknown Young Lady
Unknown Young Man

Here are two pictures that were found amongst the Robinson documents as handed down to Martin Honor. Neither is signed or dated, so at this time (March 2021) the artist is not known, though it is probably one of the older Robinson brothers. Unlike the other pictures in this profile these are both painted in oils.

Both pictures are approximately 10" x 8" and are painted on paper attached to card. From examining the lower corners of each it looks as if the artwork is an over-painting of a photograph. Were these produced as a pair for the marriage of one of the brothers?

Notes: 1. I hope to put better images on this profile when I can again upload from my DSLR camera.
2. When lockdown is eased further it is hoped that the original article in the Southampton Times can be located at the City Library to confirm the information about "Back of the Walls".Honor-65 18:43, 13 May 2021 (UTC)


  1. David K. Brown, Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Design and Development 1860-1905 2010, Seaforth Publishing. page 21
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "HMY Alberta," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed March 26, 2021)
  3. SOUTHAMPTON SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND ART 24 March 1900. Citing: "Southampton Advertiser" Page:7. requires subscription (accessed 13 May 2021)
  4. Parish of St Michael the Archangel, Southampton (Accessed 27 March 2021)

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