Thomas Romney Robinson, Astronomer and Physicist, Is Born in Dublin

  • April 23, 1792

John Thomas Romney Robinson FRAS FRS FRSE (23 April 1792 – 28 February 1882), usually referred to as Thomas Romney Robinson, was a 19th-century Irish astronomer and physicist. He was the longtime director of the Armagh Astronomical Observatory, one of the chief astronomical observatories in the UK of its time.

He is remembered as inventor of the 4-cup anemometer.

Robinson was born at St Anne’s in Dublin, the son of the English portrait painter Thomas Robinson (d. 1810) and his wife, Ruth Buck (d. 1826). He was educated at Belfast Academy then studied Divinity at Trinity College Dublin, where he was elected a Scholar in 1808, graduating BA in 1810 and obtaining a fellowship in 1814, at the age of 22. He was for some years a deputy professor of natural philosophy (physics) at Trinity.

Having been also ordained as an Anglican priest while at Trinity, he obtained the church livings of the Anglican Church at Enniskillen and at Carrickmacross in 1824.

In 1823, now aged 30, he additionally gained the appointment of astronomer at the Armagh observatory. From then on he always resided at the Armagh observatory, engaged in researches connected with astronomy and physics, until his death in 1882.