Michael Massey Robinson was born in 1744 in England. He worked as a lawyer, but was convicted of blackmail, as he had allegedly threatened to publish a poem he had written about a London alderman who had been accused in the past of a murder. Robinson was sentenced to transportation to New South Wales; however, as he had the manners, bearing, and education of a gentleman, he was able to land himself a clerical job with the colonial administration.
Robinson wrote a number of poems, which were mainly published in the Sydney Gazette. Although he advertised his intention to publish his works in a book, this project apparently never came to fruition. His verses included a number of odes dedicated to the King and Queen of Great Britain. He was considered the Poet Laureate of New South Wales.
Michael Massey Robinson died on 22 December 1826.
His poetry was very much the product of its time, both in style and content, and his contemporary popularity was not maintained through to modern times, unlike some other early poets. However, his works are of some historical interest.
Selected poems and songs by Michael Massey Robinson:
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth Day [9 June 1810]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth Day, 1811 [19 January 1811]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1812 [6 June 1812]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1814 [22 January 1814]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1815 [21 January 1815]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth Day, 1816 [8 June 1816]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1818 [24 January 1818]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1818 [6 June 1818]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1819 [23 January 1819]
Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, January 26, 1820 [5 February 1820]
Ode For His Majesty’s Birth-Day [18 August 1821]
[Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, 1825], [3 February 1825]
The untitled song was included within the article “Anniversary meeting”; however, it was elsewhere published under the title of “Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, 1825”.
References and further information:
Donovan Clarke, Robinson, Michael Massey (1744–1826), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University
George Mackaness (editor), Odes of Michael Massey Robinson, Sydney: D. S. Ford, 1946 [reprinted 1976]
Michael Massey Robinson, AustLit
Michael Massey Robinson, Wikipedia
“An ode for the Queen’s birthday”, Unhurried Traveller, 19 January 2011
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