ROBINSON, JOHN (1575-1625), one of the founders of Independency in England (see vol. xii. p. 725), was born most probably near Scrooby in Nottinghamshire in 1575. He was entered of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1592, and graduated in ordinary course, becoming a fellow in 1599. Having taken orders he officiated for some time in the neighbourhood of Norwich, but his Puritan leanings soon caused his suspension by the bishop. After having ministered for some time to a congregation of sympathizers in Norwich he resigned his fellowship in 1604, and, pro-ceeding to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, he there joined a cotnpany who had bound themselves by covenant before God " to walk in all His ways made known or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavours, whatever it should cost them." In 1606 he became minister at Scrooby, but the increasing hostility of the authorities towards nonconformity soon forced him and his people to think of flight, and, not without difficulty, they succeeded in making their escape in detachments to Hol-land. Robinson settled in Amsterdam in 1608, but in the following year removed to Leyden, and ministered there to members of his former congregation. In 1620 a consider-able minority of these sailed for England in the "Speed-well," and ultimately crossed the Atlantic in the " May-flower "; it was Robinson's intention to follow as soon as practicable along with the rest of his flock, but he died before the plan could be carried out, on 1st March 1625.
Besides preaching to his congregation, and, during his later years, corresponding with those of his people who had settled in New England, Robinson devoted himself to theological study, and be-came a member of the university of Leyden. Amongst his other publications may be mentioned Justification of Separation from the Church (1610), .Apologia Brownistarum (1619), A Defence of the Doctrine irropounded by the Synod of Dort (1624), aud a volume of Essays, or Observations Divine and Moral, printed in 1628. His Works, with a memoir by R. Ashton, were reprinted in 3 vols. in 1851.