Frederick John Robinson (1st November 1782 to 28th January 1859)


You don’t expect to find the Prime Minister of Britain to be buried in a small town in the Lincolnshire countryside do you? I’d heard Frederick Robinson was though and drove some miles down from Scarborough to have a look. I found the small town of Nocton easy to miss and I sped down an “A” road engrossed in an audio book and missed the turnoff. After a long drive I was disappointed to find the church was locked. No cars outside either. Surely on a Sunday there’d be a few of the God-Squad about but there wasn’t. After a stroll round the small cemetery I saw a man in a full length coat approaching the church. I asked if he was going in.

   “Just for five minutes to turn things off,” he said.

   “There’s a dead prime minister here isn’t there?” I said and before I could ask if I could look inside he said, “He’s inside. You don’t think they’d buried him out in the rain do you?” Full-Length-Coat was going into clock tower and said I could have five minutes. He was very trusting and pointed toward the chancel down the aisle. While he was up high up polishing the bell I could easily have stolen some desirable silver candlesticks. The only thing I took were photographs and here they are.


Frederick was Prime Minister for just six months from 31st August 1827. He was born into a wealth family in London, the second of three sons born to a Baron and a Lady. A top education at Harrow and St. John's College in Cambridge followed (he sounds like a swot as he was awarded a medal for the best Latin ode in 1801.) Swots get things done and Frederick went into public life than lie in the cream of the gentry. Aged 22 he was private secretary to the Earl of Hardwicke and aged 24 he entered Parliament and was elected as MP for Ripon. Aged 30 he was Privy Counsellor and then was appointed as Vice-President of the Board of Trade by Lord Liverpool (who was the prime minister at the time.) It wasn’t all work though; he married Lady Sarah Hobart and they had two sons and a daughter.


Aged 33 he introduced the Corn Laws to Parliament. This slammed high tariffs on imported grain to British growers, meaning mobs attacked his house (two people were killed) and soldiers were called to control the riot. Telling Parliament of the clash Frederick started crying and was nicknamed “the blubberer” for the rest of his public life. It didn’t stop him attaining two new jobs as President of the Board of Trade and Treasurer of the Navy. By 41 he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in charge of millions of pounds however when his daughter died he asked to be moved into the House of Lords.


How did he become the top dog? The existing prime minister died and he was asked by George IV to take the role. He did it for a few months, resigning in January 1828 after a troubled time. His hands were tied under the control of the King and the government Whigs. By 52 he was Earl of Ripon and probably did more good than he had as the prime minister, introducing the Bill for the Abolition of Slavery to the House of Lords and pushing it through the system.


He died in January 1859 aged 76 and lies here with his wife. He’s buried here in Lincolnshire (and not in Westminster Abbey) as he’d lived nearby in Nocton Hall which he had built when he was 58 years old (now derelict and crumbling.) Full-Length-Coat descended from the clock tower and turned off all the lights, not even looking to see if I’d purloined anything. It’s not every day you see a Prime Minister’s grave is it?





Thought I’d tickle his chin…no response…



He’d be born here at Newby Hall…


Home nearby was Nocton Hall…


…now derelect

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