One of the most curious events in the history of the English College in Lisbon was the appointment of Father John Robinson as Consul of the English Nation in Portugal by John IV on 13th July, 1650.1 Father Robinson appears to have been a comparatively undistinguished member of the college. The annals2 merely state that he was a Lancastrian who went to the college in 1635; was educated in the humanities and philosophy and became a priest in 1638. Between 1643 and 1650, he did missionary work in England and Holland. He was English consul in Lisbon for five years and then returned again to England. There is nothing in that very short resume of his career to explain why John IV thought him a suitable man to be consul.
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