Solicitor, Member of Parliament for Dudley from 1886-1906
Brooke Robinson was born at Beaconsfield House, Dudley on 11th September 1836.
His grandfather was a solicitor in town, as was his father William Robinson, who was also Dudley's coroner.
The young Brooke was educated at Rugby and was destined to follow in his family tradition. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1858, eventually taking over the family business.
In 1860 he was elected, unopposed, as County Coroner for the Dudley district, a post he held until 1874. He was also a member of the Board of Health for Dudley and was, for some time, an officer in the Worcestershire Yeomanry, having charge of the Dudley troop.
Brooke married Eugenia Frederica Louisa Collis on 10th March 1870 in Kinver Church. The marriage lasted over twenty years. She died on 4th May 1891. In memory of his wife, he installed a stained glass window in Dudley Parish Church.
In 1902, Brooke married Mabel Askew.
Brooke Robinson was a conservative. He represented Dudley in the House of Commons for 19 years.
He was first elected in July 1886 beating Henry Brinsley Sheridan.
He was not the most conspicuous Member of Parliament, in his obituary it was written:
"Although Mr Robinson rarely spoke in the House during the 20 years he sat there, no man had a keener eye to the requirements of his constituency."
Brooke Robinson died on 20th October 1911. He was buried six days later at St Thomas's Church, Dudley.
In his will, he left a sum of money as well as his collection of art, furniture, ceramics and other items for the benefit of the town of Dudley. In 1925, the Corporation of Dudley and the Brooke Robinson Trustees entered into a Deed of Covenant to build the Brooke Robinson Memorial Hall in accordance with an act of Parliament.
The money was used to build the Town Hall, a Coroner's Court and a Museum. The foundation stone was laid by Viscount Cobham. The Town Hall was officially opened in 1928 and the Brooke Robinson Museum was officially opened 18 May 1931.
In 1979, the Trustees agreed to move the collection over the road to Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.
The Brooke Robinson Collection is made up of a varied collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century British and European paintings, with furniture and ceramics, together with oriental ceramics, Japanese netsuke and inro, Bilston enamels, commemorative medals, Greek, Roman and Egyptian pottery and personal memorabilia relating to Brooke Robinson and his two wives.
Among the oil paintings are works by Sir Thomas Phillips, Jan Van Os and John Ritchie. The water colours include pictures of the old town hall in Dudley and Stourton Castle, and among the engravings are portraits of such luminaries as Sir Robert Peel, William Withering and the Duke of Cambridge.
The furniture collection is noted for its fine examples of papier-mach . Conservation work has been carried out on some of the oil paintings and most recently on four prie-dieu chairs.