Mary Robinson was born in Bristol on 27th November 1758. Her father Nicholas Darby was an American-born merchant, while her mother, Hester Darby, claimed aristocratic descent from the Seys of Boverton Casle in South Wales, who in turn boasted family links with the seventeenth-century philosopher John Locke. Robinson was one of three surviving children born to the Darbys; her brothers John and George followed their father into trade, both becoming successful merchants at Leghorn.
In her posthumously published Memoirs (1801) Robinson suggests that her birth during a tremendous thunderstorm foreshadowed the “tempest” of her life in “this world of duplicity and sorrow”. Robinson's unconventional, peripatetic childhood and foreshortened youth certainly furnished her with material for
Citation: Brock, Claire. "Mary Robinson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3820, accessed 03 December 2023.]