Robins, John

, an English mathematician, was born in Staffordshire about the close of the 15th century, as he was entered a student at Oxford in 1516, and was in 1620 elected a fellow of All Souls college, where he took his degrees in arts, and was ordained. But the bent of his genius lay to the sciences, and he soon made such a progress, says Wood, in “the pleasant studies of mathematics and astrology, that he became the ablest person in his time for those studies, not excepted his friend Record, whose learning was more general. At length, | taking the degree of B. D. in 1531, he was the year following made by king Henry the VIIIth (to whom he was chaplain) one of the canons of his college in Oxon, and in December 1543, canon of Windsor, and in fine chaplain to queen Mary, who had him in great veneration for his learning. Among several things that he hath written relating to astrology (or astronomy) I find these following: `De culminatione Fixarum Stellarum,‘ &c.; `De ortu et occasu Stellarum Fixarum,’ &c.; ‘Annotationes Astrologicæ,’ &c. lib. 3;‘ `Annotationes Edwardo VI.;’ `Tractatus de prognosticatione per Eclipsin.‘ All which books, that are in ms. were some time in the choice library of Mr. Thomas Allen of Glocester Hall. After his death, coming into the hands of Sir Kenelm Digby, they were by him given to the Bodleian library, where they yet remain. It is also said, that he the said Robyns hath written a book entitled `De Portentosis Cometis;’ but such a thing I have not yet seen, nor do I know any thing else of the author, only that paying his last debt to nature the 25th of August 1558, he was buried in the chapel of St. George, at Windsore.” This treatise “De Portentosis Cometis,” which Wood had not seen, is in the royal library (12 B. xv.); and in the British museum (Ayscough’s Cat.) are other works by Robins; and one “De sterilitatem generantibus,” in the Ashmolean museum. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit.