S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Robinson, Dr John Andrew (veterinary Science)

Born: 4 March 1864, Peterborough, England.
Died: 3 September 1915, Middelburg, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

John A. Robinson qualified as a veterinarian (MRCVS) at the New Veterinary College, Edinburgh, in May 1885 and came to the Cape of Good Hope in April 1897 to take part in the Rinderpest campaign. He was initially stationed in Kimberley under Robert Koch*, but then worked around Douglas and later that year at Mossel Bay, where he remained for several years. In 1899 he reported on his battle with redwater in the Knysna district, where the disease had become common. No effective treatment was available, but inocculation worked well, even though the resulting mortality was 2-3%. He published a paper on "Preventive inoculation for Redwater" in the Agricultural Journal of the Cape of Good Hope (Vol. 27(4), pp. 505-511) in 1905. This was soon followed by another contribution to the same journal, on swine fever (1905, Vol. 27(6), pp. 735-746). In 1908 Robinson was transferred to Kingwilliamstown and in 1911 to the Grootfontein Agricultural College at Middelburg, Eastern Cape, where he lectured in veterinary science until his death in 1915. In 1905 he became a foundation member of the Cape of Good Hope Veterinary Medical Association. He was married to Alice M. Brown and his son (Eric M. Robinson*) and grandson (J.E. Robinson) were both also veterinarians.

List of sources:
Agricultural Journal of the Cape of Good Hope, 1905, Vol. 27, articles by Robinson.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Colonial Veterinary Surgeon, 1897-1902.

Curson, H.H. The veterinary profession in South Africa... Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1931, Vol. 2(2), pp. 95-101; 1932, Vol. 3(2), pp. 133-137.

Diesel, A.M. The early veterinarians of the Cape. Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1953, Vol. 24(4), pp. 191-196.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Robinson, John Andrew / Robinson, J.A.

Posthumus, P.J. Past Veterinarians in South Africa (10th Edition), Vol. 2, [1992].

Union of South Africa. Public service list, 1914.

Compiled by: D.W. Verwoerd