Rev Isaac Robley of Salford, Manchester.

The Rev. Isaac Robley of Salford, Manchester is on the family tree of John Robley of Lesmurdie, W. Australia. He was born at Bankend Farm, nr. Ennerdale Lake, in the Parish of Lamplugh in 1795, and lived in St. Bees as a small child. He was the son of John's Gt. Gt. Grandparents, William of Egremont and Sarah Kirkbride. It is interesting to note that, like Isaac, John and his brother Thomas went to St. Bees School.

William Robley's youngest son, Isaac, was educated at St. Bees School and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with a B.A. in 1822 and an M.A. in 1825. He became Curate of St. Philip's Church in Salford, Lancashire and Chaplain of the Infantry Barracks in 1818 at the age of 23 years. He did not marry and was elected vicar of that parish in 1833.

In a letter to his brother John, in Manchester, on the 7th February of that year he writes, "I consider myself a most fortunate man. St. Philip's is the best in Manchester next to the Fellowships, to one of which I may perhaps one day aspire." He remained Vicar until his death in 1849.

The "Fellowships" to which he referred related to the clergy closely associated with Manchester Cathedral, but his future problems with Canon Parkinson would scarcely be regarded by the Fellowship as fitting him for one of those positions.

Isaac was quite a remarkable man. He was artistic, aggressive, a reformer and a poet. Details are sparse, but include a copy of a circular letter explaining his outrage, which he sent out following a quite public confrontation with Canon Parkinson of Manchester Cathedral. The Canon had pulicly accused him of being a "reformer!"

On approaching a party of gentlemen with whom I was in conversation, on the morning of the 27th ult., Canon Parkinson shook each of them by the hand with an unusual degree of apparent cordiality, in order, no doubt, that his premediatated insult might by contrast have a greater effect on me, and then withdrawing his hand and bowing contemptuously, he said, "how do you do Mr. Church Reformer? I do not shake hands with those who would reform the Collegiate Church." He also threw out sundry hints of the most insulting nature, which were evidently aimed at me, and were so understood by the gentlemen present. In short, his manner (and much you know depends upon the manner in which a thing is said or done) was more offensive than laguage can express. But not wishing to bandy words with him upon the spot, I retired to the Clergy Room, and there addressed him the following letter.

Clergy House

February 27, 1847


Your behaviour this morning appeared to me so studiously offensive, that, unless I receive from you some explanation, not to say apology, we must in future be as if we had never known each other; and moreover, as the insult was public, I shall of course adopt the best means of giving publicity to all the circumstances of the case.

Your obedient servant

I. Robley.

There are lines written by him in praise of the new stained-glass window above the Altar in St. Philip's, heavily cross-referenced to the Bible.

There is also his printed sermon, delivered on the death of King George IV, which gives testimony to his powerful delivery and his undoubted loyalty to the Crown.

He died at Salford on 17th September 1849, and is buried in a vault beneath St. Philip's.

John Robley of Lesmurdie, W. Australia, 2001.