ROBLIN, JOHN PHILIP, farmer, politician, and public servant; b. in Sophiasburgh Township, U.C., 16 Aug. 1799, son of Prudence Platt and Philip Roblin, loyalist, who came to Adolphustown Township from New Jersey in 1784 and who later settled on Long Reach in Sophiasburgh at a place which became known as Roblin Mills; d. at Picton, Ont., 12 Nov. 1874.
John Philip Roblin was educated at the local school taught by Jonathan Greely. As a young man he cleared and farmed land in Ameliasburgh Township, but he moved to Hallowell Township in 1847 and in 1858 to the town of Picton. From an early age he took an active part in public life in Prince Edward County. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1834. As a captain of the 2nd Battalion of Prince Edward militia he commanded a troop of cavalry during the winter of 1837–38. From 1848 to 1856 he was lieutenant-colonel commanding the battalion. He was first warden of the district of Prince Edward, 1841–42.
Roblin represented Prince Edward in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada from 1830 to 1836. Defeated in 1836, he again sat for Prince Edward in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1841, when he defeated David Barker Stevenson*, to 1846. In the latter year he resigned his seat to become registrar of Prince Edward County, crown lands agent, and collector of customs at Picton.
Roblin began his political life as a Reform supporter of Marshall Spring Bidwell and Peter Perry*, but, like his younger cousin David Roblin*, he eventually became somewhat disillusioned with the Reform Party of the 1840s and 1850s, and especially with the policies of George Brown whom he considered too moderate and to be “working for the Tories.”
He was a staunch Wesleyan Methodist. From at least 1848 until 1863, he was a member of the senate of Victoria College at Cobourg, Ontario.
Lennox and Addington Hist. Soc. (Napanee, Ont.), III (Thomas Willet Casey papers), 2, pp.11585–600; IV (Roblin family papers) 1, pp.14993–15002 (copies at PAC). PAC, RG 9, I, B5, 6; C4, 4; C6, 8; RG 68, 1. PAO, Legislative Assembly papers, biographical sketches of the members of the assembly, 1792–1840, comp. J. S. Carstairs and W. D. Read. J. of Education for Ont., XXVIII (1875), 12. Armstrong, Handbook of Upper Canadian chronology.