ROBINSON, John (1650-1723), bishop of London and diplomatist. Parchment document signed "Joh: London", 345 x 355 mm, with bishop of London's wafer seal, and tax seals, countersigned by (his secretary) Ed.Alexander, December 8th 1714, in Latin, appointing Robert Moss to the Rectory of Gilston, Hertford. Three dockets on the reverse, one recording that "Dr Robert Moss was this day instituted to the Rectory of Gilston alias Gedlestone in the County of Hertford in the presence of us .... J.Gibbon .... Tho:Winton". Folded on right side, light staining, and the episcopal seal crumpled and with cracks.
Following significant diplomatic service in Sweden and Northern Europe, Robinson was in 1710 consecrated bishop of Bristol, and the following year was appointed as lord privy seal and a privy councillor. His experience as mediator and position as Bishop, were a perfect combination in him becoming Britain's first plenipotentiary for the peace negotiations at Utrecht. He proposed the final cease-fire of the war on 27 June 1713 and was the first to sign the peace of Utrecht, that ended the War of the Spanish Succession. He returned to London in August 1713, and on 13 March 1714, was consecrated bishop of London. His support of the Whigs earlier in 1714 in respect of the protestant succession, was rewarded upon the accession of George I, who reappointed him privy councillor in September (Queen Anne had died 1st August).
The subject of the document was Robert Moss (c1666-1729), who had been installed as dean of Ely in 1713, and by this document was given the rectory of Gilston. Moss, a high-churchman and Tory, had supported the controversial clergyman Henry Sacheverell throughout his trial in 1710. When Sacheverell began to re-emerge in 1714 (his bar from preaching having been lifted), it was John Robinson who ordered him to return to his parish and stop meddling in politics. The death of Anne, and a triumphant Whig government under George I, brought the end of preferment for high-church clergymen, and perhaps also curtailed Moss in ambitions beyond the Ely deanery, and Gilston rectory.