Son of William Robinson of Rokeby and Anne Walters. Married (1728) to Elizabeth Howard (1701-1739), dau of Charles Howard (1669-1738), 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and Anne Cappell (1683-1752). Governor of Barbados (1742-47). During his time on Barbados, he married a local girl, who refused to go back to England with him when he left the island in 1747. Sometime Master of Ceremonies at Ranelagh Gardens. A keen amateur architect, he built some churches including St. Mary the Virgin in Glynde.1
An article on the Admiralty in Ackermann's Microcosm of London (1809) read that "The figure of Sir Thomas Robinson must be in the recollection of many of our readers; --- so long, so lank, so lean, so bony, that he struck every one who saw him, as distinct from all other men, and out of all manner of proportion. When the late Lord Chesterfield was confined to his room by an illness, of which he felt a consciousness that he should never recover, a friend, who visited him in the character of one of Job's comforters, gravely said, he was sorry to tell his lordship, that every body agreed in thinking he was dying, and that he was dying by inches. "Am I?" said the old peer, "am I indeed" why then I rejoice from the bottom of my soul, that I am not near so tall as Sir Thomas Robinson." ".
Boswell called on Dr Johnson on July 18, 1763, and found Sir Thomas Robinson with him.