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Robert is a child related to the Delaney family. Robert is a recurring character in the first season Taboo. He is portrayed by Louis Serkis.

Character Overview[]

Robert is a fearful emaciated boy. He has fair skin, short black hair, and lively eyes. Smart and careful, Robert is an ingenious little boy who wants to prove his validity within the criminal gang led by James Delaney.



Robert is a child that Horace Delaney entrusted to the care of Ibbotson for a fee, until such time as James Delaney decided to welcome him into his band of criminals.

Working for James Delaney


Raised by the elderly Ibbotson for a fee, the boy worked as a farmer in a rural farmhouse taking care of the stable duties. When James Delaney came to know the boy, assuring the old tenant that he would provide to pay the costs on behalf of his late father, Robert watched with fear the alleged half-brother. [1]

After James killed and disembowelled an assassin sent to kill him by the Americans, he looked up to ensure that Robert has seen the whole event through the window of his home. They lock eyes for a moment, before Robert backs away, terrified of what he has just witnessed. [2]

Robert learning how to mix gunpowder from Cholmondeley

Robert was working to rekindle the fire in the fireplace when James Delaney came to pick him up so that the child acted as assistant to George Cholmondeley. The child learned quickly the instructions of the chemist, but he was terrified by the presence of James Delaney. The chemist deduced that the two were father and son, but Delaney did not deny nor confirmed the theory. [3]

By continuing to work for Delaney, Robert went with the rest of the undercover team to carry gunpowder in a hearse so that the cargo was handed over to the Americans as stipulated in the previous agreement. When some soldiers wanted to check the actual cargo, promptly Robert slipped in one of the coffins, pretending to be one of the deceased carried in the hearse. This action earned him Atticus' compliments. [4]

When James Delaney walked away from the City to carry out some secret tasks, Robert was taken to Chester House by Dr. Cholmondeley, where he was put under the care of Mrs. Lorna Bow. By acting as a servant, Robert brought dinner to James up in the attic and was instructed by the man to guard a security key. Later, when James returned home, Robert was helping Lorna in the kitchen to peel some potatoes. [5]

Robert is entrusted to safekeeping James' key

Instructed by James about what to do, Robert recovered some letters from a trunk in the attic, opening it with a key that had been entrusted to guard, and immediately pledged to gather all the men of James Delaney so that they could put in action their final plan against East India Company and the Crown. Robert made sure to inform James about their plans while the latter was still in prison, singing code words to inform his master. Once fulfilled his duties, Robert was on the ship that sailed to Ponta Delgada in the Azores, Portugal, together with James and the rest of the survivors. [6]



Season 1


  • Robert's date of birth is unknown.
  • He is believed to be Horace Delaney's illegitimate son, but there is the possibility that he is the son of James Delaney and his half-sister, Zilpha Geary. [7]


  1. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 7, 2017 BBC; January 10, 2017, FX; "Episode 1". Taboo.
  2. Knight, Steven & Ballou, Emily (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 28, 2017 BBC; January 31, 2017, FX; "Episode 4". Taboo.
  3. Knight, Steven & Hervey, Ben (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 4, 2017 BBC; February 7, 2017, FX; "Episode 5". Taboo.
  4. Hardy, Chips & Knight, Steven (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 11, 2017 BBC; February 14, 2017, FX; "Episode 6". Taboo.
  5. Knight, Steven (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 18, 2017 BBC; February 21, 2017, FX; "Episode 7". Taboo.
  6. Knight, Steven (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 25, 2017 BBC; February 28, 2017, FX; "Episode 8". Taboo.
  7. Who Is The Boy In 'Taboo'? Episode 5 May Reveal Robert's Mysterious Identity —