Robert Colver (1842 - 1916) of Jonas & Colver - Sheffield

I came across Robert Colver, as a result of the article I wrote on Joseph Jonas, the former Lord Mayor of Sheffield who was stripped of his knighthood in 1918 in what only can be described as a vindictive and panic stricken act by the British establishment.

Robert Colver was Joseph's partner for well over forty years - the firm had started in Sheffield in 1872, details of which can be found in C. R Vine's book "The Story of Old Attercliffe (Part3)". But Robert's story is very different from that of his partner.

A volume that is kept at the Local Studies Library - Sheffield at the Opening of the Twentieth Century - Contemporary Biographies has the following entry

The 1881 Census sees Robert and his family residing in the Broomhill district of Sheffield,

Household Record 1881 British Census Dwelling 24 Taptonville Census Place Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England
Family History Library Film 1342119 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4634 / 78 Page Number 47

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
Robert COLVER Head M Male 38 Sheffield, York, England Steel Manufacturer Employing 25 Men & 4 Boys
Elizabeth P. COLVER Wife M Female 24 Liverpool, Lancashire, England
William D. COLVER Son Male 3 Sheffield, York, England
Charlotte COLVER Daughter Female 2 Sheffield, York, England
Arthur COLVER Son Male 9 months Sheffield, York, England
Esther CAWTHORNE Servant Widow Female 31 Sheffield, York, England Cook Domestic Servant
Eliza VARLEY Servant U Female 29 Darnall, York, England Nurse Domestic Servant
Ellen NUTTALL Servant U Female 17 N K, Shropshire, England Housemaid Domestic Servant.

The first record I have is that in the births column of the Leeds Mercury dated 21st April 1877 which records the following

"COLVER - April 18th at Taptonville, Broomhill, Sheffield the wife of Robert Colver of a son"

This would have been Robert's eldest son WILLIAM COLVER

Three years later on 26th June 1880, the Liverpool Mercury births column announced

"COLVER - June 23 at Tapton Ville Sheffield the wife of Robert Colver of a son"

This would have been their second son ARTHUR COLVER

The next record I have is a newspaper cutting from the Leeds Mercury dated Saturday, 6th September 1890 which refers to Robert Colver's installation to the prestigious office of Master Cutler on Thursday 4th September 1890

The next record I have of the family is twenty years later in 1901. The census of that year finds the family living at 402 Fulwood Road Sheffield 

Robert COLVER Head M Male 58 Sheffield, York, England Steel Manufacturer
Elizabeth P. COLVER Wife M Female 44 Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Charlotte COLVER Daughter Female 22 Sheffield, York, England
Robert COLVER Son Male 18 Sheffield, York, England
Ellen COLVER Daughter Female 13 Sheffield, York, England
Gladys COLVER Daughter Female 12 Sheffield, York, England
Edward COLVER Son Male 9 Sheffield, York, England
Winifred COLVER Daughter 8 Sheffield, York, England

together with a retinue of EIGHT domestic servants.

The 1911 UK Census has this information about Robert

Name Robert Colver
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Condition Married
Gender Male
Age 68 Estimated Year of Birth 1843
Occupation Director Of Limited Co's
Employed Yes
Working at Home No
Industry Steel Manufacture
Place of Birth Sheffield Yorkshire
Nationality 1
Enumerator Information
Address Rock Mount 402 Fulwood Road Sheffield Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield Type of Building Private House
Number of Rooms 21 Inhabited Y
Reference RG14PN27753 RG78PN1588 RD509 SD2 ED33 SN25 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Ecclesall Bierlow Registration Sub District Ecclesall West Central Enumeration District 33 

His servants numbered SEVEN this time

The funeral of ROBERT COLVER was extensively covered in the local press. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 6th December 1916 gave the following report

The monumental inscription in the church yard at Christ Church Fulwood, Sheffield is as follows

In Loving Remembrance of ARTHUR second son of ROBERT and ELIZABETH COLVER of Ranmoor. Died at Uppingham School February 23rd 1897 aged 16 years

Also of MARY their third daughter died July 27th 1904 aged 24 years

Also of CHARLOTTE, wife of Joseph Edge Beckitt died May 1st 1970 aged 91 years

In  Loving Remembrance of ROBERT COLVER J.P. of Rock Mount Ranmoor Died Dec 2nd 1916 aged 74 years

Also his beloved wife ELIZABETH PEARSON COLVER Died Aug 10th 1937 aged 81 years

Also ROBERT third son of the above Died June 14th 1968 aged 82 years

Also FLORENCE his beloved wife died August 14th 1975 aged 89 years

In Loving Remembrance of LIEUT. EDWARD WATKIN COLVER 1st west Riding Field Company Royal Engineers 29th Division Killed in action at the Dardanelles June 28th 1915. Youngest son of  ROBERT and ELIZABETH COLVER aged 23 years

Also of their fourth son CAPT. HENRY COLVER 1/5 Yorks and Lancaster Regt 49 Division Killed in action in Flanders on December 19th 1915 aged 25 years

Also ARTHUR younger son of ROBERT and FLORENCE Died July 5th 1990 aged 69 years

Also ROBERT elder son of  ROBERT and FLORENCE Died October 28th 1994 aged 79 years 

The grave of Robert Colver, and his family - 30th March 2008

Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers
Unit Text: 455th (West Riding) Field Company
Age: 23
Date of Death: 28/06/1915
Awards: Mentioned in Dispatches
Additional information: Son of Robert Colver, of Ranmoor, Sheffield. Took part in the original landing from S.S. "River Clyde" at Sedd-ul-Bahr 25th April1915.,.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 23 to 25 or 325 to 328.


Rank: Captain
Regiment/Service: York and Lancaster Regiment
Unit Text: 1st/5th Battalion.
Age: 23
Date of Death: 19/12/1915
Additional information: Son of Robert and Elizabeth P. Colver, of "Rockmount," Ranmoor, Sheffield.
Grave/Memorial Reference: I. I. 14.

Finally I must refer you to Letters relating to, and from Edward W.Colverand Harry Colver typed by Patricia Altham September 2006

Notes - Sources

The Story of Old Attercliffe (Part3) by C.R.Vine B.Sc as transcribed by Eric Youle

Letters relating to, and from Edward W.Colverand Harry Colver typed by Patricia Altham September 2006

Robert Colver - The Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated 6th December 1916

Birth registered September 1842 Sheffield Volume 22 Page 556

Death registered December 1916 quarter Ecclesall Bierlow Age 74 Volume 9C Page 431

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This page was last updated on 29/07/13 10:05