Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Blackburn (1821-1889)

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1852. Model at the IMechE marked 'Robert Blackburn, Exeter, County of Devon. 1852.

Robert Blackburn (1821-1889) of Trew's Weir Paper Mills, Exeter

1821 Born in Finchingfield, Essex, son of John Blackburn, clergyman[1], and his wife Sarah[2]

1858 A gentleman of Stockport, married Clara C Swann in Manchester[3]

1860 Signs letter of Trew's Weir, Exeter.[4]

1861 Living at Trew's Weir Mill, Exeter: Robert Blacburn (age 36 born Finchingfield, Essex), Manager of Paper manufactory employing 40 men, 30 women and 15 boys. With his wife Clara C. Blacburn (age 24 born Derby) and their two daughters Eleonar A. Blacburn (age 4 born Manchester) and Charlotte E. Blacburn (age 5 months born Exeter); also his sister in law, Martha Swann (age 11 born Balton, Derbyshire).[5]

1861 Bath and West of England Society. 'Stand 12 (Shed 1).- At this shed is the traction engine and steam cultivator of Mr. Robert Blackburn, of Trew's distinguished from other traction engines by being supported by a wide drum, which gives it a large bearing surface on the ground, makes it steadier, and prevents it from cutting into the earth. It is guided by one man, and can be turned round very shortly.'[6]

1865 March 25th. Death of his wife in Chapel-en-le-Frith. 'March 25, of rapid consumption, Clara Calvert, wife of Mr. Robert Blackburn, Trew's Weir.'[7]

1865 July. Royal Agricultural Society Meeting at Plymouth. 'Amongst the exhibitors are Mr. Robert Blackburn, of Trews Weir, Exeter. A traction engine and steam cultivator, of his own invention and improvement. It can be used either on ordinary roads or tramways, will work cultivators, &c, and is effectual as a clod-crusher. The rate at which it hauls implements of tillage is at from two to four miles an hour.'[8]

1869 Robert Blackburn takes out summons against W. W. Martin for assault. Case dismissed.[9]

1871 Living at Trew's Weir Mill, Exeter: Robert Blackburn (age 49 born Finchingfield, Essex), Paper manufacturer. With his wife Eliza Blackburn (age 22 born Halberton, Devon) and his four children; Eleanor Blackburn (age 13 born Lancashire); Charlotte E. Blackburn (age 11 born St. Leonards, Exeter; Robert J. Blackburn (age 2 born St. Leonards, Exeter); and Samuel C. Blackburn (age 5 Months born St. Leonards, Exeter). Also a visitor. Two servants.[10]

1877 August 22nd. Death of his wife. (Eliza?).[11]

1881 Living at Trew's Weir Mill, Exeter: Robert Blackburn (age 59 born Finchingfield, Essex), Manager Paper Mills - Widower. With his seven children; Caroline E. Blackburn (age 21 born Exeter); Robert J. Blackburn (age 12 born Exeter); Samuel C. Blackburn (age 10 born Exeter); Fredk. Tom Blackburn (age 8 born Exeter); Gertrude B. Blackburn (age 7 born Exeter); Lillian E. Blackburn (age 6 born Exeter); Alice Godfrey Blackburn (age 5 born Exeter); and Kathleen Blackburn (age 4 born Exeter). Also a governess.

1885 Death of his 14-year-old son Samuel Charles Blackburn by drowning at Trew's Weir.[12]

1889 November 25th. Died.

possibly connected with Isaac and Robert Blackburn

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Cathedral Marriage Records
  2. Christening Index
  3. BMD
  4. Western Times - Saturday 08 December 1860
  5. 1861 Census
  6. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 12 June 1863
  7. Western Times - Friday 31 March 1865
  8. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 21 July 1865
  9. Western Times - Tuesday 01 June 1869
  10. 1871 Census
  11. Exeter Flying Post - Wednesday 22 August 1877
  12. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 06 June 1885