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British Industrial History

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Robert Calvert Clapham

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Robert Calvert Clapham (1823-1881)

1823 Born in St John, Northumberland, son of Anthony and Elizabeth Clapham[1]

1861 Analytical chemist, lived in Walker, Newcastle[2]

1862 Married Priscilla Hannah Mennell in Sunderland[3]

1871 Analytical chemist, lived in Walker, Newcastle, with Priscilla Clapham 32[4]

1881 Retired Chemical Manufacturer, lived in Earsdon, Tynemouth with Priscilla H. Clapham 44[5]

1882 Died in Rye[6]

1882 Obituary [7]

ROBERT CALVERT CLAPHAM, of Earsdon House near Newcastle-on-Tyne, was born at Newcastle on 15th September 1823, and died very suddenly at Winchelsea on 22nd December 1881, aged fifty-eight. He was the son of Anthony Clapham, who was a pioneer in establishing the soda and alkali works on the banks of the Tyne, which have since been developed into such an important branch of industry.

He commenced his business life by assisting his father in the chemical works, and subsequently held appointments as manager in the Walker Alkali Works, and in several works of a similar character; but always found time to devote a great deal of his leisure to the cause of science.

When the British Association met at Newcastle in 1863 he was one of the local secretaries, and by his energy and industry assisted very much in the success of the meeting. He was principally instrumental in establishing in 1868 the Newcastle Chemical Society, of which ho was elected president in 1878, and to which he contributed several valuable papers. He was joint author with Mr. James C. Stevenson, M.P., and the late Dr. Thomas Richardson, of an article on the chemical manufactures of the northern district, which was included in the volume entitled "The industrial resources of the Tyne, Wear, and Tees," published in 1868; and was also the author of the article on Soda in "Chemistry as applied to arts and manufactures."

He was president for one year of the northern Mechanics' Institutes Association, and was a director of the Newcastle Chemical Works, of Messrs. John Abbot and Co., and of the Tyne Steam Shipping Company. For twenty-one years he was senior honorary secretary of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. During the recent visit to Newcastle of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers he was an active member of the Local Committee.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1869, and was a Fellow of the Chemical Society.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1861 census
  3. BMD
  4. 1871 census
  5. 1881 census
  6. BMD
  7. 1882 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries