William Roberts was born on 29 February 1824 near Bradley Mills in Halifax. He was the son of John Roberts and Hannah (nee Burrell). His father died about 1839.
William, his mother and half brother, John Allison, were living in Hunslet at the time of the 1841 Census, his half brother was a paper maker.
In the 1851 Census William, Hannah and John were still living on Atkinson Street in Hunslet, John was a Paper Maker and William was working as a “Commercial Traveller (Paper)”.
William married Nancy Barratt on the 17 February 1853 at the Methodist New Connexion Chapel in Hunslet and they had the following children:
- Eliza (1854-1914)
- Henry (1857-1857) and an unnamed twin
- Emily (1858-1931)
- John (1860-1925)
- Clara (1863-1951)
- William (1865-1908)
- Walter (1867-1947)
- Vincent (1868-1949)
- May (1874- )
William’s mother, Hannah, died on 25 March 1855.
The 1861 Census shows that William (37) was living at 65 Camp Road (now, I believe, Oatland Lane and Lovell Park Road) with his wife, Nancy (30), daughters Eliza (7) and Emily (2), and son John (3 months). William was described as “Paper Merchant & Printer & Paper Bag Maker Employing 8 Men, 10 Boys, 9 Women & 18 Girls”.
By the time of the 1871 Census William (47) had moved to Allerton House on “Stain Beck Lane” with Nancy and six of their children – John isn’t mentioned and may have been at boarding school – and three servants. William’s profession was described as “Paper Merchant”. An 1872 directory confirms their home address and states that his business premises were on Alfred Street which I think was off Camp Road.
William died on 31 January 1877 and was buried in the graveyard at St Matthew’s on 3 February.
IN LOVING MEMORY
BORN FEB 29 1824
DIED JAN 31 1877
ALSO OF NANCY WIFE OF
BORN FEBRUARY 3 1831
DIED MAY 25 1912
The memory of the just is blessed?
ALSO OF EMILY DAUGHTER OF
BORN DECEMBER 26 1858
DIED FEBRUARY 18 1931
?????????? shall be light?
ROBERTS William. 10 March. The Will with a Codicil of William Roberts late of Leeds and of Chapel Allerton in the Borough of Leeds in the County of York Paper Merchant who died 31 January 1877 at Chapel Allerton was proved at Wakefield by Nancy Roberts Widow the Relict (during Widowhood) and Eliza Roberts Spinster the Daughter both of Chapel Allerton the Executrixes.
Effects under £25,000.
You can read more about the business that William founded here and on the Roberts Mart & Co Ltd website.