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Copley & sons

Hi, does anyone have any information about J Copley & Sons in Sheffield. My ancestors married into the Copleys and are on the census at Creswick street. My father vaguely remembers the building but i can't find much about the firm other than cutlery!pen knife manufacturers which were taken over by a larger firm. If anyone has any information or any photos I would be really grateful. Any Copley descendants willing to get in touch would be amazing!
Thank you

Re: Copley & sons

Hi Andrea,

THis is what is showing in our directories. (Over to the left)

Copley, A. Ernest (, (john & sons)).
Address: h. 123 Creswick Street, in 1911.
Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham - 1911.

Have you tried "Picture Sheffield" there could be photographs there.

Just Google for Picture Sheffield.

Elaine in ottawa.

Instant Messenger: Skype

Re: Copley & sons


From Tweedale's Directory

John Copley & Sons

John Copley was born about 1804 in High Hoyland, near Barnsley. An advertisement stated that his firm was established in 1824, though John Copley's name as a spring knife maker did not appear in directories until 1845 in Wellmeadow Row. By 1852 John Copley & Sons was making pocket knives and sailors' and gardeners' knives at Richmond Works, Creswick Street in Walkley. The firm also made Bowie knives. In the 1851 census, John Copley was enumerated as a master pen knife cutler. employing a dozen men. The family lived in dwellings next to the factory. An 1863 directory carried an advertisement for Copley as a manufacturer of table cutlery, pen and pocket knives, dagger. lock and Bowie knives. Britannia metal spoons were added by the following year. Its trade mark was 'XX', which probably originated with George Savage (qv), and was acquired by Copleys in about 1870.

John Copley died on 5 March 1864 aged 60, and was buried in Ecclesall churchyard. His eldest son James then became the senior partner. In 1871, the firm employed 50 men and 20 boys, producing cutlery that was sent around the world, but especially to India and Burma. James Copley died aged 48 at Richmond Villa, Whitehouse Lane, Walkley on 11 November 1873. He left under £3,000 and was buried in Ecclesall. John and Charles continued to run the business. The latter died aged 71 at Hardwicke House, Walkley, on 6 January 1899. He was buried in Walkley cemetery. John Copley Jnr. died on 10 April 1903, aged 68, after collapsing at his home in Carr Road. Other family members then took over. These included Albert Ernest Copley who suffered a seizure during a game of billiards and died on 30 November 1912 aged 53. He was buried in Walkley. After the First World War, John W Copley managed the business, which traded until about 1931. The mark was later acquired by Slater

Re: Copley & sons

Thank you Elaine, there aren't many pictures which is a shame but I have found some others of interest do thank you very much for the prompt.

Re: Copley & sons

Thank you Angela, this is great information for me. It appears that my 3rd great grandfather married Eliza Copley ( John Copley Snr daughter) and named their children as Copley Marshalls but it did not continue after that generation. Thanks again for all this information which has been a great help.

Re: Copley & sons

Hi Andrea, have you tried to Google J Copley And Sons Cutlers Sheffield? There are a number of entries referring to them. Regards Barry Green

Re: Copley & sons

It's a shame the earlier detailed threads on the Copleys on this site no longer exist!

I am particularly interested in the Copleys because of the graves in Walkley Cemetery and the fact that brothers John and Charles were churchwardens of St Mary's when the cemetery opened in 1880.

Some relevant Picture Sheffield images...

A favourite picture of mine, the imaginative advertisement for Copley and sons. Whitehouse Lane to the left, Creswick St to the right, the rest of the hill sacrificed for an artistic bit of sky.;EQUALS;s09752&pos=1&action=zoom&id=12848

This picture of the White Horse (corner of Grammar St and Creswick St) tantalisingly shows a glimpse of the corner of Hardwicke House to the left:;EQUALS;s21583&pos=36&action=zoom&id=24068

I was very pleased to find this image of Whitehouse Lane as I believe it shows part of the Richmond Works complex, though this may be a residential part (including 'Richmond Villa'?) Beyond the row of terraced houses on the right, the building set back and the gable that reaches the pavement are the buildings in question:;EQUALS;s20564&pos=10&action=zoom&id=23068


Re: Copley & sons

Obituary of John COPLEY

Sheffield Daily Telegraph

11 Apr 1903
page 8 column f



Many of out readers most particularly in the
Walkley district, will regret to hear of the death
of Mr. John Copley, of the firm of John Copley
and Sons, cutlery manufacturers, Richmond Works,
Creswick Street. Mr. Copley, who lived at the
Firs, Carr Road, Walkley, enjoyed his usual health
up to last evening. About six o’clock, having had
tea, he went upstairs, with the intention of going
out to meet some friends a little later. Shortly
afterwards Mrs. Copley heard her husband calling,
and, proceeding upstairs, found that he had fallen
on his right side. She instantly sent for Dr.
Wiseman, who, on his arrival, gave no hope of
recovery, and death took place about seven o’clock.
Mr. Copley was the senior partner in the firm,
which was founded by his father many years ago.
It was from the first established at Walkley, but
not at Richmond Works, which were subsequently
built owing to the extension of the business. It
is largely an Indian and Eastern trade that the
firm carry on. Mr. Copley served some time as
an overseer for Nether Hallam, and was also a
guardian of the poor for that district. He was
a Conservative and a Churchman, and for several
years served as a churchwarden at St. Mary’s,
Walkley, where he was also a manager of the
schools, and took a liberal interest in all the
Church and educational works of that district. He
He was president of the Hallamshire Proprietary
Bowling Green, Steel Bank, where he was a much-
respected member, and a very frequent attender.
he was widely known, more especially, to the older
members of the Sheffield cutlery trade, and gener-
ally esteemed. He was in his 68th year, and
leaves a widow, two sons and one daughter.



Re: Copley & sons

Hugh, these are fantastic, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. This has filled in some gaps for me and further history!!
Thanks again.

Re: Copley & sons

Hi Andrea - my grandfather was John Charles Copley and lived in Burngreave in the 1920s but then moved to Bradford. That's all I know at the moment. Trying to find out more as I have just moved back to Yorkshire in the last 5 years and work in Sheffield.

Re: Copley & sons

I am not sure how to send a private email.
I am a relative and have some information on Copley's and some photos.

I see Copley knives for sale some times.

There are also posts on RootChat website.

John Copley born 1804, died 5.3.1864 and married Ann Bradshaw daughter of Christopher and Christiana Bradshaw also born 1804. Their children:

1) Eliza b 1824 married George Marshall and had Henry and Charles sons.
2) James Copley b 1826. Married Caroline Hawke and had Sarah, Eliza, Elizabeth and John
3) Charles Copley (Cutler) born 1826 married Elizabeth and had Jemima and Albert
4) Mary Ann Copley married John Joel. Their daughter, Kate, was later fostered by brother John Copley.
5) John Copley b 1833 died 10-04-1903 married Harriet Waterfall (whose ancestor was Sheriff of Sheffield), 26-8-1858 at st. Philips. They had:
- John Waterfall who married Elizabeth Hartley,
- Albert Edwin b 1865 died before 1902,
- Sarah (married Joseph Brammer),
- Walter Frank 1868 (married Lena Lainge) had Mousehole Forge, Rivelin,
- Beatrice b 1876.
6) Elizabeth b 1837 married G. Booth,
7) Sarah b 1841 married Albert Waterfall, brother of Harriet.

Re: Copley & sons

The Copleys are mentioned in this report of the consecration of Walkley Cemetery in 1880...


Re: Copley & sons

Thank you Hugh, this is fascinating. I have sent you an message with private contact details for me.

Many thanks