Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Robert Corbet, Jeweller and Watch-Maker

A ‘couldn’t resist’ moment …….!

One of the joys of working on Scottish family history is when an 1855 birth,
marriage or death is discovered as the registration documents for these events
usually contain a huge amount of information.

In 1854, an Act of Parliament was passed to initiate a new standardised system
to replace that of the existing Church of Scotland Parish Registration
and on January 1st, 1855 this now compulsory registration began.

So, when finding that all important year inscribed on a gravestone,
my curiosity always gets the better of me!

In Glasgow Cathedral ‘New’ Burial Gound, I came across a stone erected to the memory
of members of the Corbet Family.
The inscription lists three generations and mentions the fact that
two of them (father and son) were involved in the watch-making/jewellery business.

The second name inscribed on the stone is that of Robert Corbet, Watchmaker,
who died 5th May 1854 aged 62 years and by downloading the registration of his death,
all the information gleaned enabled a reasonably comprehensive précis of at least
4 further generations of the family.

Robert Corbet was born in Gladsmuir Parish, East Lothian,
4th February and christened 11th February 1770
to parents Robert Corbet and Marion White (IGI Batch No. C11708-4).
Only one sibling is listed on the same source – an elder sister Mary,
born 16th July 1767 also in Gladsmuir.
(No marriage has been found for their parents).

On 19th May 1791 at Canongate, Edinburgh Robert married
Jane (or Jean) Morrison, daughter of Henry Morrison. (IGI Batch No. M19500-2)

The couple went on to have the following 15 children,
all of whom are listed on his 1855 death registration.

It is also noted on the document that Jane Morrison his wife had pre-deceased him.
His occupation is listed as having been Head Porter (formerly) in Glasgow Union Bank
and crucially, that although  he was born in Gladsmuir, he had been some years in Falkirk.*
(*Actual number of  years on certificate are illegible, but information cross-checks with the 1851 Census)

The above notice appeared in the Glasgow Herald newspaper

Robert Corbet & Jean Morrison’s children:

Robert born 3rd March, christened 9th March 1792, Falkirk (IGI Batch No. C11970-0)
Mother Jean ‘Maison’
Henry born 28th July, christened 28th July 1793, Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-7)
Sarah born 30th January, christened 8th February 1795, Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-7)
Alexander born 2nd November, christened 20th November 1796, Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-8)
John (1) born 15th May, christened 15th May 1798, Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-8)
Elizabeth (Roble) born 8th May 1800, Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-8)
George born 5th July, christened 11th August 1801 Edinburgh (IGI Batch No. C11999-8)
Marion born 10th, christened 22nd May 1803, Carmichael, Lanarkshire (IGI Batch No, C11630-2)
William (1)
Jane (or Jean) born 25th November 1807, Glasgow (IGI Batch No. C11974-1)
Thomas born 1st February 1810, Glasgow (IGI Batch No. C11974-1)
John (2)
James born c1810
Janet born 12th March 1811, Glasgow (IGI Batch No. C11974-1)
William (2) born 23rd February 1806, Glasgow (IGI Batch No. C11974-1)
Robert Corbet, (born 1792) eldest son of  Robert Corbet  and Jean Morrison
married Mary Bell at Glasgow, 18th June 1822 (M11967-3)

Their Children:
Isabella Corbet, born 13th January 1825, Glasgow (C11974-6)
Robert Corbet, born c1827, Lanarkshire*
George Cabell Corbet, born 4th December 1829, Glasgow (C11975-8)
Margaret Corbett, born 9th September 1836, Glasgow (C11974-9)

*The only Robert Corbet son of Robert Corbet to be found in the IGI
was born 30th September 1827 at Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire,
But …. the mother is listed as Janet Steven?

Note: The following census information has been sources from transcriptions, so may not be wholly accurate.

1841 Cencus

Stockwell Street, Glasgow
(St. Enochs)
Robert Corbet, Watchman, age 45, born c1801, Scotland  (c1792)
Mary Corbet, age 40, born c1799, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Isabella Corbet, age 15, born c1825, Lanarkshire, Scotland (born 13th January 1825)
Robert Corbet, age 14, born c1827, Lanarkshire, Scotland

1851 Census

22 Argyle Street, Glasgow
(Glasgow St. David)
Robert Corbet, Head of Household, Watchmaker, age 59, born c1792, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
(D.C. confirms he was not born Falkirk)
Mary Corbet, Wife, age 53, born c1799, Glasgow
Isabella Corbet, Daughter, age 26, born c1825, Glasgow
Robert Corbet, Son, Mechanical Dentist, age 24, born c1827, Glasgow

Robert Corbet died of Bronchitis on 10th and was buried on 10th May 1854
in Glasgow Cathedral ‘New’ Burial ground.
His occupation in the register in listed as Watchmaker of 22 Argyle Street.

His widow and daughter Isabella are listed on the 1861 Census at
342 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow
Both are listed as Milliners.

His son Robert, born c1827, although listed as a Mechanical Dentist on the 1851 Census,
Appears to have change occupation and followed his father in the Jewellery/Watch-Making trade.

The above listing is contained within the Book ‘Old Scottish Clockmakers’

The above advert appears in the 1856/57 Post Office Directory.

Advert image courtesy or Robert Pool, Glasgow.

Robert Corbet, (born 1827) eldest  (surviving) son of  Robert Corbet and Mary Bell
married Harriet McGregor at Glasgow, 18th June 1857 (M11933-1)

Their Children:
Margaret Corbet, born 21st March 1859, Tradeston, Glasgow (C 11933-1)
Robert Corbet, born 16th March 1861, Hutchesontown, Glasgow (C 11934 – 1)
Mary Bell Corbet, born 13th October 1862, Hutchesontown, Glasgow (C11934-1)
Harriet Corbet, born 26th December 1864, Tradeston, Glasgow (C 11933-1)
Jemima Isabella Corbet, 31st May 1866, Tradeston, Glasgow (C11933-1)
Alexander McGregor Corbet, born 28th June 1868, Tradeston, Glasgow (C11933-1)
Isabella Corbet, born 26th November 1869, Cathcart, Renfrewshire (C11560-1)
Elsie Jane Corbet, born 30th August 1873, Cathcart, Renvrewshire (C 11560 -1)

The children listed on the Monumental Inscription are those of Robert Corbet and Harriet McGregor
ROBERT, son of Robert Corbet, Jeweller, who died 6th September 1861 aged 6 months
JEMIMA who died 10th October 1866 aged 4 months
HARRIET who died 2nd January 1869 aged 4 years
ALEXANDER McGREGOR who died 10th January 1869 aged 6 months
MARY BELL who died 17th August 1877 in her 15th year

1861 Census

227 Upper Crown Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow
Robert Corbet, Head of Household, Watchmaker employing 2 Apprentices,
age 34, born c1827, Glasgow Lanarkshire
Harriet Corbett, Wife, age 27, born c1834, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Corbett, Daughter, age 2, born c1859, Glasgow
Robert Corbet, Son, age 1 month, born c1861, Glasgow

Ten years later, in 1871, it appears that the family were possibly on holiday at Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast
as not only are Robert and Harriet and their children listed,
but also Robert’s mother Mary and his sister Isabella.

1871 Census
Larchmont, Ardrossan, Ayshire
Jane Anderson, Head of Household, ‘Lets Coast House’?, age 65, born c1806
Ann Anderson, Sister, Asistant, age 75, born c1796
Mary Corbet, Visitor, Jeweller’s Mother, age 70, born c1801, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Isabella Corbet, Visitor age 45, born c1826, Glasgow
Robert Corbet, Visitor, Jeweller age 44, born c1827, Glasgow
Harriet Corbet, Visitor, Jeweller’s wife, age 37, born c1834, Glasgow
Margaret Corbet, Visitor, scholar, age 12, born c1859, Glasgow
Mary Corbet, Visitor, scholar, age 9 born c1859, Glasgow
Isabella Corbet, Visitor, age 5, born c1866, Glasgow

1881 Census
112 Ardgowan Street, Glasgow
(Kinning Park)
Mary Corbet, Head, of Household, Annuitant, age 80, born c1801, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Isabella Corbet, Daughter, Housekeeper, age 56, born c1825, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

1881 Census

115 Victoria Road, Cathcart, Renfrewshire
Robert Corbet, Head of Household, Watchmaker & Jeweller,
emp. 1 man & 1 boy, age 54, born c1847, Glasgow
Harriet Corbet, Wife, age 47, born c1834, Glasgow
Margaret S. Corbet, Daughter, Not in School, age 22, born c1859, Glasgow
Isabella Corbet, Daughter, Not in School, age 11, born c1870, Crosshill, Renfrewshire
Elsie Jane Corbet, Daughter, Not in Shool, age 7, born c1874, Crosshill, Renfrewshire

1891 Census

115 Victoria Road, Cathcart, Renfrewshire
Robert Corbet, Head of Household, Watchmaker & Jeweller, age 64, born c1827, Glasgow
Harriet Corbet, Wife, age 57, born c1834, Glasgow
Isabella Corbet, Daughter, Artist, age 21, born c1870, Glasgow
Elsie Jane Corbet, Daughter, Pupil Teacher age 17, born c1874, Glasgow

1901 Census

5 Mansionhouse Road, Cathcart, Renfrewshire
Robert Corbet, Head of Household, Retired Watchmaker, age 74, born c1827, Glasgow
Harriet Corbet, Wife, age 67, born c1834, Glasgow
Isabella Corbet, Daughter, age 31, born c1870, Glasgow
Elsie Jane Corbet, Daughter, Teacher English, age 27, born c1874, Glasgow

Mary Corbet (nee Bell), widow of Robert Corbet died aged 90 years
between January 1st and April 6th 1891* at Kinning Park, Glasgow
(Source: SP Index)
*5/6th April 1891 was the dates on which the Census was carried out

1891 Census: Visiting with The Bertram Family at
Laurel Street , Partick
Isabella Corbet, Visitor, age 66, born c1825, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

1901 Census: At
112 Ardgowan Street, Glasgow
(Glasgow Kinning Park)
Isabella Corbet, Head, of Household, Living on own means, age 76, born c1825, Glasgow, Lanarkshire.

Glasgow Cathedral 'New' Burial Ground
with the Royal Infirmary towering above.

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