Liverpool; cabinet maker(1766–d. 1796)
Initially traded from an address in High St but by 1772 had moved to 36 Lord St. The number in Lord St from 1781 was 32. He was probably associated for part of the period that he was trading with a Richard Copeland. In 1772–73 he is shown living also at 36 Lord St and trading as a house painter. A directory of 1781 lists the business as Richard & Robert Copeland and another in 1783 as Robert Copeland & Co. Robert Copeland took as apps Thomas Brown (free 1780) and William Hughes (free 1786). In January 1780 advertised that he was receiving details of outstanding debts of the late Richard Copeland to whom he must have been closely related. A month later he advertised for letting a house at 37 Lord St together with ‘a large timber yard, saw-pit, & work shops at the back thereof, convenient for a Joiner or
Cabinet-maker, now occupied by R. Copeland. Likewise the HOUSE, No. 36, next adjoining the above mentioned House’. The reason for letting is not clear, for although in the next year he is found at 31 and 32 Lord St, this may be a re-numbering rather than an actual move. The business continued to trade until 1791 when Robert Copeland announced that he was ‘declining business’. An auction sale was arranged for 5 and 6 May 1791 at the Great Room at the Hotel, Lord St, where there was on sale ‘A LARGE and CAPITAL ASSORTMENT OF Inlaid and Plain MAHOGANY FURNITURE’. A few pier and other glasses were included. On 23 May an auction sale of his timber stock and equipment was held at his yard in Lord St. Amongst the items offered were ‘MAHOGANY in planks & boards; a great variety of valuable Veneers; Oak & Deal Boards of different thicknesses; Maple Plank & Boards, Bed-stuff of Different sorts; Some Cardivines & Chests for the Guinea trade, Windsor Chairs ready to put together; Some new & old six & four panelled Doors, some old sash frames & sashes with glass; framed saws etc. belonging to the saw pit; Work Benches, Iron Cramps, Screws etc’. Died December 1796. [D; freemen's committee bks; Williamson's Liverpool Advertiser, 28 January 1780, 18 February 1780, 2 May 1791, 16 May 1791; Billinge's Liverpool Advertiser, 19 December 1796; Liverpool RO, Gregson papers, 920 GRE 3/1, 14] B.A.