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British Industrial History

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Robert Ashton Lister

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Sir (Robert) Ashton Lister, (1845–1929), industrialist

1845 born on 4 February in Dursley, Gloucestershire, the third of four sons and the sixth of eight children of George Lister, tanner and wire card maker of Dursley, and his second wife, Louisa Richards.

Educated at Dursley Agricultural and Commercial Grammar School and then at schools in Banbury, Düsseldorf, and Versailles

Joined his father's business.

1866 Married Frances Ann Box (d. 1911), daughter of John Box of Dursley, a watchmaker. They had four sons

1867 set up on his own as a repairer of farm machinery, which became R. A. Lister and Co.

1874 'NOTICE is hereby given, that the PARTNERSHIP heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, ROBERT ASHTON LISTER and WILLIAM PRIESTLEY, carrying on the Business of Engineers and Machinists, at Dursley, in the county of Gloucester, under the name and style of "Lister and Priestley," has this day been DISSOLVED by mutual consent; and in future the said Businesses will be carried on by the said Robert Ashton Lister alone, who will pay and receive all Debts owing by and to the said Partnership. Dated this 15th day of May, 1874. R. A. LISTER. WILLIAM PRIESTLEY. Witness — H. J. FRANCILLON. Solicitor, Dursley.'[1]

1883 he was elected bailiff of Dursley

1889 elected as first county councillor for Dursley, a position he held for thirty years and which was followed by nine years as county alderman.

1893 appointed a JP.

1901 His company began to make woodware

1901 Started to provide housing for his workers

1905 Introduced the Dursley Pedersen bicycle.

1908 Started to make petrol engines, and also sheep-shears which became famous

1908 Provide a hospital for the workforce

1917 Introduced a benefit scheme for his workers

1927 Provided holidays with pay, and introduced a consultative board of directors' and workers' representatives.

1929 Died in Dursley; his second son and grandsons continued the family firm until 1965.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Gloucestershire Chronicle - Saturday 30 May 1874
  • Biography, ODNB