Robert Stockwell (1857 - 1922)
and his business life
Robert Stockwell came from Buckinghamshire to South London in about 1870. He lived at Herne Hill, South London at first.
In 1871 he became apprenticed as a compositor to Robert Banks of 5 Racquet Court, Fleet Street. At the time of his marriage to Mary Ann Stonell he is described as a Printer's Reader and as living at 76 Dalzell Road, Stockwell, Surrey.
On 10 May 1884 his uncle (John Oldham) wrote to him at the Reading Department, c/o Messrs Clowes & Sons, Duke Street, Stamford Street, London. The letter was sent from Merton Lodge, Wallingford and thanks Robert for the Exhibition Catalogue which Robert had sent him.
Robert founded his own printing business in Camberwell and moved it to 5 Baden Place, Crosby Row, London SE1 in about 1905.
The business was continued by his son, Frederick Robert Stockwell, and then by two of his grandsons, Robert Frederick Stockwell and Arthur John Stockwell. They saw it through the Depression Years of the 1930's but managed to cause the business to grow. Even during the war (when an incediary bomb destroyed 1 and 2 Baden Place) they kept going with ladies and older staff. The business was probably one of the last at that time to employ a lady as a Printer's Reader. She had been trained by Robert Stockwell himself, first as a copy-holder and then as a full time Reader.
The business was formed into a Limited Company in 1947 with Robert and John Stockwell as joint Managing Directors. By then the business had expanded to include 5 to 7 Baden Place as well as the ground floor of no. 8. Over the following years it expanded further until it occupied the whole (1 to 15) of Baden Place.
Three of his great-grandsons, Colin G Stockwell, Richard C Stockwell and Robert F O Stockwell, were also involved in the business at times during the period from 1957 to 1984. His great-great grandson, Robert G J Stockwell, was employed in the business for a time. The printing business was sold in 1984.