Personal information about Robert Bell

Below is all the information we have about Robert Bell. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Death Information

   Robert Bell
Click to enlarge
Death certificate for Robert Bell
Certificate provided by FNRC
Death certificate for
Robert Bell
Click image to enlarge
Maiden name:
Date of Death:
   13 January 1915
Age at death:
Date of birth:
(From death certificate)
Place of birth:
(From death certificate)
Place of death:
   Cravendale, Craven Road, Newbury
Usual address:
   Cravendale, Craven Road, Newbury
  Retired Draper
Cause of death:
  1) Senile Decay
Death certificate information
Registration year:
Registration quarter:
Registration district:
Register volume:
Register page/folio:
Link to Free BMD register page.
Information Sources: Death certificate / FreeBMD

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Robert Bell
Burial register image
Click image to enlarge
Age at death:
Date of burial:
   03 February 1915
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   Craven Road,
Burial register information:
Book number: 1899
Page number: 268
Record number: 9337
Official at burial:
   J W Harford.
Source of information:
  Burial Register
* This entry is awaiting verification.

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    04 February 1915
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News



ROBERT BELL died 30/01/1915 (Husband of Mary)

BELL: Jan. 30, at Cravendale, Newbury, Robert Bell, formerly of the Market-place, in his 89th year

Also see obituary                                                                                                         NWN 04/02/1915

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.
Robert Bell
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News and Mrs Pattison
Date of source:    04 February 1915
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News







The death of Mr. Robert Bell, which took place at his residence in Craven-road on Saturday, removes one who had made Newbury the town of his adoption, and resided there for over seventy years. Had he lived to March 4th, he would have celebrated his 89th birthday. He was a Scotchman, born in 1826 at Cockpool, Ruthwell, Dumfries. His father, John Bell, was a “son of the soil”, and in his younger days was chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits – ploughing, sowing, reaping, mowing etc. He lived to the great age of 90 years, and hardly ever had a day’s illness. His eldest son, Robert, was intended for “the Kirk”. He received his education in the parish school, in the village of Clarencefield, and at the Academy in Dumfries; and was for some time assistant teacher under Mr. Fergusson, a man famous as a schoolmaster in his day. The death of Mr. Fergusson, and subsequently of the minister of the parish, the Rev. Henry Duncan, D.D., both of whom took a great interest in the “Young Dominie” and were making arrangements to send him to college at Edinburgh, upset the plans, and young Bell was induced to turn his attention to the Scotch drapery trade in England.

A neighbouring farmer had a brother in the trade in Bath, who was in want of a young man: and Robert decided to go and push his fortune, his only capital being a certificate of character from the minister, “He is fit for any situation where industry, honesty and sobriety, combined with a respectable education, are the requisite qualifications.” Next day he started for Gloucester, thence by coach to Bristol. He became initiated into the mysteries of “the pack” and travelled in Bristol, Bath, and the surrounding neighbourhood; but he did not get on very well with his employer, and after about six months’ service they agreed to part. Shortly afterwards he heard of a situation at Newbury, and once more he was on the coach, “The Star”, which ran between Bath and London, through Newbury. He at once entered the employ of a Mr. Dalrymple, with whom he put in a time of 3 ½ years, and to oblige his employer, he stayed six months longer, having to go on a vacant round and find out the customers the best way he could.

Mr. Bell experienced many vicissitudes. Those were the days of heavy loads and long journeys on foot 12 to 14 miles a day with a big pack, enough to load a donkey at starting, but it gradually got lighter, and the pocket got heavier. It is difficult, said Mr. Bell once, for men of the present day to realise what the work was 50 years ago on a country round. It was not at all unusual to be up at five on a Monday morning, breakfast, and off on the road long before daylight in the winter time. Now, eight or nine o’clock is considered early to commence business; and what with holidays and half-day closings every week, the manners and customs of the trade are entirely changed. Mr. Bell declared that he never had a holiday during the four years of his apprenticeship.

Mr. Bell started business on his own account sixty-eight years ago, and in recent years was assisted by his son, Mr. John McNay Bell. He and Mr. Walter Henry Bell, are the surviving sons.

Mr. Bell retired from active business several years ago. He had an inclination towards poetry, and frequently expressed himself in verses. Indeed, he once had the courage to address the magistrates in rhyme when appearing before them as a passive resister.




The funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, the body being interred in the grave of the deceased wife in Newbury Cemetery. The Rev. J. W. Harford, Congregational pastor, officiated. The mourners were Mr. J. Mc. N. Bell, Mr. Walter H. Bell (sons), Mrs. J. Mc. N. Bell (daughter-in-law),  Mr. R. J. Bell,  Miss Dorothy Bell (grandchildren), Mr. Hy. Gore (nephew), Mr. J. Viner, Miss Richards (housekeeper). “There then follows a list of the many people who attended the funeral”. The coffin, of polished oak, was inscribed:


Born March 4th, 1826

Died January 30th, 1915

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs.  Penford and Son.

Newbury Weekly News 4 February 1915

Mrs. P. Code P (D) 7   Page 170

He died on 30 January 1915 aged 88 and buried on 3 February 1915.

Also  Mary Bell  wife of the above  who died 3 March 1906 aged 83 and buried on 7 March 1906

This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

Pictures and photographs

Click to enlarge
Poster for Robert Bells shop

Poster for Robert Bells shop
Click to enlarge
Bell Family tree

Bell Family tree
Click to enlarge
bell tree with dates
bell tree with dates


Biographies & History

No documents available at this time.

Related Links



*The FNRC believe that the certificates published on this page have been added in compliance with the rules laid down by the General Register Office (GRO).Click here for more information.
If you believe that we may have inadvertently breached the privacy of a living person by publishing any document, pleasecontact usso we can immediately remove the certificate and investigate further.
Thank you

Website designed and maintained by Paul Thompson on behalf of the Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery.

Administrator Login