Robert Ford 1826–1913

Robert FordRobert Ford was born on 23 January 1826 in Beverley, Yorkshire – the fourth son of John Ford and Mary Hamilton of Hull. In 1834, he went to sea as a cabin boy and received his merchant seamen ticket 11 years later. According to this document, he was living in Hull, was 5′ 7″ tall, had dark brown hair, dark complexion and hazel eyes.

In 1849, aged 23, Robert married 18-year-old Sarah Ann Aspinall at Hull’s Holy Trinity Church. They initially lived near the river at 33 Blackfriargate but over the next 50 years spent a lot of time at sea, often accompanied by his whole family on the Fairy, the Robert Keddey and the Marmaduke. He had 12 children with Sarah: John William, Sarah Ann, Emily, Ada, Sarah Ann, Robert, Ada, Walter, Alice Louise, Kate, Gertrude and Kate Elizabeth.

In the late 1800s he retired and moved to the Master Mariners Alms Houses on Carr Lane, presumably because of ill health. Sarah joined him few years later. In 1909, they were both featured in the Hull Daily Mail, as they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

He died on 17 March 1913 of senility and chronic bronchitis.