TitleW. & G. Sissons Ltd, Silversmiths and Electroplaters, Sheffield (previously: Roberts, Cadman & Co. [1786 - 1826], and Roberts, Smith & Co. [1826 - 1848])
AdminHistoryThe firm W. & G. Sissons Ltd was the direct successor of the firm Roberts, Cadman & Co. The roots of the firm can be traced to 1784 when three young men from Sheffield: Samuel Roberts (1763 - 1848), George Cadman (1760 - 1823) and Rev. Benjamin Naylor (1761 - 1846) entered into partnership as silversmiths and silverplaters, trading from Eyre Street, Sheffield. Samuel Roberts and George Cadman had previously served their apprenticeship to Messrs Roberts, Eyre, Beldon & Co. of Union Street, Sheffield, a firm in which Roberts father, Samuel Roberts senior (1732 - 1799), was a partner.

In 1826, three years after the death of founding partner George Cadman, a new partnership was formed between Samuel Roberts (1763 - 1848), Evan Smith (c. 1806 - 1862) and William Sissons (1803 - 1878), with the firm becoming known as Roberts, Smith & Co., manufacturers of silver and plated wares. By 1833, the firm had opened up premises at 8 Duke Street, Adelphi, London, in addition to its headquarters at 5 Eyre Street, Sheffield. It appears that Evan Smith moved to London to oversee the firm's operations there.

In April 1834, Samuel Roberts retired from business, succeeded by his son, Samuel Roberts junior (1800 - 1887). In July 1848, Samuel Roberts junior retired, leaving Evan Smith and William Sissons to trade under the title of Smith, Sissons & Co. In 1858 Evan Smith left the firm, leaving William Sissons to enter into partnership with his two sons William Sissons (c. 1832 - 1893) and George Sissons (c. 1836 - 1891) and trade under the title W. & G. Sissons. In October 1884, William and George Sissons in turn retired, giving way to two of William's sons Charles Sissons (1856 - 1914) and Walter Sissons (1857 - 1941).

The Sissons family also had close family ties with other prominent Sheffield firms. It appears Charles and Walter's older brother John William Sissons (1855 - 1920) took over the running of the firm John Jowett (previously Marshall & Jowett), Steel Refiner and Edge Tool Makers, Albion Works, Countess Road and New Wheel, Sheffield. John Jowett (c. 1802 - 1884) was the maternal grandfather of John William, Charles and Walter Sissons (their father William Sissons had married Elizabeth Jowett, daughter of John Jowett in 1854).

The Sissons family also became involved with the firm J. and J. Maxfield, Spoon and Fork Manufacturers, Piercers and Stampers, Sheffield, which became established on Arundel Street. One of the firm's partners, Joshua Maxfield (c. 1835 - 1900) was the father in-law to Walter Sissons (1857 - 1941). Walter Sissons married Joshua's daughter Agnes Maxfield in 1884 and later acted as a trustee/executor for Joshua's will.

W. & G. Sissons Ltd manufactured silver plate, and registered the Bell as a trade mark. After the Second World War it turned over to metal manufacture, especially of stainless steel sinks. By 1980, the works (previously in St Mary's Road, Sheffield) had relocated to Calver Mill, Derbyshire. From August 1963, the company's headquarters was in Chesterfield and from 1978 they were based at Carrwood Road, Chesterfield.

The final Sissons family member to be involved with the firm was Harold Gordon Sissons (1899 - 1975) who headed the company for 30 years. In 2002, W. & G. Sissons Ltd was purchased by the Swiss company Franke (established in 1911) as part of their 'Washroom Systems' division, creating the company Franke Sissons Ltd (based on Carwood Road, Chesterfield).
DescriptionCorporate and Management Records, 1786 - 1935 (SIS/1)
Legal Records, 1816 - c. 1946 (SIS/2)
Financial Records, 1786 - 1956 (SIS/3)
Employment Records, 1833 - 1959 (SIS/4)
Production and Sales Records, 1787 - 1939 (SIS/5)
Promotional Material, 1889 - [early 20th cent] (SIS/6)
Trade Association Records, 1917 - 1937 (SIS/7)
Records of Related Companies, 1843 - 1940 (SIS/8)
Sissons Family Papers, [late 19th cent] - 1940 (SIS/9)
Roberts Family Papers, 1764 - 1847 (SIS/10)
Date1764 - 1956
Extent243 items
RelatedMaterialPrinted history of W. and G. Sissons Limited, and W and G Sissons Employee Trust, 2006 (X29/1).
W. and G. Sissons, Silversmiths and Electroplaters, Sheffield: records include financial; correspondence; property; products; personal, 1885 - 1936 (MD7303).
W. & G. Sissons, Silversmiths and Electroplaters, Sheffield: printed address, 1853; manuscript notes on the history of Sissons, late 1950s - 1980s; W. and G. Sissons Employee Trust, minutes and accounts, 2003 - 2004 (X448).
Genealogical papers (X855)
AcquisitionSourceThese items were deposited by the firm in a number of consignments beginning in Nov 1975.
ArchNoteCatalogue prepared by Tim Knebel and Clea Carroll, Aug 2013 (from original typescript paper list)
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