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Sanderson Bros.

Details about Sanderson Bros.

J. & R.O. Sanderson; Sanderson Bros. & Jones

The Sanderson brothers were native to the Hartlepools, although their roots were in North Yorkshire. Robert Oliver Sanderson was the leading light in the company. In 1894 he moved to Cardiff and initially opened an office as a shipbroker, later expanding the business with his brother John operating the West Hartlepool office.

On June 25th, 1910, they moved into shipowning, with the launch of the Joseph Chamberlain from the William Gray shipyard. The launching ceremony was performed by Mrs. John Sanderson, who was given a gold necklace as a memento. The ship ran her trials on August 15th, achieving a speed of 11.5 knots.

In 1912, in partnership with Messrs. Jones of Cardiff, they bought a second-hand ship, the Frank Coverdale, from local Hartlepool shipowners Coverdales, and renamed her Arthur Balfour.
The two ships were engaged in the tramp trade until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1917 both ships were sold, the Joseph Chamberlain going to Messrs. Jones for £25,000 (nearly £2million at todays values), and the Arthur Balfour to S. Instone & Co., of Cardiff (price unknown).

This brought to an end the Sanderson's shipowning business, and the Hartlepool office closed soon afterwards. Robert Sanderson continued with his shipbroking business in Cardiff, becoming Chairman of a number of organistaions, including the Cardiff & Bristol Channel Shipowners Association, and in 1919 was elected President of the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce.

Compiled by Mr. Bert Spaldin.

Family History:

John James Sanderson was born at Hartlepool in about 1855 to parents John and Sarah (nee Hind). He began his working life as a shipowner’s clerk. John married Annie Robson at Hartlepool in 1881. In 1891 and 1901 they were living at 42 South Road, West Hartlepool with their two sons and two daughters.  By 1911 the couple were living at 74 Clifton Avenue with one son and two daughters.

John died aged 89 at Hartlepool on 16 July 1944 leaving effects of £40,131.

Robert Oliver Sanderson was born at Hartlepool in 1862 to parents John and Sarah (nee Hind).  He also began his working life as a clerk. John married Bertha Henderson at Sunderland in 1889 and by 1891 the couple were living at Conway Road, Cardiff. By 1911 they were living at  Cathedral Road, Cardiff with their son.

Robert died aged 67 at Cardiff on 1 January 1930 leaving effects of £1045.


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