natstand logo

Robert Champley (1829 - 1895)


"Natural History was his hobby through life – but probably he was a better collector than naturalist"

Anon. 1901 Some Scarborough Faces (Past and Present), Scarborough


1841 census - Thornton, Allerton, Yorkshire
Head of household is Thomas Green; are family visiting relatives?
1851 census - 15 Marlborough Crescent, Westgate, Northumberland
1871 census - 13, The Crescent, Scarborough
1881 census - 13, The Crescent, Scarborough
1891 census - 13, The Crescent, Scarborough

Additional links

Annotated family
Creative Commons Licence

natstand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
1829 October 4 : Birth Robert was the eldest son of Scarborough druggist, ship-owner and baths proprietor, Robert Champley and his wife Ann Thornton.
1866 February 20 : Marriage ¹Manchester Courier and general advertiser - 1866 February 23
MARRIAGES. CHAMPLEY – PHIPSON. – February 20, at Milverton Church. Leamington, Robert Champley, Esq., of Scarborough, to Sarah Elizabeth Mary, elder daughter of the late Richard Barroll Phipson, Esq, of Warwickshire.
1891 : Exhibition ¹Yorkshire Evening Press - 1891 November 16
... Round the walls were upwards of three hundred local plants, gathered, mounted, and named by Mr. W Maskew and beneath these were arranged other exhibits, the place of honour being reserved for a case of sea-birds' eggs from Alderman C.
[sic] Champley's celebrated collection. Surmounting the case was a beautifully mounted specimen of the now extinct great auk, and immediately under were the nine eggs (said to be worth £2,500), which form the largest collection in the world. Few, indeed, are the private individuals who can boast the possession of even a single egg of the great auk, as the museums of the world, thirsting for specimens, are ever ready to outbid even the exorbitant "market price" which the last sale established. Out of the very few known eggs - (and one may be sure they are numbered and tabulated with as much care as rare parchments) - no less than ten are in Scarborough - nine in the possession of Ald. Champley, and the tenth is in the Museum the Philosophical Society ...
1895 January 29 : Death ¹Leeds Mercury - 1895 January 30
Ald. Champley, of Scarborough, died very suddenly yesterday morning. he was discussing with Mr John Tonks, head of the firm Tonks and Sons, undertakers, &c., Westborough, Scarborough, some matter connected with the recent funeral of Dr. Fitch, for whose estate he was a trustee, when, without any preliminary symptoms of ill-health, he fell to the office floor and at once succumbed. Ald. Champley was first elected to the Scarborough Town Council in 1863, and in 1870 he was elevated to the Aldermanic bench. The deceased gentleman was the senior magistrate for the borough (1864), and a magistrate (1875) and deputy-lieutenant (1890) for the North Riding. He had studied natural history, and was well known amongst collectors as being in possession of several splendid specimens of the eggs of the extinct Great Auk.

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Middleton J. R. & Middleton R. : last updated 7 May 2018