Topics > People in History > Robert Ropner (1838 - 1924)

Robert Ropner (1838 - 1924)


Sir (Emil Hugo Oscar) Robert Ropner, 1st Baronet (1838 -1924) was a shipbuilder business man and later Member of Parliament for Stockton-on-Tees. He was born in Magdeburg, Prussia in 1838, but sadly, both of his parents died of cholera when he was ten. At the age of 19 Ropner and a friend decided to emigrate. By chance the first available ship he could find work on sailed to Hartlepool. Here, he took up work for a coal export company in West Hartlepool docks, before building up a fleet of colliers and founding the Ropner Shipping Company there in 1874. In 1882, Robert and his wife Mary moved to Preston Hall (now a museum). In 1888, he acquired the North Shore Shipyard at Stockton-on-Tees where he established a successful shipbuilding business, building steam ships and trunk deck ships. Ropner Park in Stockton-on-Tees is named after him; Ropner paid for the land needed for the public park in 1890. He served as High Sheriff of Durham in 1896. Ropner was President of the UK Chamber of Shipping in 1902 and was knighted that year. He was MP for Stockton-on-Tees from 1900 to 1910. Ropner died 26th February 1924, aged 85.

TRUNK STEAMERS. The inventors of this type of vessel are Messrs. Ropner & Son, the well known shipbuilders of Stockton-on-Tees. The trunk steamer is essentially a cargo vessel which possesses special facilities for the stowage of bulk cargoes, and advantages in the navigation of the vessel.... The special feature of this vessel is the trunk erection. This trunk is strongly framed and plated, and can be made thoroughly substantial. It extends from the poop to the bridge, and from the bridge to the forecastle, into each of which the sides of the trunk are scarphed...."

Extract from: Steel ships, their construction and maintenance : a manual for shipbuilders, ship superintendents, students, and marine engineers. Thomas Walton, 1901
People in History Preston Park Museum and Grounds Panama Fairlead, Ropner Park Ship Building Ropner Park
from https://www.npg.org.uk/coll...
Sir (Emil Hugo Oscar) Robert Ropner, 1st Bt
- Photo by Benjamin Stone, 1901, from the House of Commons Library c/o The National Portrait Gallery. Image available under a non commercial Creative Commons by-nc-nd/3.0 licence.

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Section of Trunk Type of Vessel

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To the Memory of Sir Robert Ropner who died 26th February 1924.

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To the Memory of Mary Anne Ropner who died 29th October 1921. The wife of Sir Robert Ropner Bt.

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Colonel Sir Robert Ropner Bt., M.P., V.D., J.P.,

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Ropner Coat of Arms, Preston Hall.

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Napier Motor Car belonging to Sir Robert Ropner

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Yorkshire, Hutton Rudby

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from https://heritage.stockton.g...
Sir Robert Ropner - Victorian Entrepreneur
- "Emil Hugo Oscar Robert Ropner was born in Magdeburg, Prussia in 1838. Both of his parents died of cholera when he was ten but they had left enough money for ...

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Simon Cotterill

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