Robert ALSTEAD OBE (1873-1946)

Robert Alstead was born on 23 October 1873 in Upholland, Lancashire, the third son of John Alstead and Hannah Farrington. He was a self-made businessman in the clothing trade and a Liberal Party politician. HIs father,, John was a joiner and carpenter.

Robert was educated at Wigan Elementary School and Wigan Mining Technical College.

In the 1881 Census, Robert is recorded as living at 40 Hardman Fold, Chadderton, Lancashire. Aged 10, Robert worked as a newsboy on a railway book store.

In the 1891 Census, Robert, single, aged 17 and employed as a ‘Time Keeper’ is recorded living at 20 Wiend, Wigan, Lancashire.

He married Sarah Ann Deakin in in Wigan in 1896. In the 1890s Robert worked in the Deakin family’s jam business before moving into the clothing business, eventually owning a number of shops in the Wigan area (an Alstead’s slogan: “Why be shabby? Wear Alstead’s”) and founding Robert Alstead Ltd, a woollens and clothing manufacturers.

Robert and Sarah had the following children:

  1. Robert Farrington ALSTEAD, b. 1897, Pemberton, Lancashire, d. 1982
  2. George Deakin ALSTEAD, b. 1898, Pemberton, d. Nov 1988
  3. Charles Gordon ALSTEAD, b. 1902, Wigan, d. Jun 1987 (a photo of Charles Alstead taken at Wigan Grammar School c. 1929 can be viewed on the wiganworld website)
  4. Donald Marsden ALSTEAD, b. 1903, Wigan, d.16 Dec 1959
  5. Stanley ALSTEAD CBE, MD, FRCP, FRCPED, FRCPGLAS, FRSE, b. 1905, Wigan, d. 1992 (for a biography click here and his obituary in the British Medical Journal click here)
  6. Muriel Sarah Deakin ALSTEAD, b. 1907, Wigan, m. Robert MISSEN
  7. William Alexander Norman ALSTEAD, b. 1914, Wigan, d. Aug 1992

In the 1901 Census, Robert is recorded as living at 283 Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, Wigan, aged 27 with his wife Sarah Ann and sons Robert F and George D Alstead. Occupation: Travelling Draper.

In the 1911 Census, Robert is recorded as living at 43 Upper Dicconson Street, Wigan, aged 37 with his wife Sarah Ann and sons Robert Farrington, George Deakin, Charles Gordon, Donald Marsden and Stanley. Occupation: Director of Limited Company.

1914 Alstead’s Advert courtesy of wiganworld

Robert served as an elected member of Wigan Town Council from 1913 to 1929 and was Mayor of Wigan in 1926-27. He was a governor of Wigan Grammar School and a governor of the Wigan Mining Technical College between 1913 and 1932 and also served as a Justice of the Peace.

Robert pursued his interest in politics. He unsuccessfully contested the Wigan parliamentary constituency in the 1918 general election. In 1922, he was adopted as prospective Liberal Candidate for Altrincham, Cheshire, and entered Parliament as a Liberal MP on 6 December 1923, polling 19,046 votes in the General Election. Robert Alstead lost his seat during the General Election of 1924 (29 October 1924) and did not stand for Parliament again after the 1929 election.

Robert was awarded the OBE in the King’s New Year Honours List in 1939.

Robert died at Gathurst, near Wigan, on 9 September 1946, aged 72 years. His widow Sarah later died in 1960, aged 86.

Robert Alstead (1873-1946)

Parents of Robert Alstead

John Alstead
Hannah Alstead
(née Farrington)

Siblings of Robert Alstead

Annie Catherine ALSTEAD
(1869 – 1946)
John Farrington ALSTEAD
(1870 – 1908) 
James Christopher ALSTEAD
(1872 – 1943)
William Henry ALSTEAD
(1875 – 1919)
Christopher ALSTEAD
(1879 – 1943)
Elizabeth Farrington ALSTEAD
Joseph Dixon ALSTEAD
(1885 – 1963)