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Sir Arthur Joseph Atkinson
by Walter Stonemanbromide print, 1930NPG x163774
by Bassano Ltdhalf-plate glass negative, 10 April 1930NPG x157789
by Bassano Ltdhalf-plate glass negative, 10 April 1930NPG x157790
by Elliott & Fryquarter-plate glass negative, 4 January 1951NPG x99897
by Elliott & Frybromide print, 4 January 1951NPG x86208
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21 December 2022, 15:39
The Hull Charterhouse
Stories from the history of God's House in Hull
Friday, 26 February 2021
Sir Arthur Joseph Atkinson -Shipowner of Kingston Upon Hull
Sir Arthur Atkinson was for many years a trustee of the Charterhouse, and the Chairman for much of that time. Yet there is no reminder of him here; no memorial and nothing named after him.
Sir Arthur Atkinson
He had a similar role in many of the charitable organisations in the city, but now seems to have been forgotten. A ward was named after him at the old Sutton Annexe of the Infirmary, of which he was Chairman and President, but few know who Atkinson was. Is there any memory of him at Northumberland Court, where he was a trustee of the United Charities Almshouses for many years? Or in Hull Trinity House, where he was an honorary brother?
So who was Sir Arthur Joseph Atkinson? He was born in Hull on 20 July 1864, the son of Joseph Atkinson, a shipowner who had founded the firm William Brown, Atkinson & Co. (Joseph Atkinson cropped up in my earlier research into the building on Salthouse Lane, Hull, which was for many years the Sailors' Home. He was the driving force behind the home and was Chair of its management committee for all that time.) Arthur was sent off to be educated at the Leys School in Cambridge and then, at the age of 16, began to work in his father's company and train for its eventual control.
In 1891 Arthur married Bertha Blain Haughton. By 1911 the couple were living in Elloughton where Joseph was seriously ill. He died in 1912 and Arthur took control of the family company. He was later to form the Sea Steamship Co Ltd and continued to be associated with both companies all his long life. During the 1914-18 war he made use of his enthusiasm for motor cars by raising and commanding the East Riding Motor Volunteers (M.T., A.S.C.); he retired from that with the rank of Major. It's thought that this unit did not go overseas, and this chimes with the fact that Atkinson continued to be involved in politics during the war. He was Sheriff of Hull in 1917-18.