Mastin Family Tree

Arthur Mastin of Sheffield

(Born at Sheffield in 1868. Died at Sheffield in 1910)


Arthur Mastin of Sheffield
Arthur Mastin of Sheffield
Esther Mastin, née Ryalls, of Sheffield
Esther Mastin, née Ryalls, of Sheffield
Arthur was born at Cavendish Street, Sheffield to father, Joseph Mastin of Sheffield, and mother, Jane Wragg. You will note from the entry in the "Sheffield & District Who's Who", copied at right, that the address is the same as his father, Joseph's. As you will appreciate he was of some standing in Sheffield and the building trade and, unlike his father, he seemed prepared to take public office. It's a shame he only outlived his father by six years. Arthur was next to the youngest of four brothers. I do not know why either of his elder brothers Charles and Joseph did not inherit the building business, they were described as "builders" in the 1891 census.

Arthur married Esther Ryalls and had 5 sons, Arthur, Frank, Leonard, Stewart, and Harold, and one daughter Hilda. Arthur and Hilda met with tragic fatal accidents. They both, at separate times, fell off a couch onto a stone floor at Cavendish Street and died. I find it almost impossible to believe that such an accident could happen twice. One would have thought that the couch would have been removed after the first accident.

Of Interest
From "Sheffield & District Who's Who" 1905:
"Arthur Mastin, president of the Sheffield Builders' Association, was born in Sheffield in 1868.
"Since the death of his father in 1904, he has been the sole proprietor of the business of Joseph Mastin and Son, Builders and Contractors. He joined the Builders' Association in 1894, held the office of Treasurer for five years, and acted as Secretary during the masons' strike.
"His Presidency has been marked by a growing membership. He is a Director of the Sheffield Building Trades Exchange and the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
"Residence: 15 Cavendish Street."

Notes (J.M):
- His son, Frank, was killed in the First World War, and Arthur himself died in 1910 when my father was only three. I think my father, Harold, had some special relationship with Frank, perhaps as a father substitute, as I can recall seeing letters from Frank to my father when he was at war. I don't know what happened to these letters since my mother died.
- My Aunt Kay tells me that after Arthur died the business was run by a manager. However, there was some problem, and widow Mastin lost money. Mr Cliffe, an original employee of Joseph Mastin, got the business back on a firm footing.
- She also told me that her husband Leonard (my Uncle Len) had said that when he was a lad there were thirteen sitting down to meals. I don't know how this number was made up unless Arthur's brothers still lived there. Times must have been very difficult through the First World War particularly in the building trade. I am short on detail during these times and it's a bit ironic that I seem to know more about older generations than the later ones.
- I do remember my father telling me that the "firm" had built the old News Theatre in Fitzalan Square. It was originally called the Electra and was completed in 1911 just after Arthur's death. It must have been the last building he was involved with. It was a very ornate building in masonry and brick, which gave it a striped effect. It unfortunately was demolished in the 1980's because the building next door burnt down and damaged the structure.

Notes (J.B):
- The building next door to the News Theatre was an electrical store belonging to Wigfall's. At the time of the fire, my son Darryl Beresford, was working at the store.
- At some time my grandfather was made a partner in "the firm". I have found no record of the start of a formal partnership, but it may have been after he was made a member of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers on 3rd May 1904. I have letters regarding the dissolution of the partnership from Frank Ernest, Arthur and the firm's solicitors Wake & Sons, Rank Street, and some correspondence between Arthur and Frank Ernest (below left and right). These letters are dated July 1909, but I have no date when the business was completed.
- There is also a part of one letter (below right) where Frank is replying to Arthur's letter where he says, "pleased to learn you are improving". This I think shows that Arthur's health was not good at that date.

Letter written on Joseph Mastin & Son headed note paper:
"Mr F. E. Mastin,
"78 Ranby Road,
"Dear Frank,
"Received your July 7th 09 & very sorry to hear of your illness. I trust you will soon be well again. As regards myself I am improving slowly & expect to be 3 or 4 weeks longer in the Home.
"Seeing that you are ordered by 3 or 4 Doctors to get out of the trade & which under the circumstances I take it you are anxious to do. This as you are aware will mean a dissolution of partnership & I expect you will want me to pay you out any moneys due to you. If this is your desire I shall be pleased if you will write me a letter to the effect that you wish a dissolution to take place & all moneys owing to you to be paid to you. On receipt of this I will at once place the matter in Messers Wade's hands so that it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.
"I should also be glad if you will let me have the Doctors certificate so that if required I can report it to the Factory Inspector.
"Yours Faithfully,
"Arthur Mastin."
(This is an accurate copy made by John Beresford 30/3/2000).
Copy of a rough draft of a letter found written in pencil on letter type paper belonging to Frank Mastin:
"Dear Arthur,
"I received your letter dated 8/7/09 and was pleased to learn that you are improving.
"Re Dissolution of Partnership, I think that considering the present state of my health & Doctors' advice to leave the trade, I think a dissolution is advisable both in fairness to you & myself. So I hereby desire owing to sickness & Doctors' orders a Dissolution of Partnership between you & myself to take place & all monies to which I am entitled to be paid to me.
I am very sorry that this dissolution is to take place, but Dr. Stacey says if I stop now I have a chance, but if I go on it will very likely finish up with Paralysis. I am still in bed & on a slop diet as I cannot keep anything solid on my stomach.
Should be pleased if Jenny you would let me know where to write to i.e. Norwich & London Insurance. I enclose Doctors Certificate. Have asked Doctor & no notice need be sent to Factory Inspector as notification from Dr. Skinner holds good.
Hoping that your improvement will be continued & that you will be out earlier than you anticipate.
I remain..."
(This I presume to be the draft reply by Frank Mastin to the letter dated 8th July 1909 from Arthur Mastin. I do not know if this letter was ever sent, but must assume that this one or one similar was sent).
(This is a true copy made by John Beresford 30/3/2000).

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