Portrait of Ebenezer Rhodes

EBENEZER RHODES, (1763-1839) Cutlery manufacturer and author

Purchased by the Company in 1840.

Drawing Room.  (Catalogued at 030039)




From the Holmes in Rotherham, Ebenezer Rhodes was apprenticed in 1777 to Thomas Cousins, a Sheffield scissorsmith.  He took out his Freedom in 1774 and registered the mark ‘VILLE’.  He became a prominent early nineteenth century cutlery manufacturer with the firm of Champion, Rhodes and Champion.  (Scissors made by Champion for the 1851 Great Exhibition are in Entrance hall.)  He became Master Cutler in 1808.

 Rhodes had journalistic ambitions and wrote one part of the companion book ‘Yorkshire Scenery’ in 1826 and in 1837 wrote ‘The Derbyshire Tourist’s guide and travelling companion’.  He was so keen on his writing that he neglected his business.  He was helped financially by Sir Francis Chantrey, James Montgomery and Samuel Bailey.

The portrait shows him holding, presumably, one of his books.  Between 1818 and 1824, he wrote his famous four-volume work ‘Peak Scenery’ which was published with illustrations by, among others, Francis Chantrey and T C Hofland.  The Cutlers’ Company owns an original edition of this work

 He died, in considerable debt, in 1839.


Artist - William Poole (1798-1888)

William Poole studied in Birmingham with his younger brother James.  They both came to Sheffield in the 1820s.  William Poole was a portrait painter, as well as painting interiors and landscapes, and was a member of the Sheffield Society of Artists.

The Company owns three other portraits by William Poole: Hugh Parker in the Banqueting Hall, Thomas Hanby in the Drawing Room and Thomas Asline Ward in the Hallamshire Suite.