A child labourer, Samson became an apprentice in an engineering works.
An ingenious inventor, the seriously bearded Samson became seriously rich with his invention of the corrugated boiler flue, made by his own Leeds Forge Company, which enabled steam engines to produce more power.
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The actress was attending the Macmillan Celebrity Stocking Auction in London when she posed for pictures in a rather revealing lace black dress.
Visiting her great-aunts, Emilia discovers that Hilda’s marriage wasn’t a success because, to quote Mary, ‘Willy’ “ran orf with an American tart”. A first clue is to be found at the Royal College of Music.
For the sisters, a gilded upbringing came to an abrupt end with their parents’ divorce. In her later years, Hilda lived with her daughters and a photograph shows her content and smiling. Willy’s father, Samson Fox, paid outright for its construction with donations of £45,000 (equivalent to £2.5 million today) and his bust sits in the entrance hall.
Going back another generation, Robin’s mother, Hilda Hanbury, herself walked the boards in the late Victorian era.
She followed her sister, Lily Hanbury, one of the most famous actresses of the era, onto the stage.
But did Hilda get out from under her sister’s shadow?
That’s certainly the suggestion of an 1894 programme that shows Hilda was part of the renowned leading man Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s company.
A visit to Bristol University’s theatre archives, though, reveals that Hilda never progressed beyond small parts.
Instead, she quit acting and in 1905 married Arthur William Fox, a man of “of independent means” according to the wedding certificate.