Ebenezer Rhodes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ebenezer Rhodes
Ebenezer Rhodes of Sheffield and Derbyshire.jpg
by Chantry
Born 1762[1]
near Rotherham
Died 16 December 1839[2]
Education Apprenticeship
Occupation Cutler and topographer
Spouse(s) Miss Hill of Sheffield
Children Seven (two died as children)
Parent(s) John Rhodes (an iron worker)[3]

Ebenezer Rhodes (1762–1839) was an English topographer, publisher, master cutler and artist.


Rhodes was born in Masborough[4] near Rotherham, in 1762. He entered the cutlery trade in 1777 and served a seven-year apprenticeship.[3] He was interested in reading and the theatre but his occupation was as a senior partnership with David Champion in a business that made scissors. To the production of fine scissors, the firm added the making of razors and in both these classes of articles they acquired a fine reputation.[3]

Rhodes was elected in 1808 to be head of Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire and became Master Cutler. In August, the members gave their president a gold cup in acknowledgment of his public services in the establishment of the Institution.

Rhodes started to become associated with debating societies. One of these associations was called The Society of the Friends of Literature. Its meetings were held at a public house in Sheffield. Rhodes held a conspicuous place as an intelligent and fluent converser and as a Jacobin politician. Amongst this group were the Rev John Pye Smith the theological writer and James Montgomery the Christian poet and philanthropist. These groups were eventually proscribed as they were thought to be a source of sedition.[3]

Peak scenery[edit]

Rhodes made many excursions with James Montgomery, to Monsal Dale, Millers Dale, and other parts of Derbyshire.[1] He would spend days sketching in Dovedale with his fellow artist Thomas Christopher Hofland.[5]

In 1818 he published the first part of his folio edition of his ' Peak Scenery, or the Derbyshire Tourist,' dedicated to the Duke of Devonshire and illustrated by F.L.Chantrey. This was followed by part one of Yorkshire Scenery which was the only part ever published. In 1837 Rhodes issued a small Derbyshire Tourist's Guide and Travelling Companion. All his books involved him in financial loss, although his Peak Scenery remains a standard work.[1] Apart from these ventures, he had turned his attention to journalism, and for a number of years he was editor of the Sheffield Independent.[2]


Meanwhile, his business failed, and before his death he became a bankrupt. A fund was raised for his support, to which Montgomery subscribed £100., while Chantrey privately gave Rhodes £50/- a year. Rhodes thenceforth made a small income by preparing steel plates for engravers by a novel process.[1] He died, a poor man, on 16 December 1839 at his home in Victoria Street, Sheffield.[2]


  • Essay on the Manufacture, Choice and Management of a Razor By E Rhodes Cutler Sheffield 1809
  • Peak Scenery, or the Derbyshire Tourist,' dedicated to the Duke of Devonshire and illustrated by F.L.Chantrey. 181-1824
  • Yorkshire Scenery,' pt. 1. London, 1826
  • Derbyshire Tourist's Guide and Travelling Companion.' 1837
  • The poets of Yorkshire (he was included), William Cartwright Newsam 1845


  1. ^ a b c d Dictionary of National Biography now in the public domain
  2. ^ a b c The Christian Pioneer, ed by G.Harris. 1840
  3. ^ a b c d The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist,: A Quarterly Journal and Review edited by Llewellyn Frederick William Jewitt, John Charles Cox, John Romilly Allen January 1863
  4. ^ Rotherham council
  5. ^ Hofland, T.C. (1839). The British Anglers Manual. p. 410. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mackerness, E. D. 'The harvest of failure : Ebenezer Rhodes (1762–1839)'. Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, 101 (1981), 107–18. Publisher: Derbyshire Archaeological Society. ISSN 0070-3788.