Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: ROBSON, William James

Birth Date: 1881 Pimlico, London

Death Date: 27 Sep 1961 Nairobi

First Date: 1917

Last Date: 1961

Profession: Coffee farmer 1917-35. Then accountancy jobs in Nairobi. Was with M.D. Kampf for many years. Wife was a dental receptionist, lastly with Dr. Sorabjee, until age 82

Area: Thika, Nairobi, 1922 Riversmeet Estate Thika

Married: In Clapham, London 14 Aug 1909 Lilian Kate Carter b. 14 Aug 1897 Loughton, Essex, d. 6 May 1972 Nairobi

Children: Coralie S. L. (1912 Wandsworth-1914); Patricia (Cawthorne) (28 Nov 1921 Nairobi-2013); Rosemary (Robbins)

Book Reference: EAWL, KAD, Red 31, Hut, Red 22, Gazette

School: In England. As well as Sec/Acctancy training he was also trained as an art teacher

General Information:

Gazette 17 Oct 1961 probate
His profession was Company Secretary/Accountant, and had a good career in banking in the City of London until a lung infection, caught during WW1, led to his being advised to move to a hot climate. Hence started as a coffee farmer in Kenya in 1917 at age 37.
When they arrived at Chania Estate their only form of transport was by pony and trap, until the pony died! Then they had to walk until they could afford a rattle trap old Model T Ford. Some time in the 1920s they bought a piece of Chania Estate and started their own small coffee shamba, 'Riversmeet', building their own little stone house with mbati roof, and 'celotex' ceilings which were gradually eaten away by white ants - bits of ceiling, or ants, dropped onto the dining table occasionally. In the 1930s Riversmeet went 'bust' - a slump in coffee prices, plus droughts, locusts, coffee diseases etc. all contributed. He went back to the world of accountancy.
I'm sure other 'old-timers' would remember my father best as someone who, right to the end of his life, would NEVER venture outside in the daytime without his white pith helmet, lined with red flannel to keep out the harmful rays of the sun, which everyone knew could make you go mad.  Source: Mrs Rosemary Robbins. More on letter file.
Gazette - 29/10/1919 - Register of Voters - Kikuyu - William James Robson, Plantation Manager, Farm 289, PO Chania Bridge and Lilian Kate Robson, Married, Farm 289, PO Chania Bridge
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Ukamba Voters List
Gazette 17 Oct 1961 probate
Gazette 17 Nov 1972 wife's probate

Back to search results