Mr Samuel Gardner
Dates: around 1817 - around 1875
Biographical Account: Samuel Gardner was born in 1817 and brought up in the Redhill area of Sheffield. He was the son of Derbyshire born merchant Samuel Gardner Sr. By THE 1850s, he was the part owner of a saw manufacturing business called Kenyon & Co. The company had been founded by the Kenyon brothers in the early 17th century and Gardner purchased it with a small consortium of Sheffield businessmen. In Gardner's day, the company operated out of two sites; one in Hollis Croft, Woodhouse and the other at Millsands, near Neepsend. The latter site appears to have been very badly damaged (probably destroyed) in the great flood of 1864. Much of Neepsend was obliterated by the floodwaters as they travelled from Dale Dyke Dam down the Don Valley. Gardner is known to have filed an insurance claim to recoup some of the cost. He lived in Redhill with his parents until his father died in 1857. In the 1860s, he moved to Button Hill in Ecclesall then Grange Cliffe, which is probably in Millhouses. By the 1870s, he had moved to Archer House in Abbeydale, an indication that he was moving up in the world. This house was later owned by Thomas Cole (of Cole Brothers fame) and later still by Baronet Alexander Wilson. It is unknown how Gardner came to be interested in birds. He is believed to have known some of the great Sheffield based ornithologists, such as Seebohm, Dixon and Webster and probably moved in similar circles. in 1875, he donated a substantial collection of bird skins, cases of taxidermy and eggs. This may have been in preparation of his death, as he is believed to have died some time between 1871 and 1881. His collection became one of the earliest to have been donated directly to the museum, soon after it was founded.