Celebrating 175 Years
In 1841 the first edition of Punch magazine was published,
Robert Peel became Prime Minister, and the Penny Black stamp was
replaced by the Penny Red. Also, here in Hull, a young Solicitor
called John Rollit began practising law with his Partner William
Dryden. The Firm was called Dryden Sons & Rollit.
In 1850 Rollit, the son of a cabinet maker, set up business on
his own at 62 Whitefriargate and soon after welcomed his two sons
Albert and Arthur to the Partnership now called Rollit and
The Firm began to grow rapidly. Albert served two terms as Lord
Mayor of Hull, served as MP for Islington, and was knighted
in 1885. The same year his wife, Lady Eleanor died at the early age
of 31. A Lady Mayoress dying in office was unprecedented and
Eleanor was afforded a civic funeral, its cortege witnessed by a
crowd of over 20,000 citizens of Hull. Eleanor is remembered to
this day with a portrait and bust on display in The Guildhall.
Thomas Farrell had joined the Rollits in 1878, and the same year
the Firm took a lease of the newly built Cogan House in Bowlalley
Lane. It was to be the Firm's home for the next 103 years.
Following their education at the then new Hymers College,
Thomas's sons Bede and Hugh were admitted to the partnership, now
trading as Rollit and Farrell. Both men saw service in the Great
War and unfortunately Bede was not to return to Hull, having been
killed by enemy fire at the Second Battle of Ypres on 24 April
2015. Tragically, Bede's younger brother Adrian also lost his life
as a result of wounds sustained in the same Battle.
John Dickinson ("Dick") Bladon joined Rollit and Farrell in 1934
and the Firm's name became Rollit Farrell and Bladon, a name which
stuck until 2001 when it was shortened to simply Rollits. A long
period of expansion and growth through the latter half of the 20th
century and the first 15 years of the 21st century brings the story
up to the present day.
Over time Rollits has occupied various premises within a stone's
throw of each other in Hull's old town. The longest tenure was at
Cogan House and Cogan Chambers from 1878 to 1981, but the Firm has
also operated from Elsworth House, Alfred Gelder Street in the late
1960's, King William House in Market Place (1981 to 1991), Lowgate
House (1988 to 1991), Wilberforce Court on High Street (1991 to
2016) and now from its brand new premises at Citadel House, High
Rollits continues to provide commercial legal services from its
bases at Citadel House, High Street and Rowntree Wharf, York and is
proud to be celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.
Posted on: 09/06/2016
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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