The Peace family was a file making dynasty, which had seventeenth-century roots in Derbyshire (Peace, 1999). By the 1830s, one Peace branch had formed Charles & Samuel Peace & Co at Eagle Works in Russell Street, Kelham Island. In 1834, Robert Ibbotson (c.1805-1884), a representative in New York, married Anna, daughter of Martin Marshall (a saw maker, whose wife was Sarah née Peace). After the ceremony in Sheffield, ‘the happy pair left Sheffield on their way to the United States’ (Sheffield Independent, 1 March 1834). By 1845, Ibbotson, Peace & Co sold steel, tools, and cutlery. It probably employed around fifty men. The trade mark was a ‘P’ and a fleur de lys (granted 1710).
Robert Ibbotson had an office in Pearl Street, Manhattan. He imported into America several fine Bowies marked Ibbotson, Peace. One is on the cover of Flayderman (2004). However, in 1853 he left to partner Alfred Field. He retired in 1863. Ibbotson lived in Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, where he raised a large family with his younger wife, Anna. In 1860, he valued his personal estate at $5,000 and his real estate at $7,000. Later in life, he became a local preacher. He died at Montclair, New Jersey, on 6 December 1884 (aged 79).
The Sheffield firm continued as Peaces, Spafford & Co and by 1860 as W.K. & C. Peace. The partners were brothers William Kirkby Peace (1821-1898) and Charles Peace Jun. (1823-1894). The former had been based in New York, 1839-41; the latter, 1853-75. With about 150 workers, the firm had moved to nearby Mowbray Street in 1864 and diversified into straw and machine knives, table cutlery, and other hardware. In 1853, the ‘EAGLE’ mark was adopted. In 1868, the company advertised as primarily a manufacturer of steel and files, though it still exported ‘every description of English hardware’ and had a New York office – Peace & Rawlins [72 Beekman street, Manufacturers and Importers of Steel Files, Saws, Scythes, Grass Hooks, Table and Pocket Cutler]. It stamped its products as ‘Ibbotson, Peace & Co’ and ‘R. Ibbotson’.
Charles Peace (who later represented Joseph Rodgers & Sons, in the USA) died at Worksop on 14 April 1894, leaving £38,180. William Kirkby Peace, Moor Lodge, Rutland Park, died on 26 February 1898 (aged 76). He left £27,468. They were buried in Ecclesall. Hugh Kirkby Peace (1845-1906), the son of William, took over. In 1900, the firm became ‘Ltd’ (capital £35,000). After Hugh’s death (he left £41,137), his sons – Charles William Peace (1871-1941) and Hubert Kirkby Peace (1881-1914) – became chairman and managing director, respectively, until Hubert was killed in action in France. The firm was not in Peace family hands after the War. In 1919, the listed managing director was Charles Henry (1871-1930) and the company secretary was Charles Siddall. Apparently, Henry acquired the ‘MAZEPPA’ mark from Reuss & Co for £1,000 in 1922. At the start of the 1920s, W.K. & C. Peace Ltd became part of the ill-starred Sheffield Steel Products Ltd. Peace continued to trade until the 1970s, though as a tool maker rather than a cutlery manufacturer.