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(Position 26 on the Genealogy Report)
Even less information on Robert's early years has survived than for his siblings. Virtually nothing is known of him until he was a publican at 99 Main Street, Ayr, in 1891. In the following year Robert was described as a spirit merchant when he married, aged 37, on 17 June 1892. Perhaps interestingly he was married by declaration before two witnesses in a Scot's 'irregular' marriage by warrant of the Sherriff Substitute of Ayrshire in the County Buildings, Ayr. He married Annie Arthur, a thirty eight year old spinster and daughter of a wine merchant. The two witnesses to the declaration of betrothal were, Archibald Buchanan Junior, River Terrace, Ayr, and George Green, 49 Wallace Street, St Quivox. The usual residence of the bride and groom was Crailoch Cottage, Hawkhill, St Quivox, Ayr. It is not known if Annie Arthur was related to Robert's mother. The couple had two children: Agnes Arthur, born on 24 May 1893, at 79 Main Street, Ayr, and George, born 20 July 1895, at 83 Main Street, Ayr. Robert was described as a spirit merchant when Agnes and George were born.
Robert was described as a publican or spirit merchant in the period 1891 to 1895. But when he died, at Dromore, Busby (near Glasgow), on 14 May 1923, aged sixty-eight, Robert's occupation was given as ship's draughtsman. A ship's draughtsman was, it is believed, a time-served trade, and it would be very unlikely that Robert would learn that trade after 1895 when he was already forty-one years of age. It might be assumed, therefore, that Robert began and finished his working life as a ship's draughtsman, and that his time as a publican and spirit merchant was really an interlude in his life, rather than the main part of it. It is also the case that the 1881 census shows a twenty-six year old Robert Dunlop, ship's draughtsman, who was born in Glasgow, residing as a lodger at 18 Church Street, Partick--that could well have been our Robert. Robert's landlord was James Craig, a thirty seven year old ship's joiner who had been born in Ireland. Robert is known to have lived at several addresses over the years in addition to those already mentioned: in 1896 his address was Greenmount Villa, Crawford's Park, Cavehill Road, Belfast; in 1899 it was 156 Old Lodge Road, Belfast; in 1900 it was was Westwood Cottage, Duke Street, West Bay, Dunoon, and it was still Westwood Cottage, Dunoon, in 1911. It is not known what Robert was doing in Belfast, but the 1901 census, taken when he and the family were living in Dunoon, described him as a retired draughtsman.