These were Robert's parents. Thomas was born in 1815 in Clayton le Dale or Enfield, Lancashire.
In the 1841 census, he is resident in Blackburn, Lancashire. By the 1851 census, he has moved to Chorley, Lancashire and remained there until his death in 1872.
He married Susannah Simpson and had six children.
He worked as a calico printer and., cloth picker at printworks. In the 1871 census, he was recorded as unemployed.
Calico is a type of cloth, heavier than linen and made of cotton. A calico printer drew a pattern on paper, as wide as the cloth. The pattern was divided into squares about 8 inches by 12 inches and cut into wooden blocks. The cloth was laid on a table and the blocks covered with dye and placed on the calico to make the print.
If he worked in the print industry then it may be that Robert did too and had this skill to take to the printing factories in Scotland.
Susannah was born in 1817 in Enfield, Lancashire. I have her resident in Chorley in the 1851, 1861 and 1871 census. I can't trace her parentage.