Arthur William Shelby Sr. was the father of the Shelby siblings. He abandoned the children when they were young, leaving them in the care of their aunt, Polly Shelby. He shortly returned during 1919, promising his son, Arthur that they were to build a casino empire, however this is revealed to be a ploy to get money from the Peaky Blinders.
He is shot sometime during 1924 in Boston after leaving a bar. The children, having not known their father, are not saddened about his death.
Arthur Sr. walked out on his five children, Thomas, John, Finn, Ada and Arthur Shelby, some ten years before the start of the series. The family has rarely seen him since. He is remembered by most of the family as a hustler, a thief, and a whore-monger. However, his eldest son Arthur Jr. still has feelings for him.
Series 1 · 1919
When Arthur Shelby Jr. runs into his father Arthur Shelby Sr. in a bare-knuckle boxing club, he invites him for lunch at the Shelby home. When Thomas walks in, his reaction is like his Aunt Polly's; he's exasperated to see the father that abandoned his family. While his father proclaims that he's a changed man, Thomas won't have any of it. Arthur Sr. leaves and the conversation flips onto Thomas. Arthur Jr. points out the similarities between Thomas and their father.
Later, Arthur Sr. talks to his son Arthur Jr. about his idea to open a casino like the ones he's seen in America. Arthur Jr. having lost the leadership of the Blinders to Thomas, sees an opportunity to make something of his own with his father: Shelby Casino. He gives his father the money to start the venture, who tells his son to meet him at the boxing club on Friday.
When Arthur Sr. doesn't come to the meeting in the boxing club, Arthur Jr. tracks his father to the train station, where he is departing with the money he gave him. Realizing that he had been tricked, Arthur Jr. tries to attack his father, but Arthur Sr. overpowers him, pinning him against the wall and threatening to cut his throat. Arthur Sr. then leaves the city, feeling neither remorse nor regret about stealing money from his son.
Arthur Jr. is left shattered by his father's betrayal, to the point that he later tries to take his own life by hanging himself.
Series 3 · 1924
Thomas, Arthur, and John learn via a letter that their father was killed in Boston. He was leaving a bar and two men were waiting for him in an alley where they shot him twice. The writer of the letter, a woman named Rosie Rice (who presumably had the closest relationship to Arthur Sr. at the time) told the Blinders that he begged their forgiveness whilst dying. However, they are not saddened about his death, and the closest remembrance they have of him being fond is when he taught them how to kill and gut a stag. Indeed, according to them, that was the only time that he was ever close to being a father. They honor his death by hunting and eating a stag but decide that, afterwards, they will forget him without forgiving him. They even decide that his first name should die, as neither John nor Arthur Jr. want to name their child after him, despite it being passed down through many generations.
However, after Thomas collapses and temporarily loses his sight due to a fractured skull, he murmurs as if to his deceased father, telling him that he could see him.
- Sometime in 1926, Tommy tells May Carleton that the gin he is producing uses his father's recipe.
- Arthur Jr gave his father £500 from the Peaky Blinders to start a "casino", however his father ran off with the money.
- He was a member of a boxing ring for some time.
Arthur Shelby Jr.
The relationship between Arthur and his son, Arthur Shelby Jr. is perhaps one of the closest of the Shelby siblings. Arthur returns to Birmingham, England on premise of opening a casino empire; much like those Arthur had heard about in America. The two become relatively close, with Arthur Jr believing in opening and building an empire with his father. The relationship between the two crashes, however when Arthur convinces his son to take £500 from the Peaky Blinders to start their empire — something he later realizes to be lies. Arthur is confronted by his son, but brushes him off and departs on a train for America, leaving his son heartbroken.
|Series 1 Appearances|