Marshall, Sir Chapman (1788-1862)
wholesale grocer and civic servant belonged to a City of London that remained in his day essentially Liberal in its politics. Born in Peterborough, the only son of Anthony Marshall, he came to London where he began a business at 179 Upper Thames Street. As a Tory he became Sheriff in 1830, Alderman for the ward of Bridge Within 1832-59 and Lord Mayor in 1839-40. He was a member of the Haberdashers Company. He was knighted at St. Jamess Palace 9 March 1831 and died at 17 Pembridge Crescent, Notting Hill, London on 9 January 1862.
Gibbs, Michael (0000-1858)
was elected to the Walbrook ward in 1818 and served until 1851. He was free of the Fishmongers Company. He was Lord Mayor in 1844, when he was thought to be involved in minor financial irregularities. He died 9 June 1858.
Eagleton, Edward (1786-1860)
Grocer, member of the Court of Common Council and later an Aldermen, was in many ways the ideal type of the mid-century City. He began his business in Newgate Street with his mother at the tender age of thirteen, and retired from it with a competent fortune to hand over to his sons. [City Press, 20 October 1860] Described as somebody who had overcome the disadvantages of a defective education and delicate health, he served on the Common Council from 1821-7 and from 1847 to September 1855 as Deputy on behalf of the citizens of the ward of Farringdon Within. He was Chairman of the City Lands Committee, 1843-4. He was also a Master in the Haberdashers Company from 1851. From 1855 to 1857 he switched his attention to the Court of Alderman. He died at Blackheath 16 October 1860, aged 74 years.
Thompson, William (1793-1854)
financier, industrialist and Member of Parliament (MP) at first sight cut an unusual figure in the City of London. A resident of 5 Park Street, Westminster he was born in Grayrigg of a Kendal family. Educated at Charterhouse he was an iron master at Penydarram works, near Merthyr Tydvil. Later he married Amelia Hornfray. His business interests included Directorships of the Bank of England and the Cambrian, Gloucester and London Railway Company as well as companies associated with shipping. More controversially, Thompson was Chairman of the Committee at Lloyds but resigned amidst charges that he held dual membership of the rival Sutherland Ship-Owners Mutual Assurance Association. Much of this education and experience was put to good use in a lengthy political and civic career.
He was MP for Callington 1820-26, for London City 1826-32, for Sunderland 1833-41, and for Westmoreland where he accepted the Chiltern Hundreds from September 1841 until the end of his life. Described by Beaven as a Whig, his Conservatism is strongly demonstrated by his membership of the City of London Club, his vote against agricultural protection in 1846 and the fact that he was one of 53 who stood against free trade. In his civic life he was Alderman for Cheap until his death and served as Sheriff in 1822-3 and Lord Mayor in 1828-9. He declined re-election in the crucial year of 1831. Other interests included President of Christs Hospital from 1829, vice-president of the Honourable Artillery Company, Colonel of the Royal London Militia from 1851 and Treasurer of Kings College, London from 1843. He was also Master of the Ironmongers Company. He purchased Barnacre estate from the Duke of Hamilton for £98,000 in January 1854, but died just a few months later on 10 March at Bedwetty House in Monmouthshire.
Kelly, Thomas (1772-1855)
publisher and Lord Mayor was born in Chevening, Kent on 7 January 1772, the son of an innkeeper. Coming to London in 1786, he worked as an assistant to Alexander Hogg of 16 Paternoster Row until 1809. In this year he established his own concern as a publisher at 52 Paternoster Row. He was elected to the Common Council in 1823 and, as a Whig he was elected as an Alderman in the ward of Farringdon Within in 1830, serving until his death. In between, he was located at Streatham Hill and served as Sheriff and Lord Mayor in 1825-6 and 1836-7 respectably. He was also a member of the Plaisterers Company. He is probably best remembered for his Kellys Practical Builders Price Book (1850). He died 7 September 1855 at 4 Buenos Ayres, Margate and is buried in a family plot in the parish churchyard at Chelsham, Surrey.
Key, Sir John (1794-1858)
wholesale stationer and reformer was one of the lasts links to City radicalism. Born 16 August, the eldest son of John Key of Denmark Hill, he joined his fathers business in 1818. Originally located at 30 Abchurch Lane as John Key and Sons they moved finally to 97 and 103 Newgate Street. He married Charlotte Green and they had one son and three daughters.
No stranger to the Citys streets, he became an Alderman for Langbourn ward in 1823 and for Bridge Street Without in 1851. He formally retired just two years later, by which time he could look back to an illustrious career in City politics. In 1824 he was Sheriff for London and Middlesex, Master of the Stationers Company and in 1830 and 1831, Lord Mayor. Famously, during his second Mayoralty, he advised William 1V and Queen Adelaide not to attend the opening of the new London Bridge fearing violence against the Duke of Wellington and for this decision became the target of popular satire. He went on to be presented with a Baronet at the end of his term of office by the King and was elected to parliament to represent the City between 1832 and 1833, when he finally accepted the Chilton Hundreds. Demonstrating his reformist credentials, he supported the abolition of slavery, the repeal of part of the assessed taxes, abrogation of the Corn Laws, the adoption of triennial parliaments and the vote by ballot. Earlier he had expressed enthusiasm for the extension of the franchise. His most arduous test came, however, when he fought Benjamin Scott for the post of City Chamberlain in 1853. In a bitterly contested election, Key finally won through polling 6,095 and beating his rival by just 275 votes. When he died after suffering for some days with gout on 15 July 1858, Scott succeeded him to that prized office.
Hale, Warren Stormes (1791-1872)
businessman and civic activist, a Liberal in principle and practice, provides us with a breathing space between the radical and Conservative City. Born 2 February 1791, he was orphaned at a young age but descended from Edward Hale of Rennington, Hertfordshire. He came to London in 1804 and served as an apprentice to his brother Ford Hale, a tallow wax chandler in Cannon Street. In July 1813 he married Sarah Marshead at the City church Peter-le-Poer, although the DNB suggests that he married the daughter of Alderman Leas. Either way he had one son and two daughters.
As the first English candle manufacturer to investigate and utilise the discoveries of the French chemists M.M. Chevreul and Lussac, in relation to animal and vegetable fatty acids, he went on to open successful businesses at 21 Cateaton Street (now Gresham Street) and later Queen Street. He was also a Director of the Metropolitan Railway Company, the London and Lancashire Fire and Life Insurance Company and the New Zealand Banking Corporation.
For much of his adult life Hale served his adopted home. He was the main player in the establishment of the City of London School in 1837, evoking a fifteenth century bequest, and was Chairman of its governing committee until 1868. The Warren Stormes Hale scholarship was initiated in 1865. Similarly he was instrumental in the foundation of the Freemans Orphan School, opened in Brixton in 1854. From 1857 to 1872 he was a member of the Thames Conservancy Board.
He was also active in the guilds. In 1814 he had became free of the Tallow Chandlers Company, and in 1849-51 and 1861-62 respectively, he was Master. His civic career begun in 1825 when he was elected as a Common Councillor for Coleman Street ward and was Deputy in 1850. Between 1856 and 1872 he sat in the Court of Alderman, in 1858 he was Sheriff and 1864, Lord Mayor. In his year of office he followed the example of his two immediate predecessors in contributing to the relief of Lancashire operatives suffering from the results of the cotton famine. He died at home in West Heath, Hampstead on 23 August 1872, and was buried on 30 August at Highgate cemetery.
Hunter, William (0000-1856)
citizen and City activist was born in Bury St. Edmonds of uncertain date. Like his father, Andrew Hunter, he was an upholsterer by trade. Free of the Upholders Company by redemption in 1809, he was Master of the Company, 1845-6. He lived at 76 Coleman Street until 1854 and represented that ward at the Court of Common Council between 1825-1843. He was selected here as an Alderman in 1843 and died in office. He was also Deputy Governor of the Irish Society, 1842-43, Sheriff of London and Middlesex, 1844-45 and Lord Mayor, 1851-52. Having given so much of his life to the communality of the City, he removed to 13 Westbourne Terrace, Hyde Park around 1855. He died here on 22 September 1856, aged 75 years.
Farebrother, Charles (0000-1858)
the Alderman that Beaven describes as a Whig was labelled a thorough Conservative municipalist by the City Press upon his death, after long and patient suffering at his country mansion in Clapham, in March 1858. Little is known of his civic career except to say that as a good citizen he was said to be attentive to the needs of Lime Street ward that he represented from 1825. He was a member of the Vintners Company. His exact terminal dates are unknown.
Laurie, Sir Peter (1778-1861)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born 3 March 1778 at Saundersdean farm, Haddington. Of Scottish heritage he was destined to join the ministry of the Church of Scotland but came to London instead. Establishing himself as a saddler in Oxford Street, he made a large fortune as a contractor for the Indian Army and retired from the business in 1827, after recruiting his nephews to the firm. He did, however, remain as Chairman of the Union Bank until his death, an office he had occupied since its inception in 1839. Married to Margaret Jack, he had no children and she died in 1847.
These personal circumstances conspired to allow Laurie to lead a full public life. He had already given a knighthood in 1824, just a year after as serving as Sheriff. Other honours soon followed: President of the Brideswell and Bethlehem Hospitals, recognition as a diligent magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant for Westminster and Middlesex, Common Councillor, Alderman of the Aldersgate ward in 1826, Lord Mayor in 1832 and Master of the Saddlers Company in 1833. This was a list of credits that did not escape the satirising pen of Charles Dickens who sent him up as Alderman Cute in The Chimes (1844).
But it was as Lord Mayor that he won his political spurs. The City Press called him a Conservative and Beaven a Whig. As an active and vocal member of the Common Council he articulated the views of the radical Joseph Hume. In 1825 he opened the hearings of the Middlesex bench to public scrutiny and did likewise to the Court of Alderman ten years later. He was assiduous in publishing the results of his ideas, from prison policy to the election of magistrates. He died at the age of 83 at 7 Park Square, Regents Park, 3 December 1861, and was buried at Highgate cemetery.
Copeland, William Taylor (1797-1868)
porcelain and ceramics manufacturer, Lord Mayor and MP, began his political life as a Liberal and ended it as a moderate Conservative. Born 24 March 1797 into an important Stoke Potteries firm an only son - his father William was partner to Josiah Spode - he took over the Portugal Street branch on his father's death, before buying out the entire company in both Staffordshire and London. Based at 160 New Bond Street, he married Sarah Yates in 1826, and they had four sons and one daughter before she died in 1860.
By this time he had been engaged in the affairs of the City of London for many years. In 1828-29 he served as Sheriff and became Alderman for the ward of Bishopsgate and Lord Mayor in 1835 at the age of 38. As a zealous defender of the privileges of the City he was President of the Bridewell and Bethlehem hospitals in 1861-68, senior Treasurer to the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, President of the Hon. Artillery Company, Governor of the Irish Society and member of the Court of Lieutenancy. He was a member of the Goldsmiths Company.
Moving on the national stage he contested the parliamentary seat of Coleraine in 1831 and 1832 without success, before finally reaching his goal in January 1835. By the time he went back to fight Stoke in 1837, it was as a Conservative. It was a seat he retained until 1852, and then regained between 1857 and his retirement in 1865. He was known as a forensic member of committees and a champion of the interests of his constituency, supporting the vote of censure against Lord Palmerston in 1864 and declaring in favour of extensions to the suffrage concurrent with adequate education. He died 12 April 1868 at Russell Farm, Watford, where he maintained an interest in racehorses and kept a stud. After a funeral sermon held at St. Helens, Bishopsgate, he was buried at the New Cemetery in the same town.
Duke, Sir James (1792-1873)
wholesale coal merchant and insurance broker, Lord Mayor and MP was a favourite of City Liberals. Born the third son of a merchant from Montrose on 31 January 1792, he came to London to enter the civil service of the Royal Navy. In 1814 he was secretary to Admiral Sir John Gore and later served under Capt. Sir Peter Parker and Lord Exmouth. By 1819 he had began his main business from which he retired in 1849, no doubt helped by a Directorship of the London Joint Stock Bank and as Chairman of the City of London Brewery Company. Other interests included membership of the City Reform Club, the St. Dunstans Club, Vice-President Health of London Association, Director of the Colonial Association, and Chairman of the Metropolitan and County Association for the Equalisation of the Poor Rate.
Political success accompanied his commercial career. He was elected as a Common Councilman in Billingsgate in 1831-1840, a magistrate in 1836 and Sheriff the following year. He was knighted in 1837, made Deputy-Lieutenant for Lincolnshire and Middlesex, magistrate for Sussex, Alderman in 1840 for Farringdon Without, President of the Honourable Artillery Company 1868-73 and Lord Mayor during 1848-49. His keen activity in the guilds ushered his progress. He was Master of the Spectaclemakers 1840-1, 1847-8, 1849-50, and 1860-1, for the Salters in 1853-4, and for the Loriners in 1855-6.
From his town residence at 43 Portland Place, Duke launched his campaign to enter parliament, firstly in Boston from 1837 to 1849, and from that date he was elected unopposed in the City, standing down in 1865. He proved himself in favour of the ballot and for the shorter duration of parliaments. He lived as a Liberal and died as one on 28 May 1873 at Laughton Lodge, Hawkhurst, Sussex.
Hooper, John Kinnersley (1791-1854)
wine merchant and Lord Mayor was born in 1791 of uncertain date, the third son of Richard Hooper of 20 Queenhithe in the City of London. He became Common Councillor of the Queenhithe ward in 1831 and Alderman in 1840, Sheriff in 1842-43 and Lord Mayor in 1847-8. His Mayoral year was best remembered for Chartist disturbances and his reception of the French National Guard at the Mansion House. He was also President of St. Bartholomews, Director of the Great Central Gas Company, and member of the Vintners Company. He died at St. Leonards-on-Sea, 17 April 1854.
Moon, Sir Francis Graham (1796-1871)
printseller, publisher and Lord Mayor was born at St. Andrew, Holborn, 28 October 1796. Moons father, Christopher, was a gold and silver smith and died when he was young. Francis married Anne Chancellor in 1818 and they subsequently had four daughters and four sons. One was the Revd. Edward Graham Moon, Curate of St. Johns, Worcester and Bredon who married in 1851 the daughter of Alderman Sidney (1805-1889). Described by Callow as polite and deferential Moon owned or part-owned a series of shops at the corner of Finch Street off Threadneedle Street that he had acquired in the 1820s. On this site the prestigious Royal Exchange Buildings were raised. Highly thought of by contemporaries, both because he was the architect of his own future [City Press Saturday, 28 October 1871] and for his artistic knowledge. Widely consulted by contemporary artists such as Sir David Wilkie and David Roberts, he was considered to be the leading print publisher in London and was lauded by the English and European courts. Thus Moon began his civic life in 1831 with an established reputation.
In this year he entered the Common Council for the ward of Broad Street, before going on to be a Sheriff in 1843-44, an Alderman in Portsoken from 1844-71 and in Bridge Street Without until his death. He underlined his commitment to the City by his activities in both the Stationers and Loriners Companies, serving as Master in 1854-5 and 1855-56 respectively. Rooted in the City - despite residing at 35 Portman Square - his Mayoral year demonstrated a firm European bent. In 1854-55 he received the French Emperor and Empress of France in Guildhall for which he received a chevalier of the Legion of Honour on his return to Paris. He died 13 October 1871 at Western House, Brighton. He was buried at Fetcham churchyard, Surrey after a sermon by the Revd T.J. Rowsell, Chaplain to the Queen and rector of St. Margarets Lothbury.
Wilson, Colonel Samuel (1792-1881)
Lord Mayor was born on an uncertain date in 1792 and married in 1813. His father, John Wilson, was a farmer of Stenson, Derbyshire. Wilson served in many capacities: magistrate in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Middlesex, Commander of the East London militia and Colonel in the Royal London militia from 1854 to 1878. As a Whig, he was a member of the Weavers Company, Alderman of Castle Baynard from 1831 and in Bridge Without from 1853 to 1871, Sheriff 1833-34 and Lord Mayor 1838-39. After living for many years in Kemptown, Brighton, he died in his ninetieth year at The Ceders, Beckenham Kent, 7 July 1881.
Lawrence, William (1789-1855)
Liberal reformer and civic activist was born at St. Agnes Cornwall, 4 February 1789. In London he became a builder at Pitfield Wharf, Commercial Road, Lambeth, 30 Bread Street, Cheapside and 21 Pitfield Street, Hoxton from 1823 to his death. In addition, he was Chairman of the Legal and Commercial Fire and Life Assurance Company.
In his civic life he was a member of the Common Council from 1832 in the ward of Bread Street, Alderman in the same ward from 1848 to his death and Sheriff from 1849-50. He was a member of the City Liberal Club, the Reform Club and the Devonshire Club. As a reformer and Unitarian, his rational liberalism was extended to public service in the form of the Tower Hamlets Commission of Sewers and Holborn and Finsbury Commission of Sewers, on the Executive of the Commons Preservation Society 1869-1886, and as a Council member of the London Chamber of Commerce. Two of his sons, Sir William Lawrence (0000-1897) and Sir James Clarke Lawrence (1820-1897) became Lord Mayors. He died at 94 Westbourne Terrace on 25 November 1855.
Wire, David Williams (1801-1860)
solicitor and civic activist was born in Colchester, Essex the son of a baker on 17 August 1801. After coming to the City he was articled to John Dixons, a firm based at 30 St. Swithin's Lane. By 1829 he had become a partner, but practised from 1830 to 1837 alone. His own firm, Wire and Child, was located at 9 St. Swithin's Lane from 1837 and then from Turnwheel Lane, Cannon Street where he stayed from 1856 to his death in 1860.
His civic life began in 1833 as a Common Councilman in the ward of Walbrook. He then became Under Sheriff for London and Middlesex, Alderman from 1851 and Lord Mayor in 1858-59. Contemporaries particularly noted his accompaniment of Sir Moses Montefiore on a mission to the Middle East in 1839. He died at Stone House, Lewisham Road, New Cross on 9 November 1860. His Will reflected both his commitment to the family and to many of the good works that he supported throughout his life. He bequeathed £200 to his widow plus a choice of residences. To his son he gave a partnership in the solicitors business, plus a sum of £5,000 to his daughter. Smaller sums went to the Licensed Victuallers School and Asylum, Arthur Winsleys Gift Houses in Colchester, the Asylum for Idiots, the Asylum for Fatherless Children and the Royal Hospital for Incurables. He was also Vice President of the Health of London Association. It was a list that reflected his commitment to the City of London as a community.
Finnis, Thomas Quested (1801-1883)
citizen and Lord Mayor, was born of uncertain date in January 1801. His father Robert was an upholsterer in Hyth, Kent, where his son was baptised at St. Leonards Church on 12 February of the same year. Upon arriving in the City of London as a boy he was apprenticed to James Smith, bowyer, for a period of seven years from 6 December 1815, paying a consideration of £150. He was admitted to the Freedom of the Bowyers Company in April 1823 and to the Freedom of the City in September. As an active member of the Bowyers guild he became Master between 1856 and 1858. 1856 was also the year in which he served as Lord Mayor.
By this time his partnership in a firm of provision merchants was flourishing, having become the pioneer of commerce to the port of Bussovah. Finnis was also Deputy Chairman of the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company and of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company This success was carried over into his civic life. In 1833 he became Common Councillor for Tower ward where his business was located, Deputy in 1848 and Alderman as well as Sheriff in the same year. He was also Deputy Governor of the Irish Society 1843-44, member of the Metropolitan Board of Works 1863-66, the Thames Conservancy Board 1872-83 and Treasurer of the Sons of Clergy between 1874-82, plus a member of the City Glee Club. His life of success and improvement (a model of the self-made man) was laced with sadness as his brother was killed in the Indian Mutiny. By 1867 he had moved to Park Gate, Wanstead, Essex, where he died on 29 November 1883.
Pirie, Sir John (1781-1851)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born on 18 September at Berwick-upon-Tweed, the eldest son of John Pirie of Dunse, Berwickshire. His business career began when he entered the London shipbuilders office of John Nichol, whereupon marriage to his daughter brought control of the firm, trading eventually as John Pirie and Company He was also Director and Deputy Chairman of P&O, Director of the South Australian Company and the New Zealand Company.
His voluntary work included Presidency of St. Thomass hospital from 1842 until his death and membership of the London Emigration Committee, becoming its Chairman in 1841. In the City he was Sheriff in 1831, Alderman of the ward of Cornhill from 1834, and Lord Mayor in 1841. Despite receiving a Baronet in his Mayoral year on the occasion of the birth of the Prince of Wales, he failed to win the parliamentary seat in June of the same year, standing as a Tory. He died at Champion Hill, Camberwell on 26 February 1851.
Humphrey, John (1794-1863)
sometime radical reformer, MP, Lord Mayor and civic activist was born of uncertain date in 1794. He was originally apprenticed to a ship chandler but failed to complete its term. Subsequently he became a clerk to his uncle, the proprietor of Hays Wharf. He succeeded to the business in 1821 and then acquired other wharf property in Southwark. He was also a Director of the Central Gas Company. By 1832 he had commenced his parliamentary and civic career.
In this year he became Sheriff and MP for Southwark, the latter held until his retirement in 1852. Here he soon showed himself as a radical: in favour of the ballot, triennial parliaments, free trade, the repeal of a number of taxes, the abolition of all monopolies and extensive Church reform, including the election of clergy by parishioners. After 1843, he mounted a stiff defence of the Corporation by opposing the repeal of the coal tax and argued against those who thought the Irish Society were neglectful landlords. He was a member of the Reform Club.
Support for the City also manifested itself in the service of its community. In 1835 he was returned as an Alderman for the Aldgate ward in the stead of Sir David Salomons (1797-1873), who opposed his election. Many considered him an unsuitable candidate because he was said to own licensed property, one of many controversies that pursued him up to and beyond his Mayoral year in 1842. Not surprisingly, perhaps, he lost in his bid to become Chamberlain in 1849. He was, however, compensated by the Governorship of the Irish Society between 1843 and 1863, where he played an active part in improving estates. He was also a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works from 1857 to 1863 and the Thames Conservancy Board from 1857 until 1863. He had already been a Master of the Tallow-Chandlers in 1838 and then in 1858.
By the early 1860s he had handed over the business to the son, an issue of his marriage to Mary Burgess. Sir William Humphrey married a daughter of Alderman Cubitt (1791-1863) and his son John, was also to become an Alderman. By this time, however, but after the first John Humphrey had died on 28 September 1863, the family, anticipating the City, was now firmly Conservative.
Musgrove, Sir John (1793-1881)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born 21 January 1793, the only son of John Musgrove a London merchant of Austin Friars, but residing at Hackney. As an auctioneer and house agent, he had made his fortune by 1824 by taking advantage of the improved value of metropolitan property. Alderman J. Whittaker Ellis (1829-1912) took over both his business and his Aldermanic position.
In the City he was Alderman in the ward of Broad Street from 1842 to his resignation in 1872, Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1843-44 and Lord Mayor in 1850-51. He had been knighted when the Queen opened the Royal Exchange in 1844 and granted a Baronet when Victoria came to the City in 1851. He died at Rusthall House, Speldhurst, Kent on 5 October 1881.
Salomons, Sir David (1797-1873)
banker, Lord Mayor and MP was born the second son of Levy Salomons, merchant and underwriter of Bury Street, St. Mary Axe and his wife Matilda Detnetz of Leyden, on 22 November 1797. He was a member of an established Jewish family and used to a charged commercial environment. In 1832 he was a founder of the London and Westminster bank and by 1834 was conducting an underwriting business. By the mid-1830s, Salomon was a noteworthy and respected figure in the City, a contributor to philanthropic causes and an active member of the Coopers Company. Therefore when the Corporation was advised that Jews could be admitted to municipal offices by the administration of an oath binding on their conscience, Salomons was selected as a Sheriff. At the end of his term in 1836, his fellow Jews presented him with a silver memento, as an acknowledged pioneer for religious equality. This, however, was only the beginning of his exertions.
In 1835 he was elected as an Alderman at Aldgate, but declined to take the necessary oath. Consequently the Court took action at the Queens Bench to test the validity of the law, the verdict initially went in favour of Salomons but was later reversed. Likewise, in 1839 Salomons had become the first Jewish Sheriff of Kent, magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Kent, Sussex and Middlesex, and all without making the usual declaration. In 1844 he was once again elected as an Alderman in the ward of Portsoken, but the oath was still deemed to be compulsory. It was a state of affairs not altered until the following year by the passing of an act of parliament. Almost immediately he announced a scholarship to the City of London to mark the event, and by 1849 he was admitted to the Middle Temple. He was also a member of the Athenaeum Club, of Brook's Club and of the Reform Club.
In 1847 he won a place on the Aldermanic bench in the ward of Cordwainer that he kept until the end of his life. In 1855 he held the highest honour of the Chief Magistrate and Lord Mayor of the City of London, receiving congratulations from the leading merchants and bankers of the square mile. This campaign for religious liberty was also waged as an MP. He had already contested Shoreham in 1837, Maidstone in 1841 and Greenwich in 1847. He finally succeeded in the latter constituency in 1851, but because of Jewish disabilities could not assume his seat. However, he insisted on voting three times without making the loyal declaration and was fined £500 by the Court of Exchequer for his pains. When full disabilities were removed in 1858, he took his Greenwich seat in 1859 to the time of his death, attracting much respect for his knowledge of commercial and financial matters. Salomons was created a Baronet in 1869. Although he married twice, the first time in 1825 to Jeanette Cohen, daughter of Mr Soloman Cohen, she died in 1867 and the second time to Cecilia Salomons in 1872, nether unions produced children and so his nephew David Lionel Salomons took the title. When he died at Great Cumberland Place, Hyde Park on 18 July 1873, he left a lasting legacy to his community and the country. His publications on Jewry, the Corn Laws, banking and railways were only a hint of his wide range of expertise. He was buried at the Jews cemetery, West Ham on 23 July. The attendance of prominent Jews, the representatives of Jewish charities at the West Central Synagogue and the number of people following the funeral procession from the City to the East End, paid tribute to a life of service in the Liberal cause.
Conder, Edward (1790-1865)
citizen and civic activist was the first son of Edward Condor of Terry Bank, near Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmoreland. He was born 11 December 1790. As a coffee merchant he conducted his business from 2 Salters Hall Court, Upper Thames Street. He was also a Master of the Wheelwrights Company in 1837 and 1858. Conder was a Common Councillor in Walbrook in 1838, Deputy in 1854, Sheriff in 1858-59 and Alderman for Bassishaw ward from 1859 to 1864. He died a year later at Havering-atte-Bower, near Romford, on 12 January 1865.
Magnay, Sir William (1797-1871)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born at College Hill in the City of London on 4 March 1797. His father Christopher Magnay was Lord Mayor in 1821. His business as a wholesale stationer was also carried on in the City at 180 Upper Thames Street. As a member of the Stationers Company he became an Alderman at Vintry ward 1838-57, Sheriff in 1841 and Lord Mayor in 1843-44. When the Queen opened the Royal Exchange in 1844, he was rewarded with a Baronet. At the conclusion of his civic career in 1858 he was insolvent. He died at Bedford on 3 April 1871.
Carroll, Sir George (1784-1860)
banker and Lord Mayor was respected throughout his life as a shrewd man of business. Formerly a member of the Stock Exchange from 1811, he was also until 1826 a government contractor for state lotteries, with offices in Cornhill, Oxford Street and Charing Cross. He was one of the original Directors of the London Joint Stock Bank in 1836, and was for many years a Director of the Bank of Australasia, the Alliance Assurance Company and a member of the Stock Exchange.
Much of his considerable energy was also devoted to the Citys community. He was, for instance, President of St. Bartholomews hospital and one of the founders of the Asylum for Idiots. In a civic capacity he served as an Alderman for the Candlewick ward from 1839 until death and as Lord Mayor in 1846-7. He died in Loughton, Essex on 19 December 1860 and was buried at Norwood cemetery a few days later.
Farncomb, Thomas (1778 -1873)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was a native of Sussex. His terminal dates are uncertain. Seeking his fortune in London he bought a large wharf on the Surrey side of the Thames, becoming in due course a merchant and ship owner. He was also a Director of the London and Westminster bank. He became one of a small number of bachelor Lord Mayors in 1849-50, by which time he had served in as an Alderman in Bassishaw from 1841, as Sheriff in 1840-41 and as Master of the Chandlers Company in 1845. His uncle was Alderman Stone (1812-1890). He unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Southwark in 1830 and died, aged 87, either on 28 May 1873, or according to Welch, on 23 September 1865.
Carter, John (1804-1878)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born of an established Southwark family on 8 March 1804. Left as an orphan at a young age, he was intended for a cadetship in the Indian service but instead was apprenticed to a chronometer maker. By 1840 he had established his own business in the City and was noted for the excellence of his instruments, serving as a juror at the Imperial Exhibition at Paris in 1855. He was Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1857, 1860 and 1865 and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
In a civic capacity he was a Common Councilman in Cornhill from 1842 to 1851, Alderman in the same ward from 1851, Sheriff in 1852 and Lord Mayor in 1859-60. He was a Colonel in the London Rifle Brigade, an F.R.A.S. by 1830, F.S.A. in 1853 and a founding member of the Jamaica Committee in 1866. He died at Stamford Hill on 8 May 1878.
Dakin, Sir Thomas (1808-1889)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born in Knutsford, Cheshire on 9 February 1808. Educated here he went on to London University, a portent of his active and life-long support for the Mechanics Institute. After coming to the City he worked for Messrs. W. Brydan and Company of 23 Abchurch Lane, wholesale and export druggists, which became Dakin Brothers in 1859 and which eventually moved to 2 and 3 Creechurch Lane, Leadenhall Street in 1866. Dakin also owned a tea merchant business from 1844 at 1 St. Paul's Churchyard that was later sold to the Commissioners of Sewers for a large amount of money. Besides these interests he had a stake in a number of concerns: the City Office Company, the Fire Insurance Corporation, the Hamilton and North-Western Railway Company, the London and Life Assurance Company, the London Guarantee and Accident Company, the London Metropolis and Natural Mausdern Company and he was also a Director of the Great Central Gas Company. [City Press May 25 1889] This success allowed him move out of the City, initially to Upper Tooting in 1876, and in 1887 to 10 and then 18 Wetherby Gardens, South Kensington, where he stayed until his death. On the way he adopted the old family arms of the Dakyns of Yorkshire, and continued to use their motto Strike Dakin - the Devil's in the Hemp. Tradition was accompanied by innovation when he promoted technical education and lectured on chemistry and electricity.
It was a go-ahead motto that might easily have been used to describe his civic and political career. He became Free of the City by redemption in 1836, Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society in 1850, of the Thames Conservancy Board from 1857 to 1861 and a member of the Common Council for Candlewick by 1842, Alderman from 1861 to 1874, Sheriff in 1864 and Lord Mayor 1869-70, for which he was knighted at Windsor Castle in 1872. He unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Thetford for the Liberals in 1865 and was Master of the Spectacle Makers in 1865 and 1876, and was Prime Warden of the Fishmongers Company in 1883. He died at his West Kensington home, aged 82, on 24 May 1889, following a short illness occasioned by a fall on a Thames Conservancy barge. Buried at Woking, he left four daughters from his marriage.
Whetham, Sir Charles (1812-1885)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born in Bridport, on either 24 May 1811 or 1812. He was educated at the Grammar school in his hometown, after which he came to London and established a business as a merchant to add to his already burgeoning cloth manufacturing interests. He also acquired a number of Directorships: the Australian Mining Company, the Milford Railway Company, the National Provident Institution, the Scottish Australian Mining Company, the Waterford and Central Ireland Railway Company, as well as acting as Chairman of the London and Stockwell Railway Company and the Scottish Australian Investment Company.
In the City he was elected as a member of the Common Council for the ward of Bridge in 1842, appointed Deputy in 1864, Alderman in 1871 and Sheriff in 1873. He was knighted at Osbourne in 1874. He was candidate for parliament in Bridport the following year and Lord Mayor in 1878-79. He died at 52 Gordon Square on 4 September 1885.
Challis, Thomas (1794-1874)
businessman, MP and Lord Mayor was born at 92 Fore Street, Cripplegate on 1 July 1794. His father Thomas was a butcher and citizen of the City and had his son baptised at the Barbican Independent Chapel, the place where Thomas junior would later become deacon. Thomas Challis not only pursued a livelihood within the City walls as a hide and skin salesman at Leadenhall market, but also further away at Bermondsey. He was also a skin broker at Finsbury where, between 1852 and 1857, he represented the constituency in parliament. Later, nearer to the Citys financial centre, he was a Director of the General Life and Fire Insurance Company.
Politically, he was a Liberal. He was active for the Butchers Company, admitted as a Steward in 1820 while acting as Master in 1839-40. In 1843 he became Alderman for the Cripplegate ward, Sheriff 1846-7 and Lord Mayor in 1852-53. Despite his Show being cancelled because of the death of the Duke of Wellington, Challis was remembered for his encouragement of schools of art and more general educational matters. His Liberalism, however, was more obvious when in parliament he declared himself in favour of the extension of the franchise, equal electoral districts, short parliaments and votes by ballot. He was, in addition, opposed to all religious endowments including that of Maynooth, and was Chairman of the Sunday School Union. One of his nephews was the future Lord Mayor, George Swan Nottage (1822-1885). He died at Baker Street, Enfield on 20 August 1874, and was buried at Enfield Chase cemetery.
Muggeridge, Sir Henry (1814-1866)
businessman and civic activist was born at Banstead, Surrey in 1814. He was a corn factor in the City, a founder of the Bank of London in 1859 and Director until 1862. Although he was an unsuccessful candidate to be Lord Mayor in 1861 he was active in other areas, having already been knighted at Buckingham Palace in 1855 after a visit from the Emperor of the French. He had been a Common Councilman for Castle Baynard ward in 1843, Alderman from 1853 to 1862, when he resigned, and Sheriff in 1854. He died at West End Lodge, Streatham Common on 27 June 1866.
Sidney, Sir Thomas (1805-1889)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born the son of a Stafford woollen draper in 1805. He had been married for the first time in 1831, when he established his business as a tea dealer and importer at Ludgate Hill in 1838. By the time of his second marriage he was an Alderman for Billingsgate in 1844, Sheriff in the same year and Lord Mayor in 1854. His daughter married the son of Alderman Sir Francis Graham Moon (1796-1871) in 1851.
He was also Deputy-Lieutenant of London, but lost the Presidency of Christs hospital to the Duke of Cambridge. Rejected by the parliamentary electors of Leeds in 1852, he suffered the same experience in Worcester in 1857 and in Stafford in 1859. He was, however, returned as MP for Stafford between 1847-52 and then in 1860, sitting to his retirement in 1865. As a Liberal he favoured the extension of the franchise to those occupiers who paid their due rates and taxes and the abolition of Church rates but opposed the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy. He was also Vice-President of the Metropolitan and County Association for the Equalisation of the Poor Rate. He died 10 March 1889 at 94 Marina Street, Leonards-on-Sea.
Owden, Sir Thomas S. (1809-1889)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born in Cuckfield, Sussex on 28 October 1809. Made an orphan when young, he came to London and began work as a merchant. Later he acquired many business interests. These included Chairmanship of the Estates Investment and Villa Farm Company and a Directorship of the Norfolk Estuary Company. He married Frances Mary Rigby in 1837, a union that produced three sons and three daughters.
As a strong Conservative and imperialist he became a Common Councillor in the ward of Bishopsgate in 1845, Deputy in 1862, Alderman in 1868, Sheriff in 1870-71 and finally Lord Mayor in 1877, opening the new Winter Gardens at Blackpool in that year. It was also the year in which he was knighted at Windsor Castle. Despite living in Tottenham for over thirty years, he served the Citys institutions in many ways. He was a member of the Board of Guardians of the East London Union, successively Deputy-Chairman and Chairman, until its amalgamation in 1859 and President of the Bishopsgate Ward Club. Likewise, he was a member of both the Innholders and Carmens guilds, becoming a Master of the first in 1853-54, and of the second in 1882. He died at Mulgrave House, Sutton, Surrey on 9 January 1884.
Cubitt, Sir William (1791-1863)
builder, twice Lord Mayor and MP was born in Buxton Norfolk. He joined the Royal Navy in 1806 and eventually trained as a carpenter. He left the service and worked for a time at a solicitors in Ely Place, Holborn, before opening a timber shop in Eagle Street, Red Lion Street, also located at Holborn. It was only then, in 1810, did he turn from being a master carpenter to join his eminent brother Thomas Cubitt (1788-1855), as a master builder at 37 Grays Inn Road. As a large and profitable business it allowed his early retirement in 1851.
It was during this year of the Great Exhibition (Cubitt was a Commissioner) that he was elected as a Common Councillor for the ward of Cheap. He had been introduced to the City when he purchased a counting house at 20 Abchurch Lane, Cannon Street. He subsequently served in a civic capacity in many areas: as a Commissioner of Lieutenancy for London, a magistrate for Middlesex and Surrey, as Sheriff, as a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1856, as President of St. Bartholomews hospital from 1861 to 1863, as Vice-President of the Metropolitan and County Association for the Equalisation of the Poor Rate and as Prime Warden in the Fishmongers Company in 1863. He became an Alderman in the ward of Langbourn in 1857 and Lord Mayor 1860-62. He was noted as starting the Hartley colliery explosion fund and the Mansion House Lancashire Relief Fund to ease the distress in the cotton areas, raising a large amount of money. His hospitality extended to those connected to the International Exhibition and he was also originator of the public subscription for a national monument to the Prince Consort. It was widely thought that Cubitt was given the unusual honour of a second term as a consolation prize for losing the parliamentary contest in the City constituency against Western Wood in 1861 and in the place of Lord John Russell.
By this time, however, he had already been a representative for Andover from 1847 to 1861 and would be again in 1862, until finally succeeded by his son-in-law, Sir William Humphrey (son of John Humphrey, 1794-1863). Throughout this time he remained a convinced Conservative. When he addressed the Freeman occupiers of Cheap in his bid for the Common Council he identified four principles: defence of the constitution, defence of the church, the promotion of commerce and the promotion of the Empire. Likewise, when he was in parliament as a Liberal-Conservative he favoured moderate reform, but opposed the ballot and the Maynooth grant.
When he died at Penton Lodge, Andover, aged 72, on 28 October 1863 he had already been widowed by the death of his wife Elizabeth Scarlett in 1854. After their marriage in 1814, they had three daughters and one son who died prematurely at Cambridge University in 1841. When he was buried on 2 November, muffled bells were rung throughout Lancashire to mark what had been a useful and full life, not least to the working classes of that county.
Causton, Sir Joseph (1815-1871)
businessman and civic activist, was born of uncertain date at St. Albans in 1815. He came to London in 1829 and with the assistance of his uncle, Matthew Foster, commenced business as a wholesale stationer at 37 Eastcheap in the City. He became a Common Councillor for Billingsgate in 1848, Master of the Skinners in 1861, and Alderman for Bridge Within from 1867 until his death (he had unsuccessfully contested Cheap in 1858) and Sheriff for London and Middlesex in 1868. The pinnacle of his career occurred when the Queen opened Blackfriars Bridge and Holborn Viaduct in 1869 and he was knighted at Windsor Castle to mark the event. He died at Champion Hill, Camberwell on 27 May 1871 and was buried at Norwood Cemetery a few days later, leaving at least one son who was to become Lord Southwark.
Rose, William Anderson (1820-1881)
businessman, MP and Lord Mayor was born in London of Scottish descent on 16 August 1820. The second son of a merchant, Arthur Miller and his wife Susanna, he was educated at St. Olaves Grammar school Southwark and University College London. He married twice, firstly to Charlotte Flockton, nee Magnall, on 7 August 1851 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Secondly, after her death on 18 October 1855, he married Charlotte Grace Snow on 23 January 1858 at St. John the Evangelist. They had three sons and three daughters.
His activities in the City and elsewhere were extensive. He was Captain of the London Rifle Volunteers in 1859, Major in 1860 and Colonel from 1880 to his death. He was also Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal London Militia, a Commissioner of Lieutenancy for the City, Governor of the Irish Society from 1863 to 1873, Master of the Spectaclemakers in 1857-58, 1877-78, Master of the Loriners in 1866-67, Master of the Wax Chandlers from 1872 to-1874 and a member of the Clothworkers.
In local politics he was a Common Councillor for the Queenhithe ward between 1849 and 1854, Alderman in the same year, Sheriff in the following and Lord Mayor in 1862-63. He was knighted at Osborne on 3 August 1867. As a Conservative, he was a member of the City Carlton Club. In national politics he contested Newport in the Isle of Wight in 1857 and was elected for Southampton in 1862, where he was finally defeated in 1865. In all these elections he argued for strong national defences, the continued relationship between church and state and complete religious freedom. He died at Bifrons, Upper Tooting, Surrey on 9 June 1881, after being taken ill in his carriage on the way to his office. He was buried at St. Marys cemetery, Battersea on 14 June.
Carden, Sir Robert Walter, (1801-1888)
businessman, civic activist and Lord Mayor of London was born in London on 7 October, 1801, youngest son of James Carden, a barrister of Bedford Square and Richmond, Surrey. His mother, Jemima, was the eldest daughter of John Walter of The Times: a newspaper in which her son retained a proprietary interest. He married Pamela Elizabeth Edith, daughter of Dr. Andrews of the 19th Foot in 1827.
In 1816 he took a commission in the 52nd Foot, and in 1822 he began a sixty-five year association with the Stock Exchange, becoming the father of the House and remaining active until his death. This was not the extent of his business interests. In 1855 he founded the City Bank. Incorporated by Royal Charter, it became a limited company in March 1880. By 1898 the bank had opened twenty-one branches in London and its suburbs, and had amalgamated with the London City and Midland Bank Ltd. It was renamed the London Joint City and Midland Bank in 1918 and the Midland Bank in 1923, with its headquarters at 5 Threadneedle Street. Although he was thought of as a pillar of the City - he was also a Chairman of the Royal Exchange Bank and Director of the Canada Company - he did not aspire to the highest order of City magnets.
Politically, however, Cardens influence continued to grow. His connection with the Dowgate ward began in 1849 when he became an Alderman in an uncontested election and continued until he retired to Bridge Without in 1871. He was also appointed as a Commissioner for the Lieutenancy of London in 1849. The following year in December 1850, he made the first of many attempts to enter parliament, on this occasion at St. Albans. It was here that, although unsuccessful, he gained his reputation for forthrightness by fighting widespread corruption in the constituency. Besides being returned for Gloucester in 1857 to 1859 and Barnstaple from 1880 to 1885, he also contested Marylebone in 1861, Reading in 1868, and Barnstaple in 1880.
He had more success in his municipal career and brought to it the same direct approach. He served as a Sheriff in 1850-51 and received a knighthood on July 17 of the same year. He was noted as the proposer of the Indian Mutiny Fund and a rare visitor of Russia on the occasion of the Coronation of Tsar Alexander 11. He became Lord Mayor in 1857-58. Again, he refused to accede to bribery and corruption, this time from within the Common Council. Consequently, on his return to the Common Hall of the Livery Companies, he was received with hooting and groans. During his Mayoral year his unpopularity deepened. He was the first to abandon the water procession of the Lord Mayors Show and to concede the Citys rights over the Thames to the Thames Conservancy Board. More crucially, however, he was seen as a sturdy [City Press, 21 January 1888] Evangelical Conservative (he attended services at Portman Chapel, under the ministry of the Revd. Neville Sherbrooke), in a City that maintained its Liberal and Whig mix.
It was also a year in which he widened his scope for public service, becoming a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and Surrey. As a magistrate he confined City vagrants for three weeks at a time and as a result the streets were, he said, cleared of a nuisance. At a public meeting he promised to find work for all the unemployed present, but complained subsequently that few remained working for more than a month, and only two for a year. His experience as a ragged schoolteacher in the Ogle Mission Grays Yard Ragged School and at George Yard, Whitechapel, both institutions that he contributed to, also gave him a close knowledge of the unemployed. Every three years, he opened his country residence in West Moulsey to the children of the High Street Mission. Thus, in both activities, revealing two halves of a personality that could be alternatively stern and generous.
When his wife died in 1874, just a year after the death of his second son Robert, a clergyman of the Church of England, it seemed to temper his outlook. In 1876-7 he undertook his third spell as Master of the Cutlers, this time in more favourable circumstances. In June 1887 he was rewarded with a Baronetcy. When he was discovered dead in his chair after dinner on January 1 1888, surviving his eldest son - a retired Colonel who had served in India - at his home at 64 Wimpole Street, he was remembered as frosty but kindly. [City Press, 21 January 1888] He had been both over a life that shadowed most of the century. Either way, his financial and political activities had left a lasting stamp.
Besley, Robert (1794-1876)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born in Exeter on 14 October 1794. Here he began his business life in his fathers shop where, as an apprentice, he learned the skills of printing. It was here too that his brother managed the Devonshire Chronicle as a newspaper of West Country Liberalism. These two elements - printing and a Liberal politics - would inform the rest of his business and civic activities.
In 1820 he joined the firm of Messrs. Thoregood, typefounders, based in Fann Street, where he later became head. Other interests included Chairman of the Scarborough and Whitby Railway Company and Chairman of Griffins Wharf. In 1854 he began his representation of the Aldersgate ward on the Common Council and from 1861 to his death he was Alderman. By 1864-5 he was Sheriff and in 1869-70, Lord Mayor. In between he was Governor of the Queens Anne Bounty and of Stone lunatic asylum. He died at Victoria Road, Wimbledon Park on 18 December 1876, and was buried at Battersea cemetery.
Kennedy, Richard Hartley (0000-1865)
was assistant surgeon in the Bombay army in 1811, surgeon at home in 1822, and physician-general in 1842. In 1842 he retired to the world of City banking and politics. Here he became founding Director, and later Deputy-Governor, of the Royal British bank. He was also Alderman of the ward of Cheap in 1853 and Sheriff in 1855. His resignation of the Aldermanic gown coincided with his nine-month imprisonment, along with seven others, for fraud in 1858, following the closure of the bank four years earlier. He was author of many pamphlets on medical matters and his experiences in India. He died at the Great Western Hotel, Paddington on 24 July 1865.
Lawrence, Sir William (0000-1897)
MP and Lord Mayor was City born and bred. His father William Lawrence (1789-1855) was an Alderman and his brother James Clarke Lawrence (1820-97) was MP for Lambeth, where the family owned Pitfield Wharf. Brought up in the midst of a building business in Bread Street, he was elected as an Alderman for this ward on his father's death in 1855. Other duties included Magistrate for Middlesex and the City of Westminster, a Commissioner of Lieutenancy for London and Deputy for Middlesex, Sheriff in 1857-58, member of the Metropolitan Board of Works 1860-63, Lord Mayor 1863-64, Governor of the Royal Hospitals, Master of the Carpenters 1856-57 and Prime Warden of the Fishmongers in 1874-75.
As a Liberal he sat for the City in parliament between 1865 and 1874. Here he was swept away in the shift to Conservatism, although returning briefly in 1880. As a Liberal of the old school, he favoured the abolition of duties on Hackney carriages and shipping, licensed victuallers, and house property tax. His period as MP was one of transition in the political views of the City. In his fathers day Liberalism reigned supreme and the Conservatives were a hopeless minority, but as years went on its complexion changed. By the time Lawrence contested Paddington South in 1885 he was well on the way to a nascent form of Liberal-Unionism. He died 18 April 1897, having been knighted ten years earlier.
Gabriel, Sir Thomas (1811-1891)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born the fourth son of Thomas Gabriel from Brixton on 5 November 1811, although the family was originally of Cornish extraction. He was a partner with his father and brother in a timber merchants until 1848, with his brother after this date, and then alone after 1873. His other business interests included Chairmanship of Surrey Commercial Docks and Director of the Great Central Gas Company He married Mary Dutton Pearson, the only daughter of Charles Pearson, City Solicitor, on 8 October 1844. She died on 14 March 1893, aged 72.
In the City he was an active Goldsmith, admitted to the guild in 1849, Warden in 1872-75 and Prime Warden in 1875-76. Within the Citys local government structures he was an Alderman in Vintry ward (as well as President of the Vintry Ward Club) from 1857 to 1891, Sheriff in 1859-60 and Lord Mayor in 1866-67. In this year of reform he headed the Corporations state visit to Paris on the occasion of the Paris Exhibition and received the Sultan of Turkey for which he was created a Baronet. Later in 1880 he was made an officer of the Belgian order of Leopold. He died at Edgecoombe Hall, Wimbledon on 23 February 1891. He is buried at Norwood cemetery.
Lusk, Sir Andrew (1810-1909)
businessman, MP and Lord Mayor was born on 18 September 1810. Of Scottish descent, he was educated as a strict Presbyterian in Pinmore, Barr, Ayrshire. He left home with his brother Robert to start a wholesale grocery business in Greenock. This prospered, transferring to London premises at Fenchurch Street in 1840 and eventually dealt with ships provisions as well as groceries for export. This was not the extent of his business interests. He was a founder of the Imperial Bank in Lothbury, piloting it towards its incorporation with the London Joint Stock Bank in 1893. He cut the same path towards prosperity as Chairman of the General Life Insurance Company and the London and Lancashire Fire Insurance Co.
He brought the same level of skill and determination to other areas of his life. In a voluntary capacity he was JP for Middlesex, he was on the Thames Conservancy Board in 1864-65, the Executive of the Commons Preservation Society from 1869 to 1886, Vice-President of the Public Museums and Free Libraries Association in 1869, Vice-President of the Metropolitan and County Association for the Equalisation of the Poor Rate, Vice-President of the National Association for the Repeal of Contagious Diseases Acts in 1881 and Patron of the Howard Association from 1871 to 1884. He was also active in the Spectaclemakers, becoming Master in 1869-71 and 1891, and active too in the strongly Liberal Fishmongers, particularly as Prime Warden in 1887-88. He was a member of the City Liberal Club, the City Glee Club and the Reform Club. Much of this energy transferred to representing Aldgate as a Common Councillor from 1857, and from 1863 as an Alderman, moving to Bridge Without in 1892. In 1860 he was Sheriff and in 1873, Lord Mayor. He was made a Baronet at the end of his term, not least for his reception of Tsar Alexander 11 after the state marriage of the Tsar's daughter to the Duke of Edinburgh. Although he had married in 1848, to Elizabeth Potter of Grahamstown, Falkirk, there was no issue to inherit the title. Lady Lusk died on 28 January 1910.
As a Liberal he sat for Finsbury, along with William McCullagh Torrens, from 1865 until his retirement in 1885. He was known as a solid committee man that immersed himself in details, rather than as a member who spoke in the big debates. He did, however, argue for government retrenchment, shorter parliaments, civil and religious liberty, suffrage 'by instalments', the abolition of church rates, the lowering of the county franchise, the readjustment of local taxation and for master and man to be put on 'an equal footing'. Like many other City Liberals, he became a Liberal Unionist after 1886.
Lusk died in his ninety-ninth year at 15 Sussex Square, Hyde Park on 21 June 1909. His estate was thought to total over £96,500, of which £15,000 was left to charity. He was buried at Kensal Green cemetery after a service at St. Johns, Southwick Crescent.
Phillips, Benjamin Samuel (1811-1889)
businessman and Lord Mayor was born 4 January 1811, the son of a City trader. As a young man he moved north, perhaps to Emden, in order to gain commercial experience. On his return, he began a partnership with his brother and formed a merchant, manufacturers and warehouse business, initially in Ludgate Hill and then Newgate Street, in the process swallowing up Dolly's chophouse, an important City landmark. This was in 1830. Three years later he married Rachel Faudel, the sister and heiress of another partner S. H. Feudal. Their offspring was Sir George Faudel-Phillips (1840-1922) and he became father-in-law of the City Conservative, Baron Henry de Worms or Lord Pulbright. He was also Chairman of the Union Steamship Company.
In the City he was a prominent member of the Spectacle Makers and was Master in the years 1867-68, and 1879-80. In 1857 he was elected a Common Councillor and became an Alderman, also for the ward of Farringdon Within ten years later. He was Sheriff in 1859-60 and fulfilling a childhood dream, Lord Mayor in 1865-66. This was an eventful year for this self-made man. Knighted at the end of his term at Osborne, he had made extensive achievements in combating cholera in London and famine in India. In addition, he entertained the King and Queen of the Belgiums at the Mansion House, and was made a Commander of the order of Leopold. He had also been presented with a testimonial from the Jewish community for his contribution to religious toleration and was made President of the Society of Hebrew Literature in 1873. He died at 17 Grosvenor Street on 9 October 1889.
Waterlow, Sir Sidney (1822-1906)
businessman, philanthropist and Lord Mayor began an incredible life on 1 November 1822 at Crown Street, Finsbury. His father, James Waterlow, was a member of the Stationers Company and Common Councillor for Cornhill ward. His grandmother in Mile End brought him up until the age of 7. Like his family arrangements more generally, his education was far from settled. Firstly, he went to Dames school in Worship Street, then to a boarding school in Southwark, and then to St. Saviours Grammar school in Southwark, at which time he lived with his father at Gloucester Terrace, Hoxton. Both father and son were members of the Unitarian congregations at South Place chapel, Finsbury under the influential ministry of William Johnson Fox. A network was also in evidence when, in 1836, he was apprenticed to his uncle Thomas Harrison, a member of the Stationers Company and government printer with whom he lived at Pimlico and later at Sloane Square. At the age of twenty-one, he went to Paris to extend his knowledge of printing under the charge of the publishers Messieurs. Galignanis. The Waterlow family, of French descent, had started a stationers business in Birchin Lane in 1811, and on his return to London in 1844 the fourth son Sydney extended the concern to London Wall, employing at least two thousand people. The firm grew rapidly and specialising in the printing of confidential government papers, was made limited in 1876, reconstructed in 1879 and by 1897 it had become highly profitable. Indeed, his company was the first to print the Bankers Magazine. He also took advantage of the emerging business in railways, as Vice-Chairman of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway from 1874-99 and in banking as a Director of the Union Bank of London. His influence in the financial City grew expeditiously. He was also to become a member of the London Chamber of Commerce.
He had been a Common Councillor in the ward of Bread Street from 1857 (he was particularly noted for the introduction of overhead telegraphic communications between police stations) when he was asked in 1863, in a requisition signed by nearly every banker in Lombard Street, to stand as an Alderman in the Langbourn ward. A member of the Stationers Company - he had joined the Livery in 1847 - he served as Master in 1872-73. He also became a Clothworker, in this his Lord Mayoral year. This honour gave him a unique opportunity to develop a burgeoning voluntarism. These endeavours included philanthropic housing in the shape of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company Ltd, inaugurated in 1863, the Metropolitan Hospital Sunday Fund founded in 1872, as Governor of the Irish Society from 1872 to 1882, as Chairman of the United Westminsters Schools from 1873 to 1893, as treasurer of St. Bartholomews from 1874 to 1892, as a juror for Great Britain at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1867, for which he was knighted, and for the exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, following his work as one of the commissioners in the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was also Chairman of the City of London income tax commissioners, Treasurer of the City and Guilds Institute and a Freemason in the Drury Lane Lodge and a member of the City Glee Club. In 1872 he gave Lauderdale House at Highgate to St. Bartholomews as a convalescent home, and in 1889 he gave twenty-nine acres to the London County Council to be used as a public park.
His public works were particularly noted on the national stage. He was returned to parliament as a Liberal in Dumfriesshire but lost his seat because of controversy surrounding his government and business interests. Once again he was rejected in this seat in 1869 and in Southwark the following year. He was no more successful, however, in his bid for Maidstone in 1874 to 1880, when he was defeated. He then contested Gravesend for which he sat for the next five years at which point he tried to capture the Medway division of Kent. As a thoroughgoing Liberal he was a critic of the Corporation. However he was sought for his expertise on a number of issues, being a particular advocate for a Tribunal of Commerce. Three times he was called to sit on Royal Commissions: in 1870 in the enquiry regarding the Friendly and Benefit Societies, in 1871 on Royal Judicature and in 1885 on the Livery Companies. He was made a KCVO in 1902. He died after a brief illness at his country residence, Trosley Towers, Wrotham, Kent on 3 August 1906. He left an estimated £89,948 to his second wife Margaret Hamilton, an American whom he had married in 1882. His Baronetcy passed to Philip Hickson, one of the five sons and two daughters that were products of his first marriage in 1845 to Anna Maria Hickson. He was buried at Stanstead in Kent.
Allen, William Ferneley (1816-1877)
City loyalist and Lord Mayor was born 16 October 1816. As a publisher from 1855 to death, based in Leadenhall Street, he was responsible for Allens Indian Mail and carried out work for the East India Company. These were subjects that, as he had spent a large part of his life living in India, he felt qualified to espouse.
As a servant of the Corporation he was Deputy Lieutenant, Sheriff in 1857-58, Alderman for the ward of Cheap from 1858 to death and Lord Mayor in 1867-68. In this year Allen and controversy became close bedfellows. Although he rejected the label Tory, his moderate Conservatism was beyond doubt. Critics complained of his toadying to party concerns, to the dignitaries of the Church and to other West End swells. Turning his back on the citizen aristocrats, he refused to give out prizes to the boys of the City of London School (Revd. Abbott, the Headmaster had given a sermon at Westminster Abbey on the topic of social justice of which he disapproved) and attracted popular dismay by refusing to use the traditional coach during the Lord Mayors Show. [The Hornet Wednesday, 29 July 1868] Like Alderman Fowler (1828-1891) he refused to permit his officers and servants to work on a Sunday. He was, however, a fierce defender of the rights and privileges of the City and published a book on what he regarded as the fight against centralisation in 1858. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He died at his office at 13 Waterloo Place, on 22 May 1877. He was buried in the family vault at Sevenoaks, Kent, just a few days later.
Gibbons, Sir John Sills (1809-1876)
citizen and Lord Mayor was born either in Chatham or Sittingbourne of uncertain date in 1809. He served as an apprentice to a wholesale tea dealer in the City from 1824 to 1831, although he later became a hop merchant by trade. He had become free of the City by servitude through the Salters Company, and became Master in 1863-64 and in 1874-75.
Gibbons was a Common Councillor for Castle Baynard ward between 1858-62, and Alderman from 1862-1875. By 1871-72 he was granted the ultimate civic prize when he was first made Lord Mayor and then assumed a Baronetcy for his public exertions.
He was also noted as a disappointed parliamentary candidate for the City in 1868, fighting in the Conservative interest, a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works between 1868 and 1871 and a JP for Middlesex. He died in Hastings, Sussex on 11 January 1876.
Mechi, John Joseph (1802-1880)
businessman, agriculturist and City activist was born in London on 22 May 1802. His father, Giacomo, was from Bologna and held a position in the Court of George 111. Royal connections were maintained as John claimed an early acquaintance with Queen Charlotte and a fishing companion in the Duke of Sussex. As a youth of 16 he was placed as a clerk in a mercantile house in Walbrook, concerned with Newfoundland trade. He remained here for ten years until, having saved enough money, he opened his own shop in Leadenhall Street. Here, he designed the Magic Razor Strop, making enough money from the business in the 1830s to move to larger premises but which thereafter suffered when beards became fashionable. Despite this setback and not for the first time, Mechi reinvented himself. This time, from 1859 to 1869, he went into partnership with Charles Bazan (Frederick Keats of Fortnum & Masons was a colleague) marketing a patent in shop window lamps at 112 Regent Street.
By this time he had began to construct a model farm at Tiptree Heath in Essex. This was the subject of extensive publications, including the best seller How to Farm Profitably (1857). The emphasis was on the use of deep drainage and steam power.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Mechi found time to marry twice: first in 1823 to Fanny Frost, and second to Charlotte Ward in 1846. The combined product of both unions was several daughters and one son. He also gave his time to a number of other causes. He was member of the Council of the Society of Arts, Juror in the Department of Arts and Science at the 1851 General Exhibition and at the Industrial Exhibition in Paris in 1855, as well as founder of the Royal Agricultural Benefit Institution.
Within the City of London he was appointed as a Sheriff in 1856 and Alderman in the ward of Lime Street in 1858. His luck run out in 1866, with the failure of the Unity Joint Stock Bank, and a hapless connection with the General Life Assurance Office eventually forced the liquidation of his assets. He resigned his Aldermanic gown and after several bad seasons on the farm, developed diabetes. He died at Tiptree Hall on 26 December 1880 and was buried at the local church on the first day of the New Year.
Abbiss, James (1812-1882)
civic activist was born at Wallsworth near Hitchin in Hertfordshire on 3 June 1812. Coming to London as a young man in 1835 and as a tea dealer based in the City, he served its institutions in a variety of ways. He was Sheriff in 1860-61, Alderman in the ward of Bridge in 1857, Chairman of the City of London Union from this year until his death and Prime Warden of the Blacksmiths Company from 1863 to 1865. He was known as a staunch yet liberal nonconformist and the poor mans friend. [City Press Wednesday 12 July 1882.] He was Treasurer for the Asylum for Idiots Earlswood, Deacon at Christchurch, Chaseside, Enfield (a Congregationalist chapel), a worker in its Sunday school, a member of both the Aged Pilgrims Friends Society and the Protestant Blind Society. He was also purchaser of a Wesleyan chapel that was converted into a Mechanics Institute at Ponders End and Chair of the bench at Edmonton Petty Sessions. He was also Director of the General Life and Fire Assurance Company and the Chairman of London Tavern Company Ltd. He resigned his Aldermanic gown on the occasion of his wifes illness in 1867. Having lived as a religious man and a teetotaller he died at home at The Shrubbery Chase Side, Enfield on 7 July 1882. He was buried at Edmonton churchyard a few days later.
Truscott, Sir Francis Wyatt (1824-1895)
citizen, Lord Mayor and activist was a native of Truro Cornwall, born 24 November 1824 and moved later to Essex Lodge, Norwood. He was educated in the West Country and at Kings College London, before taking over the family business in the City. Other business interests included a Directorship of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, the City of London Brewery Company, and the Newhaven Harbour Company. In 1847 he married Eliza Freeman and from this union had two sons. Their daughter, Louisa Edith, married Homewood Crawford, later Sir Homewood, City Solicitor.
Francis Truscott often mixed business, family and civic activity. His father, James Truscott was a member of the Corporation, his son was Lord Mayor in 1908 and a grandson was Common Councilman for the ward of Dowgate. In 1858 he became a member for that ward, Chairman of the City Lands Committee in 1863 and an Alderman in 1871 until his death. By this time he had already become an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives in Dudley in 1865, and was to be so again in 1880 at Gravesend. Yet, activity was central to his life.
As a keen Freemason (member of the Temple Bar, City of London and Drury Lane Lodges) and Grand Warden of England, he gave a great Masonic banquet attended by the Prince of Wales, the then Grand Master. In 1871 he was Sheriff, in 1872 he was knighted at Buckingham Palace, and between 1875 and 1879 he was member of the Metropolitan Board of Works. He was Lord Mayor in 1879-80, when he paid state visits to Brussels, Scarborough and Truro. JP for Middlesex, Surrey and Cornwall, a Commissioner of Land and Assessed Taxes, Commander of the Orders of Leopold of Belgium, Saviour of Greece and an officer of Legion of Honour, all added to the list of public recognition. He was also Chairman of the committee to consider reform of the Corporation in 1883, member of the Irish Society and the City of London Tradesmans Club, plus the first President of the London Society of Artists. As a Dissenter he was a Trustee of the Countess of Huntington Connexion but also a Vice-President of the City Church and City Churchyard Protection Society.
His most famous contribution, however, can still be seen in the shape of the Griffins that were erected in the place of Temple Bar and unveiled by the Duke of Albany in November 1880, but was otherwise known as Truscotts Folly. He died on Sunday 3 March 1895, and was buried at Norwood cemetery on the following Saturday. The funeral cottage left from his town residence at 123 or 173 Victoria Street (he also owned an estate at East Grinstead) to his final resting place south of the river.
Lawrence, Sir James Clarke (1820-1897)
citizen and Lord Mayor was probably born in 1820 and was always destined to be a member of the Corporation. He was a brother and business partner to Sir William Lawrence (0000-1897) and son to Alderman William Lawrence (1789-1855). (Another brother was Sir Edwin Durning Lawrence, one of the literary champions of the anti-Shakespeareans in the controversy as to the authorship of Shakespeares plays). Becoming an Alderman in 1860, he had earlier opposed the London Corporation Bill in 1856. He was President of the Bethlem and Bridewell hospital in 1868-97, Master of the Carpenters in 1860-61 and Prime Warden of the Fishmongers in 1888-89. In 1862 he was Sheriff and Lord Mayor in 1868-69 when, like his brother, he was a bachelor Chief Magistrate. Unlike William, however, he was to later marry as a septuagenarian. He was a member of the Liberty & Property Defence League, on the Executive of the Commons Preservation Society 1869-86 and the Public Museums and Free Libraries Association, while Vice-President of the National Emigration League in 1870.
As a successful Lord Mayor, he was not only rewarded with a Baronet on the opening of Holborn Viaduct, but also the nomination for re-election, although he withdrew before the close of poll. Much of these local exertions bolstered a weak parliamentary career as a Liberal and a Unitarian. He was MP for Lambeth in 1865 and between 1868 and 1885, but lost contests in North Lambeth in 1885 and West Carmathenshire the following year. Upon his retirement he handed over the family business to his employees on generous terms. He died on 21 May 1897.
Green, Samuel (0000-1901)
is thinly documented. He was a notable surveyor, a Fellow of the Surveyors Institute and on the committee of the Estates Exchange. He was also a Common Councilman in the ward of Farringdon Without from 1861-65, Alderman in Walbrook from 1897 until his death and Master of the Tallowchandlers. He was the son-in-law of Alderman James Figgins (1811-1884). He died 23 April 1901.
Hadley, Simeon Charles (1831-1890)
citizen and City tradesman was born in Cambridge, Gloucester in November 1831. As a young man he came to London, along with three brothers, and entered into the flour trade. He became active in a civic capacity, first as a Common Councilman from 1862 to 1864 and from 1866 to 1875, and then as an Alderman from 1874. He was also Sheriff in 1876 and a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1881-83 and a poor law Guardian (West), St. Andrew by the Wardrobe. A Liberal, he became Chairman of the London Friendly Institution and Director of the American, British and Continental Cable Company Ltd.
When, however, it was his turn to become Lord Mayor in 1883, he was passed over because of his perilous financial position. Noted in the flour trade - he was Chairman of the National Association of British and Irish Mills - he had nevertheless suffered badly when his mills burnt down in November 1872. By 1884 he had resigned his Aldermanic gown and was declared bankrupt. Interestingly, he remained active in the guilds, becoming Master of the Bakers Company in 1888. He resided at Cranbrook Park, Ilford, but died at his lodgings in Kennington on 15 May 1890.
Isaacs, Sir Henry Aaron (1830-1909)
citizen and Lord Mayor was born in the City of London on 15 August 1830, the son of Michael Isaacs and Sara de Mendoza, daughter of Aaron de Mendoza of Madrid, a relative of Daniel Mendoza the champion boxer, while an uncle was Rufus Isaacs, the eminent lawyer. Henry Aaron married Eleanor Rowland (d. 1901). They had one son and two daughters, while at least one was born deaf and dumb. As a leading City trader and a Liberal he was elected as a Common Councillor in 1862, at the age of 32 in the ward of Aldgate, and Alderman in Portsoken in 1883, taking a special interest in markets. In 1886 he was Sheriff, in 1887 he was made a Knight, and in 1889 Lord Mayor. This was a year clouded by errors of judgement, at least according to popular opinion,
His rise through the civic ranks was largely a result of his activities in the Citys civil society. For example, he was Master of the Loriners Company, Warden of the Hambro Synagogue, member of the Jewish Board of Guardians, Grand Warden of the Freemasons, Drury Lane Lodge, and member of the Alliance Lodge, as well as involvement in Bottomleys Hansard Union and the construction of Tower Bridge, completed in 1894. He died on 2 August 1909, aged 79.
Figgins, James (1811-1884)
citizen and MP was born in West Street, Smithfield on 16 April 1811. He was type founder here, becoming a Common Councillor from 1863 to 1868 in Farringdon Without, a Sheriff in 1865 and Alderman from 1873 to 1882. He also served as a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works in from 1879 to 1881 and Master of the Stationers Company in 1880-81.
Married to the daughter of W.A. Beckwith in 1836, he strayed from the City in his early years when he attended a private school at Esher, Surrey and later, from 1868 to 1874, when he represented Shrewsbury as a Conservative MP. Here he voted against the disestablishment of the Irish Church in 1869 and remained throughout in favour of strict public economy. He was a member of the City of London Club, the Carlton Club and the St. Dunstan's Club. His father-in-law was Alderman Samuel Green (0000-1901). Although he was also a resident of Fair Lawn, Forest Hill, Surrey, he died at his home at 35 Russell Square on 12 June 1884.
Hart, Edward J. (1828-1894)
businessman and civic activist was born in 1828, the son of W. Hart, chief accountant to the St. Katherine Dock Company. Educated at Hoxton Haberdashers school, he too excelled at accountancy and opened a partnership in the City. Twenty-five years a Common Councillor in Coleman Street ward from 1863, he took the Aldermanic gown from 1888 to his death. A Conservative and member of the City Carlton Club, he was on the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Director of the London Omnibus Company as well as the Provident Clerks Insurance Company. He died November 28 1894.
Paterson, John (1813-1875)
a City tradesman of Staining Lane and resident of Colonnade House, Blackheath was born of uncertain date and place in 1813. He was a Common Councilman in Aldersgate between 1867 an 1873, Sheriff in 1870, Alderman in the ward of Cordwainer between 1873 and 1875 and Master of the Bakers Company in the same years. He collapsed and died between Reigate and Croydon on a return train journey from Brighton. Aged 63, he left two sons and is buried in most holy ground at Charlton.
Walker, John (1819-1882)
businessman and civic activist was born of uncertain date and place in 1819. He married Eliza Newman in 1850 and they went on to have ten children. He was a senior partner in one of the largest firms in the corn trade, branches of which extended out from the City to Liverpool and New York. He was also Deputy Chairman of the London Corn Exchange and founder of the Corn Exchange Benevolent Fund. As a Common Councillor in Queenhithe from 1863 to 1868 and an Alderman from 1881 to 1882, he assisted the Corporation in maintaining the right of metage. He was also a Council member of the London Chamber of Commerce. Other interests included a Directorship of the London and St. Katherine Dock Company. He died September 18 1882.
Ellis, Sir John Whittaker (1829-1912)
businessman, MP and Lord Mayor was born January 25 1829 at Petersham, Surrey. He was the fifth son of the proprietor of the Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond, and his wife, Elizabeth Masters. Baptised at the Hanover Independent Chapel, Peckham on May 27, he received a sound elementary education. Later, as a leading City auctioneer, he owed his career to Sir John Musgrove (1793-1881) who first employed him, eventually becoming the senior partner in the firm.
A Common Councillr by 1864, he succeeded Musgrove as an Alderman from 1872 to his death, also in the ward of Bread Street. This was the foundation of a full public life. He was Sheriff for the City in 1874, for Surrey in 1899, Lord Mayor in 1881-82, Commissioner of Lieutenancy for London, Master of the Merchant Taylors' in 1884, Governor of the Irish Society for ten years from 1883, JP for Londonderry and Charter Mayor for Richmond in 1890-91. He was rewarded with a Baronetcy in 1882 on the occasion of the Queen's visit to Epping Forest and the Chevalier 2nd Class of the Gold Lion of Nassau.
As a Conservative he was a member of numerous clubs, including the Carlton Club, the City Carlton Club, the Constitutional Club, the Garrick Club, and the Liberty and Property Defence League, an organisation he joined in order to help defend the City's rights in Ireland. He was also Patron of the National Association for the Promotion of State Colonisation, Vice President of the City Church and Churchyard Protection Society, Vice President of the Bank Clerks Orphanage and Vice President of the London Municipal Society and Ratepayers Union. In addition to these clubs and associations, he was a Freemason belonging to the Great City Lodge and the Drury Street Lodge. He was also Director of the Anglo-Foreign Banking Company, Hand-in-Hand Insurance Company, the Imperial Bank, Artisans Land and Mortgage Company, Auction Mart Company, McMurrays Royal Paper Mill Company, Union Assurance Company and the Collenders Cable and Construction Company. These were all activities that no doubt informed his time as an MP for Mid-Surrey from 1884 for a year and for Kingston-on-Thames from 1885, until his retirement in 1892.
He died September 2 1912 at Wormleybury, Broxbourne Heath, Hertfordshire. By this time he had married twice: firstly to Mary Ann Stables in 1859 (d.1901), and secondly in June 1903 to Marion Basley. There was no issue from either union. The funeral took place at Patersham on September 26 1912.
Stone, David Henry (1812-1890)
businessman and civic activist was born on 19 October 1812. His family were landowners at Framfield, near Lewes in Sussex. Educated at St. Olaves school Southwark, he was articled to a law practice in Ely Place and practised as a solicitor in the City from 1840 to 1864. In this year he became an Alderman in the Bassishaw ward. Already connected to the Corporation (Alderman Farncomb (1778-1873) was an uncle) he began a long record of public service. In 1867 he was Sheriff and as a keen Liveryman was a Master of the Spectacle Makers and Coopers Companies. During a civic career that lasted to his death, he represented the City on the Metropolitan Board of Works, and was Chairman of the Police Committee, Chairman of the Board of Managers for the erection of two large schools at Hoxton and Hatchem. He was also Vice-Chairman of the Improved Dwellings Company, JP for Surrey, the last Principal of Cliffords Inn, Fleet Street and Vice-Chairman of the City Church and Churchyard Protection Society. He was noted as the Grand Warden of the Freemasons and for paying an official visit to Paris at the opening of the Opera House in 1875.
Widowed, he was married again in 1850 to Mary Albets, whose father John was a member of Lloyds. Stone died on 26 February 1890 at St. Thomass hospital where, typically, he had been Treasurer for many years.
Breffit, Edgar (1810-1882)
businessman and City trader was born at Cromford, near Matlock in Derbyshire on 12 June 1810. However, the family came to Barnes just two years later in 1812. In his business life he was noted for founding a leading specialist bottle manufactory in the City and Yorkshire. Other business interests included a Chairmanship of the Scarborough & Whitby Railway Company and the Griffins Wharf Company. He also married well in 1838, to a daughter of a shipbuilder who owned considerable property.
In 1865 he was a Common Councillor in Dowgate and from 1877-1882, an Alderman in Cheap. He was Sheriff in 1875 and Master of the Coopers in 1880-81. He died at The Glebe, Lee, Kent on 18 October 1882.
Staples, Sir John (1815-1888)
businessman, civic activist and Lord Mayor was born in London on 14 December 1815. His family were natives of Laverstock in Wiltshire. His father, John senior, was a sometime trader in the City, although he eventually returned to the county. John junior was educated privately in London and Salisbury. In 1842 he and a brother took over the Albion Tavern in Aldersgate and in 1864, and when it became a limited company, continued as Managing Directors. Meanwhile Stables had become a partner in a firm of merchants in Londons West End. This, however, did not weaken his links to the City. Not only was he Vice-Chairman of the City Church & Churchyard Protection Society, but also a Freemason at the Drury Lane Lodge and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
In 1865, he became a Common Councillor and in 1878 an Alderman. Much flowed from these two central commitments. He was Sheriff in 1877, Lord Mayor in 1885-6, and member of the Metropolitan Board of Works 1884-5. From 1886 to his death, he was a Royal Commissioner for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition. In addition, he was member of the special committee set up to oppose attacks on the City Corporation in the 1880s, Master of both the Leathersellers and Pewterers Companies, Governor of the Queen Annes Bounty and Governor of the United Westminster Schools. After a life of business success and public service he died at 87 Avenue Road, Regent's Park on 16 January 1888.
Cotton, Sir William James Richmond (1822-1902)
businessman, civic activist and Lord Mayor of London was born at Stratford-le-Bow, eldest son of William Cotton, on 13 November 1822. He married Caroline, daughter of Charles Pottinger of Sunderland, in 1846 and they had twelve children.
He received a private school education, before joining a solicitors office and then becoming a leading partner in Culverwell, Brook and Company, leather, hide and tallow brokers of 27 St. Mary Axe. In 1850 he published a poem called Imagination, dedicated to Charles Dickens. The 1876 edition was dedicated to Thomas Carlyle, godfather to his grandson. He also wrote Smash: a Sketch of the Times, Past, Present and to Come (1860), referring to railway speculations at a time of commercial panic.
These were only some of his interests. He was also owner of extensive iron ore mines in Norway, Director of the Liverpool and London and Globe Fire and Life Offices and Chairman of the Staines and West Drayton Railway Company.
Armed with a fine business reputation he began his civic career in 1866 when he was elected Aldermen for the Ward of Lime Street. He served until 1892, the last four years in the ward of Bridge Without. He also had gained recognition as the Deputy Chairman and Joint Treasurer of the Lancashire and Cheshire Operative Relief Fund in 1861. Building on these foundations he became Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1868-9, magistrate for London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire, Commissioner of Lieutenancy for London, Chairman of the City Police Committee and Commissioner of Inland Revenue for Hertfordshire. He was elected to the London School Board in 1870, serving the City area until 1879. He was also made Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Mary Datchelor Schools, member of the Thames Conservancy Board, Governor of Christ's, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Bridewell and Bethlem Hospitals and a Governor of Queen Annes Bounty. In 1892 he was appointed Chamberlain of the City.
Cotton became Lord Mayor of London in 1875-6 and hosted a banquet at a reported cost of £50,000 to celebrate the homecoming of the Prince of Wales from India. This was one of the few remarkable events in an unremarkable year, although Cotton oversaw a fund for Eastern War victims and a mass meeting held on the subject of the Bulgarian atrocities. Closer to home, funds were raised for the sufferers of the floods of the Thames and Fens.
Above all Cotton was an advocate for the City guilds. He was a member of the Court of the Furriers, Fanmakers and Loriners Companies, Master of the Haberdashers and Saddlers Companies in his Mayoral year and Master of the Turners Company in 1891-93. When the Livery Companies were under attack from Liberal opponents, Cotton became Chairman of the City Guilds Defence Association and championed their cause in parliament. As a result, he was a member of the 1884 Royal Commission, co-author of the Dissenting Minority Report and sole author of an additional Protest. One of his main objections concerned the passages relating to technical education, a subject in which he took a more voluntary stance.
It is not surprising then, that as an unsuccessful Conservative candidate for Southwark in December 1868, Cotton campaigned on constitutional principles, opposing sitting members on the Irish Question. Issuing a very liberal address he won 2,495 votes, despite putting his name forward only forty-eight hours before the poll. He was MP for the City of London from 1874 (the first Conservative Alderman to be elected for forty-four years), until standing down after the election of 1885 when representation was reduced to two members, instead of four. Nevertheless Cotton increased his vote in the interim and remained the most popular candidate.
As a critic of Disraeli over his Russian policy he was denied the customary Baronet at the close of his year as Lord Mayor. In fact it was an honour he was only granted on 5 July 1892. Cotton had a reputation for manly independence, a title that placed alongside his business and civic achievements, may also serve as his epitaph. His service to the public continued, almost until his death, following a relatively short illness, on 4 June 1902.
Knight, Sir Henry (1833-1917)
civic activist and Lord Mayor was born at Marylebone on an uncertain date in 1833. As a long-time member of the Corporation he served the citizenry in a variety of ways. As a merchant in the City he was well placed to become a Common Councillor for the ward of Cripplegate Within in 1867, an Alderman in 1874, Sheriff in 1875 and Lord Mayor in 1882-3. He was repaid with a Knighthood at the conclusion of that year. He also served as Master of the Fruiterers and Loriners Companies, and Governor of Bridewell, Bethlem and St. Thomass hospitals. He was also a Freemason in the Drury Lane Lodge, and a Council member of the London Chamber of Commerce. His diverse business interests included a Directorship of the Kansas Water and Irrigation Co, the Rickmansworth and Uxbridge Valley Water Co., the Southwark and Vauxhall Co., the Palatine Insurance Co., the Insurance Co., the City of London Fire Insurance Co., the Central Bank of London, plus the Land and House Property Corporation and the Mortgage Insurance Co. As a Conservative and constitutionalist, he unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of West Marylebone in 1885 and had done so earlier in 1870. He had also been a candidate for the City on the newly formed London School Board. He died November 1917.
De Keyser, Sir Polydore (1832-1898)
hotelier and Lord Mayor was born in Termonde, near Antwerp in Belgium in December 1832. Coming to England at a young age he was educated at a private school in Fulham. His father, Constant de Keyser, was the owner of the Royal Hotel situated on the Victoria Embankment, near Blackfriars Bridge and which the young Polydore was later to jointly manage. His election as Lord Mayor in 1887 was a landmark event, as he became the first Roman Catholic to receive that honour since the Reformation. Perhaps his Roman Catholicism, rather than his alleged reputation as an ale conner (a prescribed trade) explains why his appointment was contested by Alderman Herbert Waterlow (0000-0000), and why too a protracted case for his exclusion was heard before the Court of Alderman and the Lord Chancellor, Sir Hardings Giffard.
He seems by this time to have been thoroughly integrated into English bourgeois life, although he was not naturalised until 1853. In 1868 he entered the Common Council as a member for Farringdon Without until 1874 and again from 1879 to 1882. In this year he was elected Alderman until 1892, a year in which he served as Master of both the Spectacle Makers and the Poulters. In the City he was a member of the West London Poor Law Union, a Churchwarden of the Parish of St. Bride, Founder of the Guildhall School of Music and member of the Bridge House Estates Committee. He was also a Freemason (Freemason Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, Emulation Lodge and Masonic Order of the Royal Arch, Fidelity Chapter), a Fellow of the Society of Arts and member of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Statistical Society. He gained particular attention when he held the Presidency of the British section of the Paris Exhibition (1889), in the teeth of official resistance. His final status was assured, however, when he was knighted in 1888 after visiting his hometown in Belgium, winning the distinction of the Commander of the Order of Leopold.
He had married Louise Pieron of Brussels in 1862. He died of cancer at his home at 4 Cornwall Mansions on 14 January 1898, but had already outlived Lady de Keyser by three years. He was buried at Nunhead.
Pound, Sir John (1829-1915)
citizen and City trader, was born on uncertain date in 1829 in Leadenhall Street - the building where he carried on his business as a trunk and bag manufacturer. More than this humble trade, however, he was a Director of Batey & Company, Bell Organ and Piano Company, the London General Omnibus Company, London Taverns and Property Company, McNamara & Company, Mount Kembia Coal and Oil Company, the Pay Rock Silver Mines Company, Vienna General Omnibus Company, the New Asbestos Company, the First Avenue Hotel Company, the Grand Hotel Company, Hotel Metropole and a Trustee of the Industrial and Insurance Company.
He was Common Councillor from 1869 to 1892, Alderman in Aldgate from 1892 and Sheriff in 1893. As a Conservative (he was seconded for his gown by Alderman Cotton, 1822-1902) he was an active Liveryman: Master of the Leathersellers in 1893-4, 1903-4, Master of the Fruiterers in 1901-2, and of the Fanmakers in 1891-2. He also was a member of the Aldgate Ward Ratepayer's Association. He died in 1915.
Moore, Sir John Voce (0000-1904)
City trader, founded a firm of tea merchants at the age of 22, after being apprenticed to the trade. When he finally left it to his sons, the firm was trading as a private limited company. A self-made man, Moore began a long stint in the Common Council from 1870 to 1889. He was a member of the City Carlton and was necessarily, therefore, a Conservative. He was also Chairman of the Candlewick Ward Club. He campaigned against food adulation, inducing the Corporation to press for legislation making the inspection of tea compulsory. He was Alderman in Candlewick from 1889 to 1902, as Sheriff in 1893, as a Master Loriner in 1894-5 and as Lord Mayor in 1898-9. Knighted in 1894, he died on 12 February 1904.
White, Sir Thomas (1818-1883)
City trader and Lord Mayor, was born on 1 January 1818, in Woodford, Essex. He was married twice, first to a Miss Webb who died in 1874, and secondly in 1878, to Florence Susan Simpson. Two sons, William and Henry, and three daughters were the combined products of these unions. One of the daughters, Ada Louisa, acted as Lady Mayoress during Whites honorific year during which time, on 9 August 1877, she was wed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St. Pauls Cathedral. She and her husband, Cecil Herbert Thornton Price, were the first to celebrate such an event for 120 years. The wedding breakfast was served in the Egyptian Hall at the Mansion House, with presents displayed in the state drawing room, one of which was a gold bracelet with a diamond given by fifty Officers of the Corporation.
Interestingly, this lavish attention was not a reflection of any elevated position that White might have enjoyed. Indeed, his business and civic career was outstanding in its ordinariness. In 1848 he acquired, what was only to become in later years, a large wine merchants business. It was not until 1871 that he was elected as Portsokens Aldermanic representative; he was Sheriff in the following year and then Lord Mayor in 1876-77. Besides the marriage of his escort and daughter, his Mayoralty was noted for raising the sum of £515,000 for the Indian famine fund and attending to the distress suffered in South Wales.
Deputy-Lieutenant and Honorary Colonel to the 3rd Essex Artillery volunteers, from 1869 to 1874, he was knighted at Osbourne in 1873. He also served as JP for Essex and Middlesex, and Lieutenant for the City. He attracted further attention in 1879 when he gave evidence before a Select Committee of the House of Commons in favour of the Metropolitan & District Railway Companies completion of the Inner Circle line. He died on 8 March 1883 at 144 Sloane Street and was buried at Upton Church, Essex.
McArthur, Sir William (1809-1887)
businessman, Lord Mayor and MP was born in Malin, County Donegal in Ireland on 6 July 1809. His father was John McArthur, a Wesleyan Methodist minister, and his mother was Sarah Finlay. Their fifth son was educated at a school at Stranorlar. In 1821, he was apprenticed to a woollen draper at Enniskillen, and then in 1825 to a manufacturing tobacconist and spirit merchant in Lurgan, and finally to a Dublin woollen-draper in 1830. The following year he began his own business with Joseph Cather in Londonderry. After 1835 McArthur worked alone. Real success, however, did not come until he joined forces with his brother Alexander who, having left for Australia for health reasons, literally struck gold. From here the export business really took off, transferring to the City of London in 1857, before spreading to Sydney and beyond. He was Director from 1861 and then Chairman from 1867 of the Star Life Assurance Society (founded in 1817 and amalgamated in 1845 by the Eagle and British Dominions Insurance Company), Director of City Bank, Director of the Bank of Australasia and Director of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company.
McArthurs politics always had at their heart an imperial idea. Having been an Alderman of Londonderry in 1841, he was elected in the same capacity in the ward of Coleman Street in 1872, having already served as a Sheriff in 1867 and as a Lieutenant for London and a Magistrate for Surrey. He was Lord Mayor in 1880-1, a year which coincided with his contribution to the founding of the London Chamber of Commerce. Although formally a Liberal when he sat for Lambeth from 1868, he might be more accurately described as a moderate Conservative. He was an admirer of Disraelis foreign policy and opposed Gladstone by supporting the annexation of Fiji. Education proved to be another of his enthusiasms when, in 1869, he supported the grant to Maynooth and in the same year was a member of the Wesleyan Committee considering the Education Act. At either end of his parliamentary career, he contested the Pontefract seat in 1865 and West Newington in 1885. He defected to the Liberal Unionists in 1886.
A promiscuous attendee of clubs and associations: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, member of the Anglo-Oriental Society for the Suppression of Opium Trade, the Central Association for Stopping Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday, the Free Land League, the Howard Association, the International Arbitration and Peace Association, the Jamaica Committee, the National Emigration League, the National Association for the Repeal of Contagious Diseases Acts, the Reform Club, the National Reform Club, the City Liberal Club and the National Liberal Club.
Well travelled, as he was well networked, he had made a worldwide expedition in 1876 to visit his business interests in Australia, making a point of visiting Palestine in 1886. Thus by the time of his death on 16 November 1887, while travelling on the Metropolitan underground railway from his home in Holland Park, he had attended to the main facets of his life: business, imperialism and religion. He left £150,000 to charities including the London City Mission, the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Enniskillan Ireland, the Methodist College Belfast and the Metropolitan Chapel Building Fund. His funeral service was held at the Denbigh Road Chapel in the Bayswater Road and he was buried at Norwood cemetery.
Hanson, Sir Reginald (1840-1905)
businessman, Lord Mayor and MP, was born both in the City and into City Conservatism on 31 May 1840. His father Samuel and his mother Mary Choppin sent him away from the family home in Botolph Lane, and place of business of four generations, to be educated at Rugby and then Trinity College, Cambridge. As the name Hanson was prominent on the membership list of the local Conservative Association in the 1830s, so the City and Conservative thread was continued into the next generation. In 1866 Reginald married Constance Hallet and the last of the two sons from the marriage, Gerard (b. 1867) and Francis (b.1868), succeeded their father as Aldermen of Billingsgate ward.
Building on the solid foundations of a successful wholesale grocers business, his civic activities coincided with the rise of City Conservatism in the 1860s and 1870s. Indeed, it might be argued that his political contribution was vital to its final victory. In 1863 he was admitted to the Freedom of the City by patrimony and into the Merchant Taylors Company. Later in 1883 and 1889 respectively, he became Master of the Shipwrights and the Merchant Taylors. In addition, he became Master of the Spectacle Makers in 1899 and Governor of the Fellowship Porters Company. He became a Common Councillor between 1873 and 1880 and an Alderman from 1880 to 1901. In 1881 he was Sheriff, City member of the London School Board from this year until 1885, Hon. Colonel of the London Militia 4th Battalion from 1882 until his death, associated with the 6th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and a volunteer officer in the London Rifle Brigade until 1880. He became Lord Mayor in 1886-1887. He was also Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce, member of the London County Council for West Marylebone, Treasurer of the Corporation of the Sons of Clergy from 1890 to 1895, member of the Thames Conservancy Board from 1892 to 1897, Governor of Bridewell, Bethlehem and St. Thomass Hospital, Almoner of Christs Hospital and Land and Income Tax Commissioner for the City. Other offices held included Treasurer of the Royal Albert Orphan Asylum, the Western Ophthalmic Hospital and Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, JP, and Deputy Lieutenant for Middlesex and Tower Hamlets and JP for both the City and Westminster. He was rewarded, not only with a Knighthood in 1882 and a Baronet after his Mayoral year, but also with Knight Commander of the Netherlands, Order of Courunne de Chere and a Redeemer of Greece.
As a leading Freemason, holding Grand Lodge honours, he was also an enthusiastic member of other clubs and associations: Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, Philological Society, City Church and Churchyard Protection Society, Carlton Club, Garrick Club, City Carlton Club, Junior Carlton Club, Constitutional Club, and Vice-President of the Primrose League As such he was well placed to replace Hucks Gibbs, as the Citys representative in 1891, when the Chairman of the Citys Conservative Association was elevated to the House of Lords. As a staunch defender of the Citys privileges he served its interests, and therefore that of Conservatism, until he retired in 1900. He died on 18 April 1905.
Evans, Sir David (1849-1907)
City businessman and Lord Mayor was born in Llanterant, Wales of uncertain date in 1849. His early education was at a local school before he graduated from Merton College Oxford. He intended to follow the family calling as a maltster or farmer, but the sudden death of his uncle, Richard Evans, a senior partner in a textile business in the City, led him to London where he entered the trade. When he was just 17 he went to the South of France where he learned both the language and the textile trade. On his return in 1862, he took a leading position in the firm, becoming a partner when he was 21. Subsequently, he was made a senior partner and when the company adopted limited status he relinquished active control. He did, however, retain a landed interest in Wales as well as Directorships of the Anglo-Foreign Bank, the Imperial Bank, the Hand in Hand Insurance Company, and the Collenders Cable and Construction Company.
This business reputation followed him into City politics, where he was known as a strong and active member of the Conservative Association. In 1874, he was elected as a Common Councillor in Cordwainer ward, where he remained for ten years, and from where in 1884 until his death, he was honoured with an Aldermanic gown. Likewise he was Sheriff in 1885, Lord Mayor in 1891, Master of the Haberdashers in 1895, the Broderers in 1896 and 1905 and a member of the Thames Conservancy Board from 1905 to 1907. He died on 17 August of that year.
Nottage, George Swan (1822-1885)
City trader and Lord Mayor born in London on 10 November, probably in 1822, was from a family of Glamorganshire descent. He married Martha Christina Warner, from a Cheshire family, in 1851, until which time he lived in Essex. They had one son and a daughter from the union. From the age of 16 he was engaged in the iron business of an uncle, Mr R.W. Kennard, MP for Newport. As a Liberal he was well connected and Alderman Challis (1794-1874) was another uncle. This business, however, was not to be the source of his wealth, nor was banking when, as a candidate for the board of the Union Bank of London, he was defeated.
He was most noteworthy as the founder of the London Stereoscopic Company. In 1862 it undertook the largest contract ever known in connection with photography: that of the Great International Exhibition, buying the exclusive rights for producing and selling photographs. His outlets in the City and West End obtained medals for their work at Vienna, Paris and Berlin. He was also remembered by contemporaries for erecting the Orleans Club and other buildings in Brighton.
Most famously though, was the manner in which his civic career was terminated. Having served prominent positions in the Livery Companies, a poor law Guardian, Alderman in the Cordwainer ward from 1876, Sheriff in 1877 and finally Lord Mayor in 1884, he died during his Mayoralty on 11 April 1885 in the Mansion House.
Crosby, Sir Thomas Boor (0000-1916)
medical practitioner and Lord Mayor was born on an unknown date of a small farming family. As the youngest son, he came to University College London to train as a doctor, finally qualifying at St. Thomass Hospital. As a dedicated member of a family practice in Fenchurch Street - he was said he had no hobbies or other interests - he provided evidence of the Citys still vibrant community. Thirty years a member of the Common Council (by now he was a Consultant), he became Alderman in his ward of Langbourn in 1898, Sheriff in 1906 and Lord Mayor in 1911-12. He became in his eighties the first practising medical man to serve in this office. Active in the Livery Companies, he was Master of the Turners in 1900-01 and Master of the Apothecaries in 1811-1812. He was also prominent in wider society, becoming President of the Bethlem and Bridewell Hospital in the same year. He had been knighted in 1907 and died probably in April 1916.
Halse, Richard Clarence Halse (0000-1897)
solicitor and Lord Mayor was born in Plymouth of uncertain date. He was educated in private schools in the area and in Exeter where he was later articled to a solicitor. When he came to the City, he established his own concern and became involved in the work of the Corporation. As a keen Liveryman he was active in the Courts of the Curriers and Fanmakers, becoming Master of each in 1896 and 1894 respectively. He was Common Councilman in Cheap from 1877 and Alderman in 1896, after contesting cordwainers without success eleven years before. He was also noted as Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society 1884-85, Chairman of the City Lands Committee 1890-91, member of the Metropolitan Board of Works and member of the Thames Conservancy Board from 1890 to 1897. He died on Christmas Day of that year.
Simmons, William Charles (0000-1909)
City tradesman and civic activist, is a little known member of the London Corporation. As a wholesale stationer in the City and member of the Grocers Company, he was elected as a Common Councilman in Vintry ward in 1877. Already a Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society in 1883-4, he was promoted to the Court of Alderman in 1902 until 1909, the year in which he probably died.
Tyler, Sir George Robert (1835-1897)
citizen, City tradesman and Lord Mayor was born on 23 August 1835. He, like his father, was a paper maker in the Citys Queenhithe ward, which he was to represent as a Common Councillor from 1877, and as an Alderman from 1887 to his death. He was educated at a private school in Croydon before returning home as a partner in a firm of City stationers. The post of Sheriff in 1891 was a preamble to becoming Lord Mayor in 1891-92. This year was reported as a brilliant success [Beaven], and after paying state visits to Antwerp and Brussels in 1894 a street in Antwerp was named after him, Rue Lord Mayor Tyler.
His interests included: a founding membership of the Sette of Old Volumes, Directorship of C Townsend, Hook and Company, United Limmer Vorwohle Rock Ashphalte Company as well as the City Carlton and City Constitutional Clubs. As a convinced Conservative, active Liveryman and enthusiastic clubman, he was made a Baronet, also in 1894. He died at 17 Penywern Road, Earls Court on 26 November 1897.
Morris, Howard Carlile (1850-1906)
solicitor and civic activist was born, probably in London, the son of a Lincolns Inn barrister. He was educated at Denmark Hill Grammar School. In 1876 he began to practice as a solicitor on his own account in the City. The following year, he was elected in Langbourn ward as a Common Councillor, graduating to be Sheriff in 1905. He was most notable as an active Liveryman and Freemason. His offices included W M in the Alliance Lodge, no 1, 827 and founder of the Guildhall Lodge. In addition he excelled in various capacities in Royal Arch and Mark Masonry. He died 15 May 1906, and a service was held in St. Stephens, Walbrook where he had served as Churchwarden.
Fowler, Sir Robert (1828-1891)
banker, Lord Mayor and MP, stood at the heart of the Conservative City, sharing many financial and political interests with his fellow member of the Corporation, Sir Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale (1849-1912). Born into an established Quaker family, at Bruce Grove Tottenham on 12 September 1828, he was to continue its banking traditions but to swap its Liberalism for the central role in the Citys Conservative Association. In many ways he was well prepared for this task. As the only child of the banker Thomas Fowler and his wife Lucy Waterhouse, he was mainly educated at home. Later, he went to a Quaker school and later still, to University College London where, in 1848, he won a BA in classics and then an MA in mathematics two years later. His chief political hero was Sir Robert Peel, and his historical texts were drawn from Homer and Mitford. Later in life he preferred Derby and Salisbury to what he considered to be the more frivolous Disraeli. Armed with these literary and political champions, he preceded to attack the Citys then dominant Whiggism.
In this task he found solace in his banking business, to which he became a senior partner with Sir Joseph Dimsdale and in his wife, Charlotte Fox, whom he married in 1852 and with whom he shared eleven children. She too was from a Quaker family of mainly Liberal politics in Falmouth, and it was here that in 1865 he made his first unsuccessful attempt to enter parliament on behalf of the Conservative party. A bid for the City of London in the same year also failed. By this time he had forsworn his nonconformity, along with his Liberalism, and had been baptised into the Evangelical party of the state church at the age of thirty-three, and for whom he often preached in the theatre services of London.
Yet, apparently, it was anti-statist stance in domestic politics that informed much of his work in refurbishing Conservatism in the City of London. Although he was finally elected to Penryn and Falmouth from 1868 to 1874, his gaze was firmly locked on changing the political complexion of the City. By the 1870s he had become President of the Citys Conservative Association, Chairman and President of the City Carlton Club and the City of London Club, and a live wire in a host of associations in the City and elsewhere that steered a revitalised Conservative Party. He was active, to name a few, in the City Glee Club, the Liberty and Property Defence League, the Institute of Bankers, the Imperial Federation League and the Navy League, plus the National Association for Promotion of State Colonisation where he was Treasurer, the Anglo-Oriental Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade, again as Treasurer, the National Footpaths Preservation Society, the Public Museums and Free Libraries Association, the City Church and Churchyard Protection Society, the Central Vigilance Committee for the Repression of Immorality, the Howard Association (as Treasurer), the Aborigines Protection Society, a member of the Council of the London Chamber of Commerce and moving spirit in the Jews in Russia Relief fund. It was this record then, that he presented to the voters of Cornhill when he became Alderman in 1878, Sheriff in 1880, Lord Mayor in 1883-84 and again in 1885. His largest block of support, however, was probably located in the guilds where he was episodically Master of the Salters, Loriners, Spectacle Makers and the Grocers and where, in 1884, he was made an honorary member. He was rewarded for his staunch defence of Conservatism and the City (he was the scourge of radical opinion - Charles Bradlaugh was a particular enemy) by entering parliament for the City from 1880 to his death. Here he was known as being both vocal and loyal in the governments cause, and where for a time he served as a junior Lord of the Treasury. He was also made a Baronet in 1885 - which passed to his only son Robert - and was also awarded the Belgian Royal Order of Leopold, plus a silver plate presented to him by a thousand citizens.
From 1862 he had mainly lived outside London in Wiltshire and found time in a full life to become a keen huntsman. He was also a Past Grand Warden and Past Master of the No.1 Lodge of the Freemasons, Treasurer of the Royal Asylum of St. Annes Society, and paid a visit to Cape of Good Hope, India, China, Japan and, a special favourite, the United States. He died of pneumonia at his town residence at Harley Street on 22 May 1891, by now the leitmotif of the late nineteenth century City of London. He was buried at Corsham, near Chippenham.
Green, Sir Frank (1835-1902)
City trader and Lord Mayor was born in Maidstone Kent on an uncertain date. Here his father was a paper manufacturer to whom he was apprenticed. Business interests included Director of the Basted Paper Mills, a Directorship of Crescens, Robinson & Co, McMurray's Royal Paper Mills, Kensham Paper Mills Co and Woking Paper Mills Co. As a paper merchant in the City, he was elected to the Common Council in the ward of Vintry in 1878, as an Alderman in 1891, a Sheriff in 1897, and finally as Lord Mayor in 1900-01. It was at the end of this year that he was created a Baronet, capping a career that included service as Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society in 1886-87, Chairman of the City Lands Committee in 1888-89, and Master of the Glaziers in 1890-91. He was also Honorary Secretary of the Vintry Ward Club, a member of the Eccentric Club and a Freemason, most notably a Past Grand Master of the Alliance Lodge. He died on 3 December 1902.
Gray, Edward James (1826-1892)
City trader, was born in Stockton on uncertain date in 1826. His father, who died when his son was still young, was headmaster of the local grammar school and afterwards tutored the Earl of Lettard. Subsequently, as an orphan, he came to the Royal Asylum of St. Annes, an institution that he continued to support. As a partner in his own colonial broking business he was a member of the Clothworkers, Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers and Glovers Companies. He was also from 1881, for a period of two years, a Common Councillor in the Tower ward and then from 1888 to 1891, an Alderman. Notably he, along with Sir Alfred Newman (0000-1920), became the last elected Sheriffs of the County of London and Middlesex, a right taken away from the City by the Local Government Act of 1888. He died on 7 May 1892.
Treloar, Sir William Purdie (1843-1923)
citizen, philanthropist and Lord Mayor was born in Southwark on 13 January 1843. His father, Thomas, was a mat manufacturer from Helston, Cornwall and his mother Elizabeth Robertson, heralded from Pitlochry, Perthshire. His family, by now living in Blackheath, sent their second son to Kings College school at the age of eleven. He left school when he was just fifteen, and began his working life as a humble workman in his fathers factory. Eventually, after becoming foreman and then manager, he reached the inevitable position as principal of the firm, situated at Ludgate Hill.
From here, and as a Conservative, he began his civic career by being elected to the Court of Common Council for the populous ward of Farringdon Without , demonstrating perhaps the fundamental change in politics since the activities of Joshua Toulmin Smith (1816-1869) there in mid-century. Ironically he moved the motion in 1886 that called for the introduction of the Secret Ballot at the annual wardmote meetings a move that Toulmin Smith would have abhorred - and another proposing the opening of Guildhall Art Gallery on a Sunday. He was President of the National Sunday League, a member of the Carlton Club, Junior Carlton Club, Authors Club, Savage Club, Press Club, Whitefriars Club, and an Honorary Fellow of the British Orthopaedic Association, plus a Director and Trustee of Thomas Cook and Son, Egypt, Ltd.
He was always popular in his ward, and in 1891 was elected without opposition as the Childrens Alderman, a testament to his work in the Ragged Schools Union. In 1899-1900 he was Sheriff, and was an important figure in raising the City Imperial Volunteers for South Africa during the Boer War.
Indeed voluntarism was at the centre of his humane and liberal Conservatism. When in 1906 he became Lord Mayor, he lived up to his affectionate nickname by raising over £60,000 for the Princess Louise Military Hospital and the Lord Mayor Treloar Cripples Hospital and College where, for the first time, children with special needs could be both treated and educated. Located at Alton, Hampshire, it expanded to include a seaside branch at Hayling Island in 1919. The opening of the New Central Court, Old Bailey a visit from King Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra, plus a diplomatic trip to Berlin, also marked his Mayoral year. Service to others was his motto. In 1891 he became Chairman of the Commissioners of Sewers, Deputy Chairman of the Commissioners of Income Tax for the City, and JP for Kent, Surrey and London. He was rewarded with numerous international honours, a Baronet, and honorary freedom of the towns of Truro, Bury St. Edmunds, Croydon, Helston and Okehampton.
Having married Annie Blake (d. 1909) in 1865 they were childless, but typically proceeded to adopt a nephew and niece. He died at Grange Mount, Norwood on 26 September 1923.
Bell, Sir John Charles (0000-1924)
civic activist and Liveryman, was for many years an accountant in the City, joining an office of Australian merchants as a young man. Going into business on his own account, he raised Westlock Brewery from a protracted spell of insolvency. He also retained an interest in the Abyssinian Jewellery Company. As a devotee of both the guilds - he was a member of six companies - and of the Corporation, he was knighted in 1902 and made a Baronet in 1908. By this time he had been a Common Councillor in Coleman Street from 1882 until 1894, Alderman from that date, Sheriff in 1901 and Lord Mayor in 1907. As a reliable committeeman, he was Deputy-Governor of the Irish Society from 1890 and, as Chairman of the Streets Committee, was credited with introducing universal electric lighting to the streets of the City. He died in 1924.
Truscott, Sir George (1855-1941)
citizen and Lord Mayor was born into an established City family in 1855 and was educated at Kings College, London. Entering into the stationers business he took up the post of Lord Mayor in 1908-09. (His father Francis W. Truscott (1824-1895) was Chief Magistrate in 1879). Active as a Liveryman in the Musicians, Haberdashers and Stationers, he had become a Common Councillor in the ward of Dowgate between 1882 and 1894, an Alderman in 1895 and Sheriff in 1902. He was also a member of the City Church and Churchyard Protection Society and sat as a Conservative member of the Metropolitan Board of Works. He died in 1941, aged 84.
Waterlow, Herbert Jameson (0000-0000)
was the nephew of Sir Sydney Waterlow (1822-1906). He was most noted for his family ties but also for challenging the right of Polidore de Keyser (1832-1898) to assume his Aldermanic seat. Failing to secure election in Farringdon Without in 1882, he won election as a Sheriff in 1880 and then he became an Alderman in Queenhithe from 1882 to 1887. Given his family links, he was most likely a Liberal and a Dissenter. His terminal dates are unknown.
Whitehead, Sir James (1834-1917)
businessman, Lord Mayor and MP was born of uncertain date in 1834 at Bramhall, near Sedbergh, Yorkshire. His family were from Appleby Westmoreland and he was educated at the Grammar school there. In 1860 he married Mercy Mildred Hinds, having migrated to London, via Kendal and Bradford. Setting up business as a merchant in Gresham Street, he retired with a fortune in 1881.
Consequently as a rare creature in the City - a Gladstonian Liberal and Home Ruler - he devoted himself to a life of municipal service. In 1882 he became an Alderman in Cheap, having already arranged in 1879 for a stature of Sir Rowland Hill (Rowland was the name of his son), to be built and starting a Benevolent Fund in that name. In 1882 he was Sheriff and in 1884, Under-Sheriff of London and Middlesex. His charitable work included Chairman of the Visiting Justices of Holloway Prison, Visitor of the City of London Asylum at Stone, committee member of Christs Hospital, Emmanuel Schools, St. Barts and Bethlehem, Governor of the Queen Anne Bounty, H.M. Lieutenant for the City, Deputy and JP for Westmoreland, and JP for Kent. He was also on the Board of Management of the Commercial Travellers Schools, Trustee of the Roland Hill Benevolent Fund for Aged and Distressed Post Office Servants and council member of the Committee for the Distribution of the Hospital Sunday Fund. He was also Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, the International Peace Association and the Reform Club. His financial interests included J & P Coats, the Campos Syndicate, the National Bank, Pawsons and Leafs, Pawsons and Company, and the General Phosphate Company.
Armed with this civic record along with the benefits of these other networks, and matched by his contribution within the guilds, he became Lord Mayor in 1888-89. Amidst controversy, he was remembered as an arbitrator in the Dock Strike of that year and as the man who replaced the circus element [St. Stephens Review, 10 November 1888] of the Lord Mayors Show, with a State Procession. Convinced of the Lord Mayors place as a national rather than local figure - his appearance at the Paris Exhibition as a representative of the English people swayed him to this view - he entertained 10,000 poor people in London, Lewisham, Westmoreland and elsewhere. Despite his views on imperial policy, he was thought to have influenced the naval policy of Lord Palmeston.
Having failed to secure a parliamentary seat in 1885 and 1886 in the Appleby division of Westmoreland, he was returned for Leicester in 1892. Here he supported registration reform, shorter parliaments, reform of the House of Lords, disestablishment, district and parish councils, leasehold enfranchisement and so on. He accepted the Chiltern Hundreds just two years later in 1894.
During a life of service he was honoured by Fellowships from a number of learned societies, becoming Knight Commander of the Services Order of Takovo, Knight Officer of the Belgian Order of Leopold, and in 1889, he was created a Baronet. He died 20 October 1917.
Savory, Sir Joseph (1843-1921)
businessman, Lord Mayor and MP was born on an uncertain date in Upper Clapton in 1843. He was educated at Harrow and married Helen Pemberton in 1888. Head of an important jewellery company, he also maintained interests in the Royal Mail Steam Company, the London Provincial Bank, the Mutual Reserve Company and eventually, the Goldsmiths' Alliance & Co. A City clubman and a Conservative a member of the Carlton Club, National Club and City Carlton Club - he was an active member of the Clockmakers, Poulters and Shipwrights Livery Companies, although he was refused entry to the Goldsmiths. Also active in the wider City as a member of the City Church & Churchyard Protection Society, he became Alderman of Langbourn, Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1882 and Lord Mayor in 1890-91. He was JP and Deputy Lieutenant for the City, the counties of Westmoreland and Berkshire, Chairman of Christs Hospital, Governor of St. Barts, St. Thomass, Queen Annes Bounty and the Royal Holloway College. He also sat as a member of the London School Board. His Conservatism extended to parliament where he sat for the Appleby division of Westmoreland from 1892, until his defeat in 1900. He died 1 October 1921.
Cowan, Phineas (1832-1899)
City trader and Alderman was born in Chatham on an uncertain date in 1832. In partnership with his father and brother as soap makers and sugar refiners, he eventually branched out on his own making three companies from the ranks of the existing workforce. Elected as an Alderman in the ward of Cordwainer from 1885 until 1892 (he contested Tower in 1883), he continued to take a close interest in the volunteers. In 1864 he became Captain of the City of London Rifles, retiring as Lt. Colonel. Probably a Conservative, he contested the parliamentary seat of Whitechapel in 1885. He died in Buxton on 22 October 1899.
Davies, Sir Horatio (1842-1912)
businessman, citizen and Lord Mayor was born in Bishopsgate of uncertain date in 1842. Educated at Dulwich College, he was apprenticed to an engraver but in the event did not follow the trade. Instead he joined his relations in business and acquired interests in leading restaurants and hotels, including the London Tavern and Crosby Hall. He was also proprietor of Pimms Oyster Rooms and warehouse; Pimm's Luncheon Buffet and dining room at 3 Poultry and from where the famous drink originated. At one point he owned oyster fisheries, but relinquished them to devote his time both to the catering trade and land speculation. In 1867 he married Lizzie Gordon. During this time he continued his interest in the volunteers, becoming a Lt. Col. in the 3rd Middlesex Artillery Volunteers. Later, in 1885, he entered the Corporation as a Common Councillor for Cheap, in 1888 he became Sheriff and the following year Alderman for his native ward of Bishopsgate, a seat he held with a brief interlude until 1912. He was Lord Mayor in 1897.
A break in his career came in 1906 when his business was in the hands of the receivers. At first disqualified, he was re-elected after his creditors had been paid in full. In fact he had both a large income and an estate, probably in Torquay, and although his indebtedness amounted to £403,272 his assets showed a surplus of £135,259. This also interrupted his parliamentary progress. As a Conservative and active Liveryman he had been returned from Rochester, a seat he had contested without success in 1889. On this occasion, however, he was unseated by petition going on to champion Chatham from 1895 to the fateful year of 1906, when he retired. He died on 18 September 1912, at Watcombe Hall, Torquay.
Knill, Sir Stuart (1824-1898)
citizen, political activist and Lord Mayor, was born of a City based family on 11 April 1824 at Camberwell. In his early years he attended Blackheath Proprietary School and then the University of Bonn where he developed a life long love of archaeology and antiquities. In 1850, at the age of 26, he not only married Mary Parker on his return to London, but he also joined his Hertfordshire born father John, his brother-in-law, and James Lane Wight in business. As wharfingers based near London Bridge, he succeeded to the business on his fathers death in 1854.
Thus, when he first became an Alderman in Bridge ward in 1885, he had been a long time citizen of the City. In 1889 he was Sheriff and in 1892-93, Lord Mayor. In 1897 to his death he sat at Bridge Street Without. During his Mayoral year he paid a state visit to Dublin and received the Freedom of the City and afterwards was given a Baronet. He also received the Officer of St. Leopold from the King of Belgium and the Knight of St. Gregory from the Pope. His Roman Catholic faith was often the cause of friction, not least on his election in Common Hall and at the Lord Mayors Banquet when, as only the second Papist to be so honoured since the Reformation, the loyal toast was supplemented by a toast to the Pontiff.
As a strong Conservative, clubman and advocate for the guilds, he was active in his views within and outside the City walls: President of the Sette of Old Volumes, the Commons and Footpaths Preservation Society, St, Georges, the City Conservative Club and the City Constitutional Club. He was also Treasurer of the Greenwich Conservative Association, candidate for Greenwich at the first elections to the London County Council, member of the Thames Conservancy Board, magistrate for Kent and member of the Greenwich Vestry and District Board of Works. He died at the Crosslets, The Grove, Blackheath on 19 November 1898, leaving behind a daughter and one son, later to become Sir John Knill, a future Lord Mayor.
Renals, Sir Joseph (0000-1907)
City trader and Lord Mayor was born in Nottingham and was educated privately there. He went into partnership with his brother in the bleaching business and was so successful he retired after a few years. He could then turn his energies to other business areas: Director of the Brewers' and General Fire Insurance and Guarantee Co, London and Northern Assets Corporation, London and Northern Debenture Corporation, the Pahang Exploration and Development Company, the Economic Gold Extraction Company, the British Commercial Corporation, the Baltimore Breweries Company and Byers Patents. There is also some evidence to suggest that he owned some lodging houses in the City. As a Liberal he remained a staunch upholder of the civic rights and privileges of the City. He was active in Freemasonry (as a Senior Deacon in the Aldersgate Lodge) in the City guilds, and as a member of a number of clubs and associations, including the Reform Club, the Devonshire Club, the City Liberal Club and the Aldersgate Club. He joined the Corporation as a Common Councillor for the ward of Aldersgate between 1885 and 1888. In this year until 1907 he was Alderman, in 1892 Sheriff and in 1894-95 Lord Mayor. At the end of his year he received a Baronet. He died 1 November 1907.
Baddeley, Sir John (0000-1926)
was a self-made man and gloried in it. His father was a dye sinker in a small way. Acquiring knowledge of the technique, he left the family firm and with one assistant started the concern of Baddleley Brothers in Moor Lane. His son married into the family business of Sir David Burnett (0000-0000).
An enthusiastic chronicler of the Citys ancient glories - imagined and otherwise - his work on the Alderman of Cripplegate was the staring point for Beavens seminal labour in this area. He first became a Common Councillor and then, in 1912, an Alderman. He was knighted after his year as Lord Mayor. He probably died in July 1926.
Burnett, Sir David (0000-0000)
auctioneer and Lord Mayor was a leading member of his profession. As a Fellow of the Surveyors Institute from 1881, he was trained in the office of Wilkinson and Horne. Later he removed to Herbert Beans company where he became a partner. In 1910 he established David Burnett, Son & Baddeley, the latter being his son-in-law and son of Alderman Sir John Baddeley (0000-1926). This company soon merged with that of Fox and Bourfield.
His civic service began as a Common Councillor in the ward of Candlewick between 1888 and 1902, the year that he became an Alderman. In 1907 he was Sheriff, in 1908 he was knighted and in 1912-13 he became Lord Mayor. His terminal dates are unknown.
Faudel-Phillips, Sir George (1840-1922)
civic activist and Lord Mayor became an Alderman in the ward of Farringdon Within from 1888 to 1912 after contesting cordwainer in 1885. His father, Benjamin Samuel Phillips (1811-1889) was also Alderman in this ward. He was a Sheriff in the City in 1884, in London in 1895 and in Hertfordshire in 1900. He was President of the Bethlem and Brideswell from 1897 to 1912, Governor of the Irish Society from 1893 to 1906 and Master of the Spectacle Makers in 1893 and 1896. He was Lord Mayor in the latter year for which, at the end of his term, he was made a Baronet. Most likely as a Conservative, he had fought and lost the parliamentary seat of West Herts in 1885. And as a Jew he was connected to the development of the Jews Free School. After marrying a sister of Lord Burnham, he died sometime in 1822, or perhaps 1823.
Richie, Sir James Thompson (1835-1912)
was born in 1835 in Dundee, Scotland, the son of William Richie and elder brother of Charles Richie, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Lord Richie of Dundee. He was mostly educated in his hometown and went to Australia at a young man, labouring on sheep farms and in the gold fields. On his return, he entered into the spinning business with his brother at Stratford, Essex, until Charles withdrew in 1885 and he carried on the concern with other members of his family. Eventually the provincial factory closed and the business was moved to Lime Street. Here he founded the London Jute Association, became Director of the Milner's Safe Company and launched a political career as a Common Councilman, Alderman, Sheriff and Lord Mayor. Later he stood as a parliamentary candidate for the City as an independent Conservative but was defeated by Alderman Gibbs (0000-1858). He died on 18 September 1912.
Smallman, Sir Henry George (0000-0000)
was a solicitor, member of the Fanmakers and an Alderman. Little else is known of this figure, save that he was in dispute in the 1890s with a number of his colleagues over some alleged irregularities in the issue of shares for the General Phosphate Corporation Limited (G.L. Maps, C78 Noble Collection), particularly Alderman Sir James Whitehead (1834-1917). The date of his death remains as elusive as the details of his life.
Wilkin, Sir Walter Henry (0000-1922)
citizen and Lord Mayor, was born in the City and was educated at a school in Lombard Street. He commenced his adult life as an underwriter at Lloyds, but soon left to study law. He was called to the bar but before he could start practising his father died. He therefore found himself at the head of his fathers business, the nature of which is unknown.
As an enthusiastic advocate for voluntarism he became, in turn, Master of the Barbers, Broderers and Coachmakers Companies. In 1876, he became Common Councillor for Lime Street until 1888, when he accepted the Aldermanic gown. In 1892 he was Sheriff, in 1893 he was knighted and in 1895-96 he was Lord Mayor. He was a member of the Thames Conservancy Board between 1898 and 1909. He died in 1922 at an uncertain date.
Newton, Sir Alfred James (0000-1921)
Lord Mayor, started out at the age of 17 as a merchant at Burton-upon-Trent. He extended the business to London and joined his brother in the steamship business. Later, he became prominent in the Mendel Group, a syndicate of financiers identified with the idea of building a series of big retail stores such as Harrods and D.H. Evans. He was also Director of the Campos Syndicate, Colchester Brewing Company, London and Provincial Automatic Machine Company; Stratford-upon-Avon, Towcester, etc., the Railway Company, the Trustee Industrial Insurance Company, the Oriental and Sheba Valley United Gold Mining Company, the President Land Company, the British Commercial Corporation, the Empire Palace, the Gaiety Theatre, the Newbury Vautin (Patents) Gold Extraction Company, and the New Zealand Gold Extraction Company.
He brought many of these skills to bear when he entered the Corporation as an Alderman in the ward of Bassishaw in 1890. He also served as Sheriff in 1888 and Lord Mayor in 1899-1900, raising the City Imperial Volunteers during his honorific year and as Governor of the Irish Society. Probably as a Conservative he had unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of West Southwark in 1900. He died in June 1921 in a car outside Harrods, on the way to a board meeting.
Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield KCVO (1849-1912)
prominent banker, civic activist and MP was steeped in the traditions of the City, although he resided outside its walls at 29 Sussex Square. He was the son of Joseph Cockfield Dimsdale and Catherine Stephenson. Before going to Eton he lived over his fathers bank situated at 49 Cornhill, where he was also born. This, at a time when the City was a stronghold of Liberalism, he witnessed its transformation into an effusive centre of Conservatism. Brought up as a Quaker he became, like his business partner Robert Fowler (1828-1891) in the firm of Dimsdale, Fowler, Barnard and Dimsdales, an Anglican. This was not the extent of his passions and interests. He was a Director of a number of leading joint stock companies, becoming a partner, at the age of twenty-one, of the banking firm of Prescott, Dimsdale and Company, a forerunner of National Westminster. He was also a Director of Goldbsrough, Mort and Company; Standard Life Assurance Company; Oceana Transvaal Land Company; Transvaal Mortgage Loan and Finance Company; Northern Transvaal Land Company and Vice-President of the London Municipal Society and Ratepayers Union. He married Beatrice Eliza Bower Holdsworth in 1873.
Dimsdale retired from banking in 1902 to take up the important post of City Chamberlain, which he held until 1912. He had already become an Alderman in 1891 in the ward of Cornhill where he succeeded Sir Robert Fowler. From this power-base he had set off on an impressive career of public service. He became Sheriff in 1893, City member of the London County Council 1895-1901 and finally Lord Mayor in 1901-02. He also served as a JP in Essex. He had already been knighted on 13 July 1894 before he was created a Baronet in his Mayoral year. Dimsdale was, in addition, Knight Commander Star of Ethiopia and Rising Sun of Japan. As a strenuous upholder of the rights and privileges of the guilds he was Master of the Grocers Company in 1885-6 and again in 1911-12.
He was a Conservative MP for the City of London in the first six years of the century, and a Privy Councillor from 1902. He was an ardent member of the Primrose League and Past Grand Master and Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons, as well as a supporter of numerous philanthropic causes. He was also one of the principal organisers of the City of London Conservative Association and a member of the Albermarle and City Carlton Clubs. However, It is as an Imperialist that Sir Joseph will be remembered as he thought, spoke and acted Imperially. So said the obituary in the City Press on Dimsdales death on 10 August 1912, when he left a gross figure of £29,166. And it was this, along with his contribution to the world of banking that might be the seen as the strongest thread running through the differing aspects of his life.
Alliston, Sir Frederick Prat (0000-1912)
was not a prominent figure in the Corporation and his birth date is not known. A Cordwainer and active member of the Masons Company, he represented Bread Street on the Common Council from 1878 to 1895, and as an Alderman from this date until 1908. Although his main interests were the fate of the Citys markets, he also served in a variety of other ways. As a Christian, he was a member of St. Johns Evangelist and Chairman of the Central Unemployed Body of London. He was also a poor law Guardian. In 1887 he was Deputy Governor of the Irish Society, member of the London County Council for the City from 1901 and Deputy Chairman in 1904. He was discharged from the Aldermanic Court in 1908 in circumstances that are not clear, but was also awarded a Knighthood in the same year. He died 16 May 1912.