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Frederick Thorpe Mappin

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Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin (1821-1910) of Mappin Brothers and Mappin and Webb, was a British politician and factory owner.

1821 May 16th. Born in Sheffield, the eldest of the four sons of Joseph Mappin (1793-1841), cutlery manufacturer, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of Thomas Thorpe of Haynes, Bedfordshire, a land surveyor.

He was educated at Mr Wright's school, Sheffield, and at the age of thirteen joined the family firm of Joseph Mappin, taking charge of it on his father's death in 1841.

On 25 September 1845 he married Mary (d. 1908), daughter of John Wilson, a steel manufacturer, of Oak Holme, Sheffield; they had three sons.

1851 Became the youngest ever Master Cutler

1854 Elected to Sheffield Town Council as a Liberal, stepping down in 1857.

1859 After a dispute with his younger brother, he left the firm, which later became part of Mappin and Webb.

1860 Purchased Thomas Turton and Sons, a top-quality steel manufacturer and owners of William Greaves and Co where he implemented machine working, despite a strike by employees.

1862 Frederick Thorpe Mappin, Turton and Sons, Sheaf Works, Sheffield.[1]

1860s, Mappin became a director of the Sheffield Gas and Light Co, and of the Midland Railway.

1871 Living at Thornbury, Upper Hallam, Sheffield: Fred Thorpe Mappin (age 49 born Sheffield), Merchant and Manufacturer. With his wife Mary Crawley Mappin (age 49 born Sheffield) and their two sons Frank Mappin (age 24 born Sheffield), Merchant and Manufacturer, and Wilson Mappin (age 23 born Sheffield), Merchant and Manufacturer. Five servants.[2]

1876 Mappin was re-elected to the Town Council, and served as the Mayor of Sheffield in 1877-8.

1878 He was a juror at the Paris Universal Exhibition, and was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

At the 1880 UK general election, he was elected as Member of Parliament for East Retford, while remaining on Sheffield Town Council until 1883.

Mappin was a major supporter of the creation of the Sheffield Technical School. Also in the 1880s, he gave a bequest to create the Mappin Art Gallery.

1885, Mappin's Parliamentary seat was abolished, and he moved instead to represent Hallamshire, a post he held until 1905. That year, he supported the formation of the University of Sheffield, and was created its first Pro-Chancellor. The University's Sir Frederick Mappin Building is named after him.

1910 March 19th. Died


1910 Obituary [3]

SIR FREDERICK THORPE MAPPIN, BART., born in 1821, died at Sheffield on the 19th March, 1910, in his ninetieth year.

Entering his father’s cutlery business at a very early age, he became one of Sheffield’s most prominent cutlers and steel manufacturers, being elected Master Cutler in 1855.

He sat for the Hallamshire division in the Liberal interest for 20 years, and he also took an active part in the public life of Sheffield, especially in connection with technical and higher education, as well as in the direction of various important business undertakings.

Sir Frederick Mappin was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 7th February, 1865.


1910 Obituary [4]

Sir FREDERICK THORPE MAPPIN, Bart., was born in Sheffield on 16th May 1821, being the eldest son of Mr. Joseph Mappin, partner in the cutlery firm of Arundel and Mappin.

Shortly after the age of thirteen he left school, and entered the office of the firm, owing to the illness of his father's partner, Mr. Arundel. A dissolution of partnership in 1835 caused his father to entrust him with more responsibility, and to initiate him into the management of the business. The wisdom of this course was evident when, owing to the death of his father, he was left, at the age of twenty, with the entire management of the concern. Shortly afterwards he was joined by his younger brothers, and the firm soon established a reputation for their manufactures.

In 1843 the name of the firm was changed to Mappin Brothers, who continued with increasing success until 1859, when he withdrew.

In the following year, associated with the late Mr. W. A. Matthews, he purchased the Sheaf Works of Messrs. Thomas Turton and Sons. By dint of hard work, the business was worked up, and additional workshops for the production of railway springs were erected. Owing to the long and tedious illness of his partner, the entire management fell upon Mr. (as he then was) Mappin, who continued as senior partner until 1885, when he retired to devote himself more to his Parliamentary and other duties.

In 1886 a Baronetcy was conferred upon him by Queen Victoria, which was the first occasion on which that honour had been conferred upon a man born and educated in Sheffield.

For many years he had been connected with the Sheffield Gas Co., having been elected a director in 1862, and from 1873 to 1906 he was chairman of the company. He was also Master Cutler in 1855, one of the youngest Masters the Cutlers' Company had ever elected.

In 1870 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Sheffield, and four years later he was made a Magistrate for the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was keenly alive to the importance of technical education, and actively assisted in the establishment of the Technical School, which is now a department of Sheffield University. Twice in the course of his career he was connected with the Sheffield Corporation.

In 1854 he was elected a Councillor, but retired after his three years of office. Again, in 1876 he was elected a Councillor, and in the following year he was unanimously asked to be Mayor, an invitation which he accepted. In 1883 he retired from the Council.

Having been elected in 1880 a Member of Parliament for East Retford, he continued to represent the division until 1885, when the redistribution of seats took place, and he was elected "Member for the Hallamshire Division. This seat he continued to hold until 1905, when advancing age caused him not to seek re-election.

His death took place, after a short illness, on 19th March 1910, in his eighty-ninth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1862.



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