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British Industrial History

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Harry Benedetto Renwick

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Sir Harry Benedetto Renwick (1861-1932), Chairman of the County of London Electricity Supply Co

Had son Robert Burnham Renwick.

1932 Obituary[1]


Sir Harry Benedetto Renwick, Bart., who died at Sidmouth, on Thursday, January 7, at the age of 72, though not an engineer, played a considerable part in the development of electricity supply in and around London, and was well known as an ardent supporter of private enterprise as opposed to municipal or public control in that industry. He was for many years chairman and managing director of the County of London Supply Co, a concern which, though to begin with, mainly confined its activities to providing a supply in certain metropolitan districts, has in recent years assumed more the likeness of a “ power ” company and has extended its lines into the surrounding areas, especially into the more rural parts of Essex. To some extent at least this was rendered possible by the erection of the Barking power station, which was opened by H.M. the King in 1925, and which is now scheduled to play a leading part in the supply of electricity to London.

Sir Harry, who was the son of Mr. Andrew Renwick, was born at Windsor, on June 13, 1861, and was educated at Brunswick House and St. Mark’s School (now the Imperial Service College). He early became connected with the business side of electricity supply, and played a leading part in the attempts which were made some twenty-five years ago to rescue electricity supply in London from the chaotic conditions into which short-sighted legislation had plunged it. Though not successful in these attempts, the experience was useful in that it led to the formation of the Provincial Electric Supply Association, a body which comprises over 100 electricity supply companies and whose object is to safeguard the interests and increase the activities of those concerns. He also organised the case for the electricity supply industry before the Court of Referees on the excess profits tax, and secured an increase in the standard rate of interest. During the war he was Director of Feeding Stuffs at the Ministry of Food and was a member of several Government Committees. For these services he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1920 and was created a baronet in 1927. He was a vice-president of the Federation of British Industries and a member of the London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority."

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