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British Industrial History

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Howard John Kennard

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Howard John Kennard (1829-1896).

Son of Robert William Kennard MP, of Falkirk Iron Co

1896 Obituary [1]

HOWARD JOHN KENNARD, born in London on the 29th of November, 1829, was the son of the late Mr. R. W. Kennard, M.P. for Newport, Isle of Wight, and grandson of Mr. John Kennard, of Lombard Street, banker, whose business has developed into the Consolidated Bank.

At an early age Mr. Howard Kennard became identified with the iron trade, with which his father had been connected for a long period. He joined the Board of the Falkirk Iron Co, in the management of which he took an active part for many years. During the Crimean War the Falkirk Ironworks were busy day and night turning out shells for the Government, and Mr. Howard Kennard spared neither time nor labour in keeping the output up to the mark required.

He was also Chairman of the Blaenavon Iron Co and a Director of the Great Eastern Railway Company.

He was elected to the joint chairmanship, with J. T. Smith of Barrow, of the Rail Makers’ Association, a combination of the leading iron and steel manufacturers of Great Britain formed for the purpose of regulating the rail trade. On the dissolution of that body he received an embossed shield as a mark of the esteem of his colleagues.

In 1891 he was elected President of the Royal Metal Trades’ Pension Society, which had been founded by his father in 1843. During the greater part of its existence he had taken much interest in the welfare of that body and on the occasion of its jubilee in 1893 he was most active in enlarging and extending the usefulness of the Society. So energetically did he go about to obtain subscriptions that he was called 'The Beggar-General of the Trade,' a designation which he by no means disliked.

Mr. Howard Kennard died at the Orleans Club, Brighton, after short illness, on the 8th of August, 1896. In addition to his business in the iron world, he was connected with the London Stereoscopic Co, which he and his cousin, the late Mr. Alderman Nottage, jointly established. He was a Past Master of the Carpenters’ Company, a Justice of the Peace for Stirlingshire and one of Her Majesty’s Lieutenants of the City of London. As an employer of labour he was extremely popular. He could never bring himself to believe that his responsibility to his workmen ended with the payment of wages. He felt that the moral, social and intellectual interests of the people gathered together by the establishment of large undertakings, such as the Falkirk and the Blaenavon Ironworks, should not be ignored by their employers, and he lent willing aid to every institution promoted for the welfare of the workmen and their families.

Mr. Howard Kennard was elected an Associate on the 13th of January, 1867.

1896 Obituary [2]

HOWARD JOHN KENNARD died at the Orleans Club, Brighton, on August 8, 1896, in his sixty-seventh year. His kind nature, geniality of disposition, and largeness of heart, evoked from all who knew him feelings of affectionate regard.

He was the son of the late Mr. R. W. Kennard, M.P. His connection with the iron trades extended over a long period of years. He was the chairman of the Blaenavon Iron Company, and senior partner in the Falkirk Iron Company. His other connections in commercial and public life were numerous. He was a justice of the peace for Stirlingshire, the deputy-chairman of the Northern and Eastern Railway, and a director of the Great Eastern Railway.

In the city of London he was distinguished as one of her Majesty's lieutenants for the city, and also as a Past-Master of the Carpenter's Company. Perhaps, however, it was as President of the Royal Iron, Hardware, and Metal Trades' Pension Society that he was most widely and popularly known.

It was in the year 1891, upon the retirement of Colonel Robert Stedall, that Mr. Kennard, by the unanimous vote of the subscribers, was elected president of the trade's only charitable institution, and of which his father was the founder. His connection with that charity commenced in early boyhood, for at the age of fifteen he contributed his first donation. In the half-century that has since elapsed, he has always shown himself to be a firm and most generous advocate of its interests.

Among the many business undertakings in which Mr. Howard Kennard was interested was the London Stereoscopic Company, which he helped to establish.

He was an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1884.

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