Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,702 pages of information and 235,429 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Candlish

From Graces Guide

John Candlish (1816-1874) MP, glass maker

1816 born at Tarset, near Bellingham in Northumberland, son of John Candlish (b. 1793), farmer, and his wife, Mary, née Robson.

Following the death of his wife about 1820, the elder John Candlish moved to Sunderland, where his brother Robert was the manager of Ayres Quay bottle works. Here he found work as a labourer.

c.1830 John Junior's uncle helped him gain an apprenticeship with a draper, Robert Tate.

1836 he began his commercial career as a partner in a drapery business.

He purchased a newspaper, the Sunderland Beacon, which failed within six months

1841 John Candlish 25, draper, lived in South Bishop Wearmouth[1]

Other short-lived ventures followed - coal exporting, and shipbuilding (1844). Candlish's yard at Southwick was said to have produced some fine ships but few profits.

1845 he married his cousin Elizabeth Candlish, of Ayres Quay

1848 Candlish was elected to Sunderland council, becoming mayor in 1858 and 1861, and filled a number of other public offices in Sunderland.

1851 John Candlish 36, ship builder, lived in South Bishop Wearmouth, with Elizabeth Candlish 36, Penlope Elizth Candlish 3[2]

1851 returned to publishing by founding the Sunderland News, a move which reflected his growing political ambitions.

Other interests in the early 1850s included the Sunderland Gas Company and a small glassworks.

1855 He acquired the lease of a glass bottle works (Londonderry bottle works) at Seaham harbour on the Co. Durham coast, which was the turning point in his career. Under Candlish's ownership production expanded and large contracts were secured with brewers and government departments.

1858 Candlish purchased a second glass works, at Diamond Hall in Sunderland

1861 John Candlish 45, glass bottle maker and ship owner, lived in South Bishop Wearmouth, with Elizabeth Candlish 47, Elizabeth P Candlish 13[3]

Early 1860s: he extended his business interests to a Middlesbrough iron shipbuilding firm, Candlish, Fox and Co, and the Thornleigh Colliery Company. Both these ventures failed.

1866 Won a by-election at Sunderland to become an MP. In parliament Candlish had a high attendance rate and a record of interventions in most of the discussions on major legislation of the period. His record in national politics attracted some criticism in Sunderland for not being sufficiently radical.

1872 had six glasshouses at Seaham and four at Diamond Hall, making him one of the largest manufacturers of black bottles in Europe. The Londonderry Bottle Works was justly celebrated in its day for its good labour relations.

For the last ten years of his life Candlish's energies were taken up by national politics.

1874 Died in Cannes, France; buried in Ryhope cemetery in Sunderland. His brother, Robert of Seaham Harbour, was a glass bottle maker[4]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1841 census
  2. 1851 census
  3. 1861 census
  4. National probate calendar
  • Biography of John Candlish, ODNB