Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Kerr

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John Kerr (1852- ), principal owner of Dick, Kerr and Co

1852 Born in Glasgow, possibly the son of John Kerr and his wife Margaret Bruce nee Dick[1], sister of William Bruce Dick.

Married Helen Melville of Falkirk

1881 John Kerr 28, iron merchant, lived in Wandsworth with Helen M. Kerr 23, John Bruce Kerr 2, Helen M.M. Kerr 4 months[2]

1881 John Kerr, merchant, lived in Putney at the time of the baptism of his daughter Margaret Bruce Dick Kerr[3]. His (presumed) uncle William Bruce Dick also lived in Putney.

1882 Senior employee of W. B. Dick and Co, so much so that he represented the company at the launch ceremony of the South Staffordshire and Birmingham District Steam Tramways, together with W. B. Dick[4].

1883 Dick, Kerr and Co was formed with John Kerr to take on the railway and tramway related activities built up by W. B. Dick and Co; for several years it shared the London office address of W. B. Dick and Co.

Patented a portable railway and rolling stock

1888 John Kerr, an engineer, lived in Putney with Ellen Margaret Kerr at the time of the baptism of their child Edith Mary Bruce Kerr[5]

1891 John Kerr 38, engineer and contractor, employer, lived in Putney with Helen M Kerr 33, H M M Kerr 10, M B D Kerr 9, Louie M Kerr 7, M J Douglas Kerr 5, Edith M B Kerr 3[6]

1898 Two Scotsmen, W. B. Dick and John Kerr, founded the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works, registered on 25 April to acquire works at Preston, Lancashire. In 1905, its name was changed to United Electric Car Co [7].

1899 John Kerr was one of the directors of the English Electric Manufacturing Co which was incorporated as a public company, for purpose of manufacturing, at its own new works at Preston, every variety of electrical machinery, particularly for use by railways and tramways[8].

1901 John Kerr 48, mechanical engineer, lived in Gilmerton, East Lothian with Helen M Kerr 43, Helen M M Kerr 20, Margaret B D Kerr 19, Louis M Kerr 17, Edith M B Kerr 13[9]

1902 Dick, Kerr and Co acquired the bulk of the shares of the English Electric Manufacturing Co and increased the capital of the company[10].

1903 Elected as MP for Preston[11]

1905 He and his family had to evacuate the house near Hemel Hempstead he was renting from T F Halsey MP when it caught fire[12]

1907 Stood down from Parliament at the election[13]

1911 Mr J Kerr, lived at Chorleywood with 12 others in the household[14]

1911 John Kerr, retired engineer, 59, lived in Chorleywood with Helen M Kerr 53, Edith Kerr, 23[15]

1912 Lived at Chorleywood, Herts[16]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1881 census
  3. Parish records
  4. Birmingham Daily Post, 27 July 1882
  5. Parish record
  6. 1891 census
  7. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  8. The Times, 5 December 1899
  9. 1901 census
  10. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  11. The Times, May 15, 1903
  12. The Times , Feb 02, 1905
  13. The Times, Feb 11, 1907
  14. 1911 census summary book
  15. 1911 census
  16. Kelly's Directory