Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Laird

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John Laird (1805–1874), shipbuilder

1805 June 14th. Born in Greenock the son of William Laird.

Educated at the Royal Institution, Liverpool and trained as a solicitor's clerk

1828 With his father, William Laird, they set up a new business, William Laird and Son, a boilerworks.

1828 John realised that the techniques of making boilers could be applied to making ships. Began construction of iron ships with the Wye, followed by the Lady Lansdowne, both built in sections for use on the inland waters of Ireland.

1829 Married Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Hurry of Liverpool

1831 Birth of William

1834 Birth of son John

1838 Birth of son Henry

c.1848 Birth of son Egerton Knox Laird

1860 On 1st January he took his sons William and John into the firm, and the title was changed to John Laird, Sons and Co.

1861 Retired and became an MP. His sons carried on the business under the style of Laird Brothers

1874 died on 29 October 1874 at home in Birkenhead, following a riding accident.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of John Laird, ODNB