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 150,335 pages of information and 235,380 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.

Joseph Whitwell Pease

From Graces Guide

Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, (1828–1903), first baronet, industrialist and banker.

1828 Born the elder son of Joseph Pease (1799–1872) at Darlington on 23 June

1845 Entered the Pease banking partnership at Darlington; involved in the projection of railway enterprises and in the management of the woollen mills, collieries, and iron trade.

1851 Coal and coke merchant[1]

1854 Married Mary, daughter of Alfred Fox, of Falmouth. She died on 3 August 1892. They had two sons and six daughters.

Director or chairman of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate Ltd, Robert Stephenson and Co Ltd, Pease and Partners Ltd, and J. and J. W. Pease, bankers.

1865 Pease was elected as Liberal MP for South Durham,

1870 Joseph Pease retired from the Joseph Pease and Partners business which was then run by his five sons[2]

1885 MP for the Barnard Castle division of Durham county.

1894 chairman of the North Eastern Railway, after serving as deputy chairman for many years.

1902 the family banking partnership, J. and J. W. Pease, became insolvent and was absorbed by Barclay & Co.

1903 Pease died at Kerris Vean, his Falmouth home, of heart failure. Obituary on page 653 of The Engineer 1903/06/26.

1903 Obituary [3]

Sir JOSEPH WHITWELL PEASE, Bart., M.P., died at Falmouth on June 23, 1903, the seventy-fifth anniversary of his birth, he having been born on June 23, 1828. He was the grandson of Edward Pease, the far-seeing railway pioneer, and the eldest son of Joseph Pease, the originator and one of the founders of the town of Middlesbrough, and the first member of the Society of Friends to sit in Parliament. The spirit of enterprise, and the influence exerted by the Pease family, are so closely associated with the history of the North of England that they have become matters of common knowledge. Sir Joseph Pease made full use of the many advantages which he inherited.

He was privately educated, and following the family traditions, entered his father's office whilst in his teens. He there acquired a wide commercial knowledge. Before his marriage in 1854 he had taken the lead in organising various railway schemes in the Darlington district, and in 1865 he began his parliamentary career as Liberal member for South Durham. He was re-elected three times, and on each occasion by greatly increased majorities.

In 1885, the Redistribution Act having divided the constituency, he was returned for the Division of Barnard Castle, and retained the seat until his death, his parliamentary connection with South Durham having extended over thirty-eight years. He was an energetic supporter of the Peace Society, of the Anti-Slavery Society, and of the Anti-Opium Society, and in Parliament rendered valuable services on all questions connected with the iron and coal industries.

He was chairman of three great North of England concerns — the North-Eastern Railway, Robert Stephenson & Company, Limited, and Pease and Partners, Limited. He was created a baronet in 1882.

He and his brothers established schools at their collieries and iron ore mines, and did much to promote and extend technical education in the district. They established temperance public-houses and mechanics' institutes, and were ever ready to support any agency for good. Sir Joseph Pease was generosity personified. His name appeared in the subscription lists of every philanthropic and religious movement, and no meeting of importance took place on Teesside that he did not attend. In short, he worthily carried on the traditions of his family, and worked indefatigably for the advancement of Middlesbrough, Saltburn, Darlington, and smaller places in the district. Such, in brief, was the business career of the late head of the Pease family.

The share taken by this family in the development of the Cleveland iron trade is more suggestive of romance than of actual fact. Their first royalty was dated March 1852, and since then they have taken the leading position among Cleveland mine owners. The first mine they opened was at Hutton, near Guisborough, its output in 1853 being 6646 tons. In 1857 it produced 314,789 tons. In 1873 the total output of ironstone mines of the Peases was 1,281,324 tons, and 2350 men were employed. In October 1898 all the businesses in which the Peases were concerned were formed into one company, Pease & Partners, Limited.

The average annual output of the company's mines then exceeded 1,300,000 tons of coal, 715,000 tons of coke, 1,196,000 tons of ironstone, and 260,000 tons of limestone. The banking business was kept distinct, and carried on under the style of "J. & J. W. Pease." In the autumn of 1902 the industrial world was amazed to learn that the banking firm was in financial difficulties, and the anxiety mused no doubt helped to shorten Sir Joseph Pease's life.

He was an original member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and in 1880 was elected trustee of its invested funds, an office he continued to hold until the Institute was granted a Royal Charter.

1903 Obituary.[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, ODNB [1]