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British Industrial History

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Restal Ratsey Bevis

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Note: There a number of variations on the spelling of the first name but in 1911 Restal junior clearly writes it as 'Restal' so that has been assumed for the father also.

Restal Ratsey Bevis (1826-1901)

1826 March 28th. Baptised at St Mary's, Cowes, Isle of Wight the son of Thomas Bevis and his wife Esther Polly. Note: 1826 listed 'Thomas Bevis. Chief Officer, Coast Guard, East Cowes'

c1851 Married Jane (1832-1877) probably in Brazil

c1852-1854 Living In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1852 Birth of daughter Annie Jane Bevis

1854 January 23rd. Birth of son Restell R. Bevis at Petropolis, near Rio de Janeiro. Announcement.[1]

1855 Birth of daughter Mary Stansmore Bevis (1855–1929). Married 1879 to John G. Nutting.[2]

1857 Birth of daughter Katherine Bevis. Married 1881 to George Macdonald Dickson.[3]

1858 Birth of son William Orlando Bevis

1860 Birth of daughter May Bevis

1861 Birth of daughter Ethel Bevis

1861 Living at Clifton Park, Tranmere: Retsel R. Bevis (age 35 born Cowes, IOW), Engineer. With his wife Jane Bevis (age 30 born Brazil) and their children Annie J. Bevis (age 9 born Brazil), Restel R. Bevis (age 7 born Brazil), Mary S. Bevis (age 5 born Birkenhead), Katherine Bevis (age 4 born Birkenhead), William O. Bevis (age 2 born Birkenhead), May Bevis (age 1 born Birkenhead), and Ethel Bevis (age 3 Months born Tranmere). Five servants.[4]

1862 Birth of daughter Gertrude Rosa Bevis (1862–1936)

1864 Birth of daughter Ada Louisa Bevis

1865 Birth of daughter Hilda Bevis

1866 Restal Ratsey Bevis, Messrs. Laird, Birkenhead iron Works, Birkenhead.[5]

1867 Birth of son Guy Bevis

1869 Patent. Improvements in Screw Propellors.[6]

1870 Birth of daughter Eva Vernia Bevis

1871 Living at 14 Caroline Place, Claughton with Grange, Cheshire: Restal Ratsey Bevis (age 45 born Cowes, IOW), a Civil Engineer. With his wife Jane Bevis (age 39 born Brazil, British subject) and their children Restell R. Bevis (age 17 born Brazil, British subject), Annie Jane Bevis (age 19 born Brazil, British subject), May Bevis (age 11 born Birkenhead), Gertrude R. Bevis (age 8 born Birkenhead), Ada Louisa Bevis (age 7 born Birkenhead), Hilda Bevis (age 5 born Birkenhead), Guy Bevis (age 3 born Birkenhead), and Eva Verina Bevis (age 1 born Birkenhead). Five servants.[7]

1872 Birth of daughter Rhoda Dagmar Bevis

1881 Living at Manor Hill, Claughton with Grange, Cheshire: Restel Rassey Bevis (age 55 born Cowes, IOW), Civil Engineer. With his wife Katherine Bevis (age 24 born Birkenhead) and their children Ethel Bevis (age 20 born Birkenhead), Gertrude R. Bevis (age 18 born Birkenhead), Eva Vernia Bevis (age 11 born Birkenhead), and Rhoda D. Bevis (age 8 born Birkenhead). Also seven visitors and five servants.[8]

General engineer manager of Laird Brothers

1890 August 25th. Married(2) Jane Sanderson at Bidstone

1891 Living at Manor Hill, Claughton with Grange, Cheshire: Restel R. Bevis (age 65 born Cowes, IOW), Managing Engineer (Civil). With his wife Jane Bevis (age 45 born Warrington) and their children Gertrude R. Bevis (age 27 born Birkenhead), Ada L. Bevis (age 26 born Birkenhead), Hilda Bevis (age 24 born Birkenhead), Eva V. Bevis (age 21 born Birkenhead), and Rhoda D. Bevis (age 18 born Birkenhead). Also one visitor and five servants.[9]

1901 February 10th. Died. Of Manor Hill, Birkenhead. Probate to his widow Jane Bevis, Restal Ratsey Bevis, Civil engineer; Gertrude Rosa Bevis, Spinster; and Hugh James Sanderson, civil engineer.

1901 February. Obituary. 'Mr. Restal Ratsey Bevis, who has died at Claughton, Birkenhead, aged 75 years, was civil engineer, and was for many years a director of Laird Bros. shipbuilding business before it was transferred to a company. He was an active worker for the Conservative party.'[10]

1918 June 21st. Jane died. Of Westholm, Boundary Road, Birkenhead. Probate to Guy Sanderson Clover, shipbuilder, and Charles Graham Tilby, Shipbroker.


1901 Obituary [11]

RESTEL RATSEY BEVIS was born at West Cowes, Isle of Wight, On 23rd February 1826, and was the second son of the late Captain Bevis, R.N., who for many years represented the Admiralty in Liverpool.

In 1840 he commenced a five years' apprenticeship with Messrs. Fawcett, Preston, and Co., of Liverpool. Four years later he was sent to assist in fitting a set of paddle-wheel engines on board the "Barcino" at l'Ormond, near Bordeaux.

The next year he was again sent by his employers in charge of a set of paddle-wheel engines to be fitted on board a steamer built in Rio de Janeiro. Having performed this work, he entered the service of the "Compania, Braziliera de Papa. do Vapor" as one of their chief engineers, and in that capacity he made several voyages in their steamers, carrying the mails of the Brazilian Government.

In 1847, after having served for a few months as assistant, he was promoted to the position of superintending engineer of the company, which position he maintained until 1853. During that period, owing to the absence of the chief engineer of the arsenal at Rio, he undertook the latter's duties, and was complimented by the late Emperor of Brazil upon the high degree of success attending his supervision of the work.

Upon his return to England in 1853, the late Mr. John Laird, M.P., asked him to take charge of the firm's branch shipping yard at the south end of Liverpool. Since then he was closely identified with the work of that firm.

In 1868 he invented the now well-known "Bevis" feathering propeller, which was largely employed in the early ships of the Navy in this as well as foreign countries, and which continues in use in sloops and in yachts of all sizes.

In 1897 he retired from active participation in the work of the firm, and his eldest son took his place. When the firm was turned into a company, his services were retained as a director and consulting engineer, which position he filled until his death.

On the death of Mr. William Laird in 1899, he was elected unopposed a Member of the Birkenhead Town Council; and in November 1900 he was honoured by being offered the Mayoralty, which he had to decline on account of the unsatisfactory state of his health.

His death took place at his residence in Birkenhead on 10th February 1901, in his seventy-fifth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1866.


Obituary 1901 [12][13]

"...M.E., M. Inst. .N.A., which took place on , Saturday afternoon, the 9th inst., at his residence, Manor Hill , near Claughton, Cheshire. Mr. Bevis will no doubt be best known to our readers from his long connection with Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead. What Mr. Bevis did not know about practical marine engineering of the highest class is perhaps not worth knowing.

He was born in 1826 at West Cowes. He was the son of the late Captain Bevis, R.N., who for many years was the representative of the Admiralty at Liverpool.

In 1840 Mr. Bevis commenced a five years apprenticeship with Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Co., the well-known firm of Liverpool. Four years later he was sent by his employers to assist..."


1901 Obituary [14]



Notes on possible family connection
1824 September. Marriage of '....Mr. Restell Ratsey of West Cowes to Miss Harrington, the only daughter of Mrs Harrington, the much respected landlady of the Vine Hotel'[15] Her father was Humphrey Harrington.[16]

1830 Restell Ratsey is Secretary of a company (no name) with three new ships for IOW to to London.[17]

1838 Birth of a son at Cowes.[18]

1840 Jane, wife of Restell Ratsey, of Medina Terrace, Cowes, is appointed wet nurse to the Princess Royal by order of the Queen.[19][20]

1840 Restell Ratsey is a Sail-maker.[21]

1843 Announce leaving England.[22]

1844. Now of the Dockyard, Halifax.[23]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Morning Chronicle - Thursday 16 March 1854
  2. Cheshire Observer - Saturday 11 January 1879
  3. London Standard - Wednesday 17 August 1881
  4. 1861 Census
  5. 1866 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  6. Birmingham Daily Post - Saturday 17 July 1869
  7. 1971 Census
  8. 1881 Census
  9. 1891 Census
  10. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Wednesday 13 February 1901
  11. 1901 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  12. The Engineer 1901/02/22, p190.
  13. The Engineer 1901 Jan-Jun: Index: Miscellaneous
  14. Engineering 1901 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index
  15. Hampshire Telegraph - Monday 04 October 1824
  16. Fife Herald - Thursday 31 December 1840
  17. Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 15 May 1830
  18. Hampshire Telegraph - Monday 12 February 1838
  19. Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 25 November 1840
  20. Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 26 November 1840
  21. Fife Herald - Thursday 31 December 1840
  22. Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 12 August 1843
  23. Hampshire Advertiser - Saturday 10 February 1844