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British Industrial History

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William Peech

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William Peech (c1832-1909) of Steel, Peech and Tozer

c1832 Born at Sheffield the son of William Peech (1802-1858), a Scissor Manufacturer, and his wife Lydia Barker (1805-1883)

1851 Living at Nursery? Street, Brightside, Sheffield: William Peech (age 49 born Sheffield), Scissor Manufacturer. With his wife Lydia Peech (age 49 born Sheffield) and their children; John Peech (age 26 born Sheffield), Scissor Grinder; Joseph Peech (age 23 born Sheffield), Scissor (?); William Peech (age 19 born Sheffield), Scissor (?); and Emma Peech (age 12 born Sheffield). Also his grand-daughter Lydia Sheldon (age 5 born Sheffield). Two servants. [1]

Married Mary Steel

1862 Birth of son William Henry Peech (1862-1934) at Sheffield

1863 Birth of son Frederick Steel Peech (1863-1926) at Sheffield

1865 Birth of daughter Mary Emma Peech (1865- ) at Sheffield

1867 Birth of daughter Maud Sarah Peech (1867-1940) at Paddington

1869 Birth of son Samuel Barker Peech (1869-1947) at Paddington

1871 Birth of son Percy Peech (1871- ) at Hornsey

1871 Living at The Lawn, Tottenham Lane, Hornsey; William Peech (age 39 born Sheffield), Retired Cutlery Manufacturer. With his wife Mary Peech (age 31 born Sheffield) and their children Henry Peech (age 9 born Sheffield); Frederick S. Peech (age 7 born Sheffield); Mary E. Peech (age 6 born Sheffield); Maude S. Peech (age 4 born Paddington); Samuel B. Peech (age 2 born Paddington); and Percy Peech (age 1 month born Hornsey). Also his niece Clara Steel (age 9 born Sheffield). Six servants. [2]

1873 Birth of son Albert Orlando Peech (1873-1941) at Hornsey

1874 Birth of son James B. Peech (1874- ) at Hornsey

1878 Birth of son Arthur Peech (1878- ) at Hornsey

1880 Birth of daughter Evelyn Peech (1880- ) at Hornsey

1881 Living at The Lawn, Tottenham Lane, Hornsey: William Peech (age 49 born Sheffield), Steel Manufacturer. With his wife Nancy Peech (age 41 born Sheffield) and their four children; Albert Peech (age 8 born Hornsey); James Peech (age 6 born Hornsey); Arthur Peech (age 3 born Hornsey); and Evelyne Peech (age 1 born Hornsey). Five servants.[3]

1901 Living at Fern Bank, Portsmouth Road, Putney: William Peech (age 69 born Sheffield), Steel Manufacturer and Employer. With his wife Mary Peech (age 62 born Sheffield) and their children Henry Peech (age 39 born Sheffield), Steel Manufacturer and Employer; Maude S. Peech (age 34 born London); and Evelyn Peech (age 21 born London). Five servants.[4]

1909 Died


1909 Obituary.[5]

The death occurred yesterday, at his residence, Fern Bank, Roehampton, London, S.W., of Mr. William Peech, his 79th year. Mr. Peech, who was director of the firm of Messrs. Steel, Peech, and Tozer, had been ill for a considerable time, and, though his death was not unexpected, the news will none the less received with regret his many friends in Sheffield and district.

Mr. Peech leaves eight sons, five of whom are engaged in the Phoenix Steel Works, and three daughters, two of whom are married.

Among the last visitors who were permitted to see the late Mr. Peech was was Lord Rosebery, for whom he, in conjunction with his partner, Mr. Henry Steel, executed all his lordship's Turf transactions, and his association in this direction constituted a most interesting side of his life. Few men, in fact, were better known at the principal race meetings of the kingdom than Mr. Henry Steel and Mr. William Peech.

THE STEEL ENTERPRISE. It is many years since they entered into the Sheffield steel trade. The Phoenix Bessemer Steel Company had been started by Mr. Thomas Hampton and Mr. T. H. Radcliffe. The business was then almost solely confined to the manufacture of rails, and in the early forties, the days of the great railway boom, manufacturers of railway material were doing well. But a serious slump followed, and one of the firms which had to suspend operations was the Phoenix Bessemer Steel Company.

The works were purchased by Mr. Henry Steel, Mr. William Peech, Mr. Edward Tozer and Mr. Hampton. The price paid for the establishment, tools, and plant, was something under £50,000, and a limited company was formed with a capital of £70,000.

After a few years Mr. Hampton went out of the concern, and it was carried on by Messrs. Steel. Peech, and Tozer. Although occupying the position of director, Mr. William Peech did not take active part in the management, of the business. His partners, however, remodelled the works and greatly extended the concern until it has become one of the principal firms in the kingdom. Eventually the sons took the work commenced by their fathers.

The death of Mr. Peech leaves Mr. Henry Steel, of Tapton Court, the only remaining original member of the firm.

MAGNATES OF THE RING. When Mr. Peech and Mr. Steel decided to leave Sheffield and come to London to live, they quickly made their mark in their Turf operations, and in a phenomenally short time, says the 'Sportsman,' became quite the leading operators of the Ring. Trusted by all classes, they had the cream of the betting business, and in those days - thirty-five years ago - there were very few heavy commissions in the market but what Steel and Peech had a 'finger in the pie.' Whilst they were at it no two men could have worked harder or paid greater attention to the business entrusted to them.

Since they relinquished their position on the Turf about five years ago Mr. Peech attended some of the principal meetings just for pleasure and amusement, occasionally remarking that 'he had worked hard at it for fifty years, and that he felt the time had now come for a little pleasure and to look on.' But do not think, the journal remarks, that Mr. Steel has since been seen on a racecourse, excepting once at Ascot, where he went to bid ‘Goodbye' to his old associates.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1871 Census
  3. 1881 Census
  4. 1901 Census
  5. Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Friday 02 July 1909