Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Roughsedge

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William Roughsedge (1789-1866) was a mineral water manufacturer who worked for J. Schweppe and Co and co-founded the Bristol-based mineral water company Roughsedge and Summers.

1789 Birth; probably in London.

Mid-1810s Working for Jacob Schweppe.

1820 Married Mary Porter in Marylebone on the 28th of May. The couple had two sons, Alfred Hornby and Frederick, both of whom later worked for the family company.

1820s Moved to Bristol and lived on Bridge Street from at least 1828 to the mid-1850s. He initially worked as Schewppe’s Bristol agent, but in 1834 J. Schweppe and Co. was sold to new owners and Roughsedge decided to form his own company in partnership with William Summers, another of Schweppe’s former employees. Their company, Roughsedge & Summers, was based at 37 Bridge Street. Roughsedge ran the commercial side of the business; Summers was in charge of the factory. Although Roughsedge’s home was on Bridge Street, he travelled widely to promote the business and there are no records of him in any censuses.

1845 William Roughsedge listed as a passenger on board the SS Great Britain’s test voyage from Bristol to London.

1863 Living at 13 Melrose Place, Clifton, Bristol.

1866 Died at Melrose Place on the 5th of March. He left effects worth under £5,000 to his widow Mary. After his death, his half of the partnership passed to his wife, and the company continued trading under its existing name until the partnership was dissolved in 1869; thereafter the business became known as W. Summers and Co.

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