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British Industrial History

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William Vansittart Bowater

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William Vansittart Bowater (15 March 1838 - 28 April 1907) was the founder of the Bowater paper concerns.

1838 Born in Birmingham, son of Thomas Vansittart Bowater, commercial clerk and traveller, and his wife Sarah[1]

He joined James Wrigley and Sons, a Manchester papermaking firm, where he later became a manager. He is reputed to have been ill-tempered, tyrannical, and hard-drinking, traits that eventually led to his dismissal by Wrigley.

1861 William Bowater married Eliza Jane Davey in Islington[2]. They went on to have nine children including Thomas Vansittart Bowater and Frank Bowater, both of whom were to become Lord Mayor of London.

1862 A traveller, on the christening of his son Thomas in Manchester[3]

1871 William V Bowater 33, a stationer, lived in Broughton, Salford with Eliza J Bowater 32, Thomas V Bowater 8, Edith A Bowater 7, Frank K Bowater 5, Fredk W Bowater 3, Herbert J Bowater 7 months[4]

1881 William Bowater decided to establish himself in business as a paper agent, in the City of London, at the heart of the newspaper publishing and printing industries, operating as a paper wholesaler and as an agent for the purchase of newsprint on behalf of newspaper publishers. The business later became W. V. Bowater and Sons

1881 Wm.V. Bowater 43,a paper maker's agent, and Eliza J. Bowater 42, were visiting a printer, Martin Billing, in Kings Norton; their children were at home in Sydenham[5]

1891 William V Bowater 53, agent, lived in Sydenham with Eliza J Bowater 52, Frank H Bowater 25, agent, Mabel Bowater 19, Sydney Bowater 16, Norman W Bowater 8[6]

The business expanded rapidly in the final decades of the nineteenth century supplying newsprint for both the Daily Mail and the Daily Chronicle.

They later lived at Bury Hall in Edmonton

1907 Died in Edmonton[7]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. BMD
  3. Parish records
  4. 1871 census
  5. 1881 census
  6. 1891 census
  7. BMD