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British Industrial History

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Charles Green Spencer

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Charles Green Spencer (1837-1880), of Spencer's Gymnasium and Snoxell and Spencer

c.1837 Born son of Edward Spencer (1799-1849) who, with Charles Green, was an early balloonist.

1868 At the exhibition of the Aeronautical Society, he accomplished short horizontal flights in his glider by taking a preliminary run down a little hill.

1869 January. Imported a velocipede from Paris. [1]

1869 February. Rowley B. Turner, Charles Spencer and John Mayall, Junior rode the fifty-three miles from London to Brighton. Mayall arrived in twelve hours at speeds up to eight mph.[2]

1869 Charles Green Spencer leaves the partnership. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, William Snoxell, Charles Green Spencer, and George Spencer, as Revolving Shutter and Blind Makers, and Gymnastic Apparatus Makers, at No. 35, Old-street, Saint Lukes, in the county of Middlesex, carrying on business under the firm of Snoxell and Spencer, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent, so far as concerns the said Charles Green Spencer...[3]

1871 Living at 33 Bryantwood Road, Islington: Charles Spencer (age 33 born Islington), a Government Contractor. With his wife Louisa Spencer (age 30 born Islington) and their children Percival Spencer (age 6 born St. Lukes, Mddx); Stanley E. Spencer (age 2 born Islington) and Merina Spencer (age 1 born Harrow on the Hill). Also his sister-in-law Merina Woodward (age 19 born Islington) and one servant.[4]

1871 Bankrupt. 'In the Matter of Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors, instituted by Charles Green Spencer, of No. 9, Bloomfield-street, in the city of London and No. 33. Bryantwood-road, Holloway, in the county of Middlesex, and late of Harrow, in the same county, Gymnastic Apparatus Maker.'[5]

1872 Patent. '723. To Thomas Dutton Templer Sparrow, of Piccadilly, in the county of Middlesex, Contractor, and Charles Green Spencer, of Piccadilly, in the said county, Contractor, for the invention of "a new or improved boomerang, and mechanical apparatus for propelling or projecting the same."'[6]

1873 June. Rode with three other members of the Middlesex Bicycle Club the 800 miles from London to John O'Groats. These were George Hunt, William Wood and Charles Leaver

1875 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between the undersigned, Thomas Dutton Templer Sparrow and Charles Green Spencer, carrying on business as Manufacturers of Gymnastic Apparatus, at 89, Piccadilly, and Dungannom Cottage, Knightsbridge, both in the county of Middlesex, under the style or firm of Sparrow and Spencer, has this day been dissolved. All debts due to and owing by the said partnership will be received and paid by the said Thomas Dutton Templer Sparrow...'[7]

Wrote books on the velocipede between 1873 and 1883 (?)

Charles had six children including Sydney Ewart Spencer, who was born in Islington on December 12th, 1879. All of the Spencer brood became aeronauts although Sydney’s three older brothers, Stanley, Percival and Arthur, were more renowned. Percy is said to have made 1000 ascents and Stanley became the first Englishman to fly in a powered airship over England.

See Charles Green Spencer and Sons

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Cycling by Viscount Bury and G. Lacy Hillier. Published 1889. The Badminton Library. p60.
  2. Bicycle: The History by David V. Herlihy
  3. [1] Gazette Issue 23559 published on the 26 November 1869. Page 196 of 248
  4. 1871 Census
  5. [2] Gazette Issue 23699 published on the 24 January 1871. Page 25 of 40
  6. [3] Gazette Issue 23842 published on the 22 March 1872. Page 56 of 84
  7. [4] Gazette Issue 24241 published on the 31 August 1875. Page 22 of 42