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Francis Johnstone De Soyres

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Francis Johnstone De Soyres (1839-1902) of De Soyres and Lumgair and Bush and De Soyres

1839 Born at Clifton, Bristol, the son of Leopold De Soyers and his wife Isabella

1870 Partnership of De Soyres and Lumgair, engineers and shipsmiths of Leith, was dissolved and Francis Johnstone De Soyres is authorised to pay all liabilities [1]

1876 Birth of son Bernard (1876-1969)

1881 Living at 6 Arlington Villas (age 41 born Clifton), a Master Engineer. With his wife Emily B. (age 31 born Hatherleigh, Devon) and their son Bernard (age 5 born Bristol). They are in the house of his sister Catherine M. Fripp (age 38 born Bristol) and her children. Three servants. [2]

1898 Francis John(sic) De Soyres described as an expert on cranes [3]

1902 Francis J. De Soyres M.Inst.M.E. shown as secretary of the Literary and Philosophical Club, 20 Berkeley Square, Bristol and of Twenty Berkeley Square Ltd [4]

1902 Died

1902 Obituary [5]

FRANCIS JOHNSTONE DE SOYRES was born at Clifton, Bristol, on 28th October 1839; and was educated there at a private school, and at the Bishop's College.

He served his apprenticeship with the firm of Messrs. T. and E. Bush, of Bristol, engineers and chilled-roll manufacturers.

In 1861 he entered the drawing office of Messrs. Slaughter and Gruning, of Bristol, afterwards styled the Avonside Engine Co., builders of locomotives, marine engines, stationary engines, and boilers of all kinds.

After being a year with that firm, he went to [Laird Brothers|Messrs. Laird Brothers]], of Birkenhead, where he was in the drawing office for over two years, then with Mr. Douglas Hobson, of Liverpool, and Messrs. Tod and McGregor, of Glasgow.

After a short time with Mr. John Key of Kirkcaldy, he returned in 1866 to the Avonside Engine Co., Bristol, to design their marine-engines and boilers.

In 1871 he left them and went back to the firm where he had served his apprenticeship, and entered into partnership with Mr. Thomas S. Bush, a nephew of the previous proprietors, and a former fellow apprentice. The firm was thenceforward styled Bush and de Soyres. They constructed stationary engines for the local rolling mills and other industries, and winding engines for the Bristol and South Wales Collieries. Chilled rolls were a speciality which they supplied not only to firms in this country, but also in France and America. To the West Indies they scoot sugar-cane mills and iron barges for the plantations.

Mr. de Soyres was taken suddenly ill in the early part of February, and died at his residence at Clifton on 6th March 1902, in his sixty-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1877; and was President of the Bristol Association of Engineers in 1900-1901.

1939 Died. His widow Emily Boughton De Soyres aged 89 of Hurle Crescent, Clifton [6]


Leopold de Soyres [Parent] was born in Bristol. He was christened on the 20th Jan 1796 in St Michaels, Bristol. He married Isabella Johnstone on 1st Sep 1838 in Ayr, Scotland. Leopold was employed as Accountant in 1851 in Clifton, Bristol.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Edinburgh Gazzette 3rd June 1870
  2. 1881 Census
  3. The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Thursday, August 4, 1898
  4. 1902 Kelly's Directory of Bristol
  5. 1902 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  6. The Times, Tuesday, Jan 10, 1939