Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,950 pages of information and 230,620 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Henry Brougham

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Henry Brougham, Baron Brougham and Vaux, (1778-1868)

1837 Henry Peter Brougham wanted "a refined and glorified street cab, which would make a convenient carriage for a gentleman", unlike his usual form of transport. He designed a carriage that would be light and compact, needing just one horse and a coachman – ideal for use on busy streets. The body would be low for easy access and should carry two people and be "closed and intimate thus allowing the occupants to conduct a private conversation whilst travelling".

This vehicle became the first "Brougham" - it was built by coachbuilder Robinson and Cook. The brougham was soon being built in large numbers, particularly for use by the professional and middle class families.

1842 Henry Brougham, Baron Brougham and Vaux, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1870 Obituary [2]

HENRY, BARON BROUGHAM AND VAUX, of Brougham, in the county of Westmoreland, was born at Edinburgh on the 19th of September, 1778.

He was the eldest son of Henry Brougham, Esq., by Eleanor, only daughter of the Rev. James Syme, D.D., of Alloa, and niece of the celebrated historian, Dr. Robertson.

In his boyhood Henry Brougham was sent to a school kept by a Mr. Luke Fraser, where also Sir Walter Scott and Lord Jeffrey were in part educated.

At the age of fifteen he entered the University of Edinburgh, and in 1794 attended the lectures of Professors Playfair and Robison.

After leaving the University, and becoming admitted a member of the Society of Advocates, he travelled in Holland and in Russia, and on his return took up his abode in his native city, where, in 1802, he assisted in the establishment of the 'Edinburgh Review.'

In 1803 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, on account of his numerous contributions to science.

He was called to the English bar in 1807, chose the King’s Bench for his practice, and attached himself to the northern circuit. The numerous and important legal cases in which he was engaged do not enter within the scope of this short notice, but the leading part taken by him in the trial of Queen Caroline cannot be passed over without mention.

In 1810 he entered the House of Commons as Member for Camelford. At the general election in October, 1812, he unsuccessfully contested Liverpool, and subsequently the Inverkeithing Burghs, and for four years he was out of Parliament.

From 1816 to 1829 he represented the borough of Winchelses, which seat he resigned, but was in a short time elected for Knaresborough.

He sat for the county of York in 1830, together with Lord Morpeth (afterwards the Earl of Carlisle) and the Hon. William Duncombe.

On the 1st of April, 1819, he had married Mary Anne, the eldest daughter of Mr. Thomas Eden, niece of the first Lord Auckland and the first Lord Henley, and widow of Mr. John Spalding.

In 1823 he founded the London Mechanics’ Institute; in 1825 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow ; and in 1827 he was mainly instrumental in establishing the 'Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,' contributing to the first volume an introduction 'On the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science.'

On the 22nd of November, 1830, he took his seat in the Home of Lords as Lord High Chancellor, being created a peer of Great Britain, by the title of Baron Brougham and Vaux, on the following day. His official life ended in the year 1834 ; but he continued for some time to take an active part in politics, as well as in matters relating to the amendment of the law and in social science ; was in 1859 elected Lord Rector of the University of Edinburgh; in June, 1860, received the honorary degree of D.C.L. at Oxford, and his complete retirement into private life only dates from 1866.

At the time of his death, which occurred at his seat at Cannes, in the south of France, on 7th of May, 1868, in the ninetieth year of his age, he was a Member of the Institute of France, and was President of the University College, London, of the Law Amendment Society, and of the Social Science Congress.

He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 28th of June, 1842, 'because of his literary and scientific attainments, and his eminence as an author.'

This brief chronicle can only indicate a few of the principal epochs in the career of one who has been described as a walking encyclopaedia;- as a man who knew a little of everything, and of many things everything;- as a statesman, an orator, a man of science, a metaphysician, a historian, an essayist, and a lawyer;- as distinguished in every branch of knowledge;- and whose strong, practical, energetic and versatile mind was devoted to the great reform of the constitution, to juridical reforms, particularly to improvements in the criminal law, and who gave an impetus to education among all classes, especially by aiding in the production of cheap and useful books, and whose literary labours embraced discourses on political economy, philosophy, science, and biography.


See Also

Loading...

Sources of Information

  • National Trust [1]