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John Stewart

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John Stewart (1811-1897) of John Stewart and Sons

1851 of Blackwall Iron Works, Russell Street, Blackwall.[1]

1897 October 29th. Died

1898 Obituary [2]

JOHN STEWART was born on 29th August 1811 in a small village about two miles front Gateshead.

After serving an apprenticeship to Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn, Newcastle-on-Tyne, he came to London, and was soon appointed managing engineer to the Shipowners' Towing Co. After some years' service in this capacity, he commenced business on his own account, and purchased small premises in Russell Street, Blackwall, in partnership with Mr. Chicken, who soon retired, leaving him sole proprietor of the business, which increased so rapidly that he then purchased on the Isle of Dogs, Poplar, a site well adapted for marine engineering, having a river frontage of over 400 feet; this eventually became the present Blackwall Iron Works.

Here were built large numbers of tug boats, in which he had great experience. Other engineering work was also undertaken; and many steamers were engined, for service both at home and abroad; amongst the latter were several to rim the blockade during the American civil war, including the "Helen," the "North Heath," and the " Lady Stirling."

He supplied machinery for paddle and screw steamers to the Dover, Ramsgate, and Bluff Harbour Boards, the Bhownugger Ferry in India, the Great Eastern Railway, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the London and India Docks, Sir Donald Currie and Co., the Glen line, the Pacific Steam Navigation Co., the British India Steam Navigation Co., the Board of Trade, the Thames Conservancy, the Trinity House, the Khedive of Egypt, the Great Yarmouth Tug Co., and to many other companies and individual owners.

In 1890, being then in his seventy-ninth year, and having lately lost his only surviving son Mr. Joseph Stewart, he converted the business into a limited company, and it underwent a further great extension; he himself became the chairman, and retained this position until his death, which took place at Tunbridge Wells on 29th October 1897, after only a few days' illness, at the advanced age of eighty-six.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1851, and the last meeting he attended was the Summer Meeting in Glasgow in 1895, when within a month of completing his eighty-fourth year.

He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and of the Institute of Marine Engineers.

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