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 148,337 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Fairbairn

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Thomas Fairbairn (1823-1891) of William Fairbairn and Sons

1823 Born, son of William Fairbairn; Thomas was the 3rd of 8 surviving children of William

1840 joined his father's firm, William Fairbairn & Co.

1841 A ten-month tour of Italy enabled him to consolidate his interest in the arts.

Became the partner in charge of the ailing Millwall shipbuilding works.

1843 Co-partnership between William Fairbairn, John Hetherington, Andrew Murray, and Thomas Fairbairn of Millwall, Poplar, Millwrights, Engineers and Iron Ship Builders, trading under the firm of William Fairbairn and Co., dissolved by mutual consent, so far as concerns John Hetherington and Andrew Murray. 31 October 1843 [1]

1848 Married Allison Callaway (1827–1907), the daughter of a London surgeon, in an Anglican church in Greenwich.

1848 The Millwall yard was sold off at a great loss, but this was absorbed by the Manchester works, which went on to make considerable fortunes for all the partners.

Based in Manchester from 1848, he began buying contemporary works from the exhibitions of the Royal Manchester Institution. This was the beginning of life as an art patron, collector, and exhibition organizer

1874 Succeeded to his father's baronetcy but the depression in the iron industry led Fairbairn to wind up the Fairbairn Engineering Co.

1891 Died on the Isle of Wight

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1].
  • Biography ODNB