Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Peter Laurie

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Sir Peter Laurie (1778–1861), saddler and politician, of Laurie and Marner

1778 born at Saundersdeal Farm, Haddington.

1784 His mother died and his father remarried. But Laurie rebelled against his stepmother and when he reached the age of twelve he was apprenticed to his brother George at Jedburgh.

A disagreement led to his indenture being cancelled

He spent a year in Edinburgh before embarking on a further three years' apprenticeship to Maxton, an Edinburgh saddler.

Moved to London where he lodged with his late brother's daughter and her husband

Went to work for David Pollock of Piccadilly, saddler to George III, where he soon rose to be foreman.

He joined a debating society, taking part in the speech-making, discussions, and dramatic recitations, and treading the boards at Richmond theatre.

He was obliged to leave Pollock's employ when Pollock's son came of age

1801 he established his own saddlery business in Oxford Street, (presumably this became Laurie, Bedford and Rand) securing contracts with the Indian army which ensured his future prosperity.

1803 he married Margaret Jack at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The couple adopted their nephews, first John Laurie and then Peter Northall Laurie, and other young relatives.

1812 Admitted into the Saddlers' Company

1819 he campaigned for George Lamb, a Whig candidate for Westminster.

1820 he took his nephew John into partnership and retired from the saddlery business

1823 elected sheriff of London.

1824 Knighted, in recognition of his campaign for more efficient executions and better treatment of convicted prisoners.

1832 Lord Mayor of London

1833 he was master of the Saddlers' Company.

Director of several insurance companies

1861 he moved to Folkestone in failing health. Died at home at 7 Park Square West, Regent's Park, London. The bulk of his large property went to his nephew Peter Northall Laurie.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Sir Peter Laurie, ODNB