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British Industrial History

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Charles John Mare

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Charles John Mare (1815-1898) Shipbuilder.

1815 Born in Staffordshire, son of Matthew Mare.

He was placed with a firm of solicitors in Doctors' Commons, London but turned to other interests.

1835 When his father died he leased out the house in Cheshire and used the money to form Ditchburn and Mare at Millwall with Thomas Joseph Ditchburn

1843 Married Mary Rolt, daughter of Peter Rolt, in London.

He developed a scheme for rolling his own iron, which entailed an expansion of the yard onto the other side of Bow Creek. This proposal led to a rupture of relations between the partners and Mare started the new works on his won.

1846 Mare ran the works after the retirement of Ditchburn; he expanded by building on the west side of Bow Creek.

1847 September. The partnership was dissolved [1]

1848 May: He appeared in court charged with threatening his former partner but appears there were threats on the other side also. Case dismissed. [2]

1850 Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers; of Orchard Yard, Blackwall.[3]

1851 Living at Eastern Terrace, Brighton (age 35 born Cheshire), Landowner. With his wife Mary (age 26 born Lewisham) and their son Charles J. (age 7 weeks born Paddington). Also visitor Peter Rolt (age 52 born Deptford), Timber merchant and Widower, and Annie Rolt (age 20 born Blackheath). Plus seven servants. [4]

1852 Listed as Mare, Charles John and Co, manufactures of scrap iron forgings of all descriptions, scrap iron slabs, bars etc. wrought iron box girders for bridges and buildings, also of iron and brass castings of the largest descriptions. Orchard Iron Works and Foundry, Bow Creek, Blackwall' [5]

1852 Listed as 'Mare, Charles John and Co, iron and wood ship and steamboat builders. Orchard Yard, Blackwall' [6]

1855 Mare was declared bankrupt; Mr Lee was the official assignee and Mr Rolt MP the trade assignee who took on much of the work; the Westminster Bridge contract was taken on by another contractor[7]

1856 The works failed after producing many famous vessels for mercantile and fighting fleets.

1857 The firm was taken over by Mare's father-in-law, Peter Rolt, and renamed Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co

1858 Mare began operations at Millwall, which later became Millwall Iron and Shipbuilding Co

1861 Living at Mills Terrace, Hove (age 46 born Basford, Staffs), Ship Builder. With his wife Mary (age 36 born Lewisham) and their sons Charles (age 10 born Paddington) and John (age 7 born Paddington). Also three servants. [8]

1864 Rented Northfleet Dockyard

1866 The Millwall operations were in trouble after failing to launch a ship for the Navy.

1871 Charles J Mare 55, ship builder, lived in Shoreham with Mary Mare 46, Charles I P Mare 20, John M Mare 17[9]

1881 His wife and son Charles are listed at 7 Osbourne Villas, Brighton and she is shown as an Annuitant and married [10]

1891 CJM is listed as a lodger at Clapham Road, Lambeth (age 76 born Wybunbury, Nantwich, Cheshire), of private means. In the house of George and Ellen Beck. [11]

1898 February 9th. Died. Late of The Broomlands, Hatherton, Cheshire. Age 83. [12]

After his death a memorial was placed in the entrance to West Ham Municipal College recalling his work and the Vulcan, an early Iron warship.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Morning Chronicle, Monday, May 8, 1848
  2. The Morning Chronicle, Monday, May 8, 1848
  3. Civil Engineer Lists
  4. 1851 Census
  5. 1851 Post Office London Directory (Small Edition)
  6. 1851 Post Office London Directory (Small Edition)
  7. The Times Nov. 17, 1855
  8. 1861 Census
  9. 1871 census
  10. 1881 Census
  11. 1891 Census
  12. The Morning Post, Monday, February 14, 1898
  • A Short History of Naval and Marine Engineering by E. C. Smith. Published 1937