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British Industrial History

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Charles Larkin Francis

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Charles Larkin Francis (1801-1873) of Charles Francis and Sons and Charles Francis, Son and Co

1801 Born in Lambeth, son of Charles Francis

1825 Married Catharine Richardson Gilbert in Petersham[1]

1836 Dissolution of the Partnership between Charles Francis, John Bazley White, Charles Larkin Francis, and Alfred Francis, of Nine Elms, Hattersea, in the County of Surrey, Roman Cement Manufacturers[2]

1838 Charles Larkin Francis of South Lambeth, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, being "a person of .. great experience and scientific knowledge in the constitution of cements".[3]

1851 Charles L Francis 49, merchant, lived in Mitcham with Catharine Francis 44, Clara Francis 24, Emily Francis 19, Henry Francis 17, Jessy Francis 12, Fanny Francis 9[4]

1871 retired from Charles Francis and Son

1872 Proceedings for Liquidation by Arrangement or Composition with Creditors in respect of the estates of Charles Larkin Francis and Henry Francis, of 17, Grace-church-street, in the city of London, and of West Medina Mills, Newport, in the Isle of Wight, Cement Manufacturers.[5]

1873 Died in Pimlico[6]

1874 Obituary [7]

Mr. CHARLES LARKIN FRANCIS was born in South Lambeth on the 10th of December, 1801, and was the eldest son of Mr. Charles Francis, of Belgrave House, Vauxhall, a Justice of the Peace for the county of Surrey.

To within a short period of his death he was the head of the firm of Charles Francis and Sons, cement manufacturers, of London and the Isle of Wight, whose business transactions extended to all parts of the world, by far the largest part of the trade coming from foreign countries. The extensive fortifications and harbours of Odessa, Trieste, Cherbourg, and the Brazils owe a large portion of their strength and solidity to the cement exported by this firm.

In the Great Exhibition of 1851 he exhibited an expeditious and cheap mode of erecting dwellings for the poor - at once dry, healthy, and more durable than brick-made of concrete, viz., cement and shingle, and received a medal and other acknowledgments.

In early life he travelled a good deal abroad, and resided in different parts of Italy and Germany. At one time he was a marble merchant, and visited Carrara to inspect the marble quarries, for which purpose he had letters of introduction from Chantrey to Canova.

He was exceedingly fond of literary and scientific studies, particularly engineering and geology, and for four or five years he gratuitously wrote the leading article in the Wilts and Gloucester Standard.

He was the originator of the City Steamboat Company, of which he was chairman for many years, and repeatedly received handsome testimonials from the Company for his great labours in its behalf. Ever ready to help those who required advice and assistance, he was beloved by all who had the happiness of his acquaintance.

Mr. Francis was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 6th of February, 1838.

He died at his residence in Gloucester Street, S.W., on the 3rd of February, 1875, aged seventy-one years, and was buried in Norwood Cemetery.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Prarish records
  2. London Gazette 30 December 1836
  3. 1838 Institution of Civil Engineers: New Members
  4. 1851 census
  5. London Gazette 30 January 1872
  6. National probate calendar
  7. 1874 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries