Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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George Philips

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Philips, Sir George, first baronet (1766–1847), textile industrialist and politician

1766 March 24th. Born the second son of the eight children of Thomas Philips (1728–1811), a Manchester merchant (later of Sedgley), and his wife, Mary Jolley (d. 1806), the daughter and heir of John Rider, also a Manchester merchant, and his wife, Sarah.

Philips's father was a partner in the pioneering firm of J. and N. Philips and Co, the largest tape manufacturers in Europe, but was also involved in a hatting business with a growing American market in the late 1780s.

George went first to Chetham's School in Manchester, although later he was moved to dissenting schools, first Stand grammar school, then Mr Harrison's Unitarian school at Manchester.

1788 October 16th. Married Sarah Anne, the daughter of Nathaniel Philips.

J. and N. Philips, with mills in Staffordshire and Lancashire as well as warehouses in Manchester, continued to prosper, producing huge rewards, from which he withdrew over £250,000 between 1807 and 1831.

The Salford Twist Mill, an offshoot of the former, was conducted by Philips with G. A. Lee (1761–1826) as manager. This was one of Manchester's largest and most technologically advanced cotton-spinning factories — one of Manchester's first iron-framed buildings and the first mill to use gas lighting.


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