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British Industrial History

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Robert Wigram Crawford

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Robert Wigram Crawford (1813-1889), chairman of the East Indian Railway, a British East India merchant, Governor of the Bank of England, and a Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1857 to 1874.

1813 April 18th. Born the son of William Crawford, M.P. for London 1833-41, and his wife Dorothy Elizabeth Rees.

He lived in Bombay for several years, where he was a partner in the firm of Remington & Co. He then headed the firm of Crawford, Colvin, and Co., East India Merchants of London. (See the Colvin family for more on these connections.) He was chairman of the East Indian Railway and the Mexican Railway.

1851 Crawford stood for parliament at Harwich, where he was elected Member of Parliament when the sitting member was unseated on petition, but was himself displaced on petition because it was alleged that the poll had closed three minutes before the legal hour.

In 1852 he was proposed for the City of London, but declined to become a candidate although 3765 votes had been cast for him.

1854 Appointed Chairman of the East Indian Railway

At the 1857 general election Crawford was elected MP for the City of London. He held the seat until 1874.

In 1869, he became a Governor of the Bank of England, having earlier served as its Deputy Governor. He was also a Commissioner of Lieutenancy for London, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

1886 See Robert Wigram Crawford: 1886 East Indian Railway

Crawford married Margaret Urquhart Cruikshank, daughter of the Rev. John Cruickshank, of Turriff, Scotland in 1836. His sister Jane married Henry Ray Freshfield, of the family of lawyers.

1889 July 13th. Died at the age of 76

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