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British Industrial History

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Thomas Grissell

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Thomas Grissell (1801-1874) of Grissell and Peto

1801 Born the son of Thomas De La Garde Grissell

1815 Articled to his uncle, Henry Peto, the builder

1825 Grissell became a partner with his uncle

Married Eliza the third daughter of Edward Leathes of Normanston, Suffolk

1830 On the death of Henry Peto, Thomas Grissell was joined by Samuel Morton Peto and formed the partnership of Grissell and Peto

1847 After Peto became a Member of Parliament, the partnership split; Thomas Grissell retained the building contracts, including the contract for the Houses of Parliament.

1850 Retired from business.

1851 Living at Palace Gardens, Westminster: Thomas Grissell (age 49 born Shoreditch), Builder, F.S.A., A.I.C.E. With his wife Eliza (age 50 born Henley on Thames). Also a visitor. Nine servants.[1]

1851 Birth of Thomas De La Garde, Junior.[2]

1861 Living at 19 Palace Gardens, Westminster: Thomas Grissell (age 59 born London), a Magistrate. With his wife Eliza Grissell (age 60 born Henley) and their children Henry Peto Grissell (age 23 born London), a Civil Engineer; Hartwell Dela Garde Grissell (age 21 born Lambeth), a Student; Frank Dela Garde Grissell (age 19 born Clapham), a Student. Also his brother James Grissell (age 57 born St Leonard's, Mddx), Lt-Col E.I. Service, Retired; his sister Fanny Marklew (age 59 born Henley) and his niece Florence Grissell (age 6 born East Indies). Also a visitor. Nine servants.[3]

1871 Living at 19 Palace Gardens, Westminster: Thomas Grissell (age 69 born London), Magistrate for Surrey and Landowner and a Widower. With his brother-in-law Holland T. Birkett (age 66 born Wallingford), Annuitant and his sister Hannah Birkett (age 62 born Shoreditch). None servants.[4]

1875 Obituary [5]

MR. THOMAS GRISSELL was born in London on the 4th of October, 1801, and was educated at St. Paul’s School. He had been intended for the medical profession, but was in 1815 articled to his uncle, the late Henry Peto, the builder, and became his partner in 1825.

On that gentleman’s death, in 1830, Mr. Grissell was joined by the present Sir S. Morton Peto, Bart., in conjunction with whom, for many years, he carried on one of the largest building and contractors’ businesses in the kingdom.

When Sir S. Morton Peto became Member of Parliament for Norwich, the business connection ceased.

Mr. Grissell was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 7th of March, 1843, and served on the Council in that capacity in the year 1845. Having constructed, under Mr. Wyatt, the Society’s former lecture-room, &C., in the autumn of 1846, he was a considerable donor to the funds of the Institution in respect to his charges for the work.

He executed the improvements in the Severn navigation, under Sir William Cubitt, Past-President Inst. C.E. Also a great portion of the Great Western railway, including the viaduct at Hanwell, under Mr. Brunel, Vice-Resident. Inst. C.E. Much of the South-Eastern railway, under Joseph Cubitt, Vice-President Inst. C.E.; and was largely concerned for the late Robert Stephenson, M.P., Past-President Inst. C.E.

He was the builder of the following public buildings in London:- The Reform, Conservative, and Oxford and Cambridge Club Homes; the English Opera and French Theatres, Hungerford Market, the Nelson Column, and last, but not least, the new Houses of Parliament, under Sir Charles Barry. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Member of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Fellow of the Horticultural Society.

In 1850 he retired from business, and purchased Norbury Park, near Dorking. He was in the Commission of the Peace for the county of Surrey, and served the office of High Sheriff in 1854 and 1855.

He died on the 26th of May, 1874.

1874 Obituary [6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 02 July 1851
  3. 1861 Census
  4. 1871 Census
  5. 1875 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  6. Engineering 1874 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index