Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Wingate

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1799 Born in Glasgow son of John Wingate and Margaret Wilson[1]

1841 Thos Wingate 40, engineer manufacturer, lived in Springfield, Govan, with Margaret Wingate 40, Grace Wingate 15, John Wingate 15, William Wingate 15, Margaret Wingate 13, Lillias Wingate 11, Thomas Wingate 9, Andrew Wingate 6, James Aitkende (sic) 4, Wilson Aitkende (sic) 1[2]

1848 of T. Wingate and Co/Thomas Wingate and Co

1851 Thomas Wingate 51, Engineer, J.P., master employing 185 Men, lived in Whiteinch with Margaret Wingate 49, Grace Wingate 28, Margaret Wingate 22, Lillia Wingate 20, Thomas Wingate 18, Andrew Wingate 15, James Wingate 13, Wilson Wingate 10, Patterson Wingate 8[3]

1861 Thomas Wingate 61, Engine Smith & Iron Ship Builder Employing 274 Men & 27 Boys, lived at Whiteinch House, Partick, with Margaret Wingate 59, Andrew Wingate 26, engine master, Wilson Wingate 21, engine master, Paterson Wingate 19, engine master, Lilias Wingate 30[4]

1864 Retired from business in favour of his sons - presumably Thomas, Andrew, Wilson and Patterson.

1869 Died

1869 Obituary[5]

DEATH is busy amongst the shipbuilders of the Clyde. Only the other day we had occasion to notice the demise of Mr. Elder, and now we are called upon to record that of Mr. Thomas Wingate, which took place on Saturday last at his own residence, Broomhall, Partick, which he built, on retiring from business, five years ago.

Thomas Wingate was born in Glasgow in November, 1800, served his apprenticeship as engineer with Mr. John Neilson, Black Quarry, and started on his own account in the Adelphi Foundry in 1822. Ten years after, he made his first effort in iron shipbuilding, and in 1837 supplied the engines of the wooden steamer Sirius, of 700 tons, built by Messrs. Menzies and Son, Leith, and the first steamer to cross the Atlantic. By supplying this vessel with Hall's patent surface condensers, he made the first practical application of the principle of surface condensation, now so generally known. In conjunction with Mr. David Napier, he likewise introduced and perfected many of the greatest improvements in marine engineering and architecture.

Mr. Wingate, whose forte appears to have lain in the application of iron, constructed, in 1840, the schooner Henrietta, the first iron sailing vessel ever built , and among the last of his works was the construction of a fleet of hopper barges and three large steam dredgers for the Tyne, the latter of which were the largest and most powerful afloat.

Besides building the most of the dredgers for the Clyde and the Tyne, he turned out many successful iron steamers. Consulted by M. Lesseps about the cutting of the Suez Canal, he offered to undertake it, and have it finished by 1867, and we understand that some of his suggestions as to that great work have been acted upon, though somewhat imperfectly.

He was married in 1822; retired from business five years ago in favour of his sons, and leaves behind him a large family to morn his loss. And not only they, for he was held in great esteem by his workmen, to whom he was a kind master, and one who did all in his power to promote the interests of the "working man," and who showed this very notably by being the first in Glasgow to adopt the system of shutting at two o'clock on Saturday afternoon.

He was a Justice of the Peace, and a magistrate of the burgh of Partick, a man held in general regard, not only for his great professional abilities and achievements, but also for his quiet, unassuming, gentlemanly bearing, and his genuine Christian disposition. He was the oldest engineer and shipbuilder in the district.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1841 census
  3. 1851 census
  4. 1861 census
  5. Engineering 1869/10/15