Thomas Richardson (businessman)

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Thomas Richardson (1771–1853) [1] was a shareholder and director of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, a partner in Robert Stephenson & Co. and a founding member of the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate.



Thomas Richardson, a bill broker and Quaker from Stamford Hill, London, was the cousin of Edward Pease. [2] Pease proposed the Stockton & Darlington Railway (S&DR) in 1818, and Richardson invested in the scheme, owning fifty £100 shares by 1823. [3] Elected to the S&DR management committee, [4] Richardson also became a partner in the locomotive manufacturers Robert Stephenson & Co. in 1823. [5] The S&DR suffered financial difficulties in the first few years of operation, Richardson guaranteeing £10,000 of the debt in October 1825. [6] By 1830 Richardson owned 141 S&DR shares; [7] Richardson was also director of companies such as the Middlesbrough and Redcar and Wear Valley Railway, which were formed to expand the S&DR. [8]

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Edward Pease, a woollen manufacturer from Darlington, England, was the main promoter of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which opened in 1825. He is sometimes referred to as the "Father of the Railways".

Soon after opening the export of coal had become the S&DR main business, but the facilities at the port in Stockton proved inadequate. A branch to a new port at Middlesbrough, south of the Tees, was approved by S&DR shareholders on 26 October 1827. [9] Before May 1929 Richardson had bought 500 acres (200 ha) near Port Darlington from William Chilton of Billingham, and with Joseph and Edward Pease and others he formed the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate to develop it. [10] [11] Middlesbrough had only a few houses before the coming of the railway, [12] but a year later had a population of over 2,000 and at the 2011 census had over 138,000 people. [13] [14]

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Middlesbrough Unitary authority in England

Middlesbrough is a large industrial town on the south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, northeast England, founded in 1830. The local council, a unitary authority, is Middlesbrough Borough Council. The 2011 Census recorded the borough's total resident population as 138,400 and the wider urban settlement with a population of 174,700, technically making Middlesbrough the largest urban subdivision in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire. Middlesbrough is part of the larger built-up area of Teesside which had an overall population of 376,333 at the 2011 Census.

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In 1844 he retired to North Riding of Yorkshire, selling all but 10 shares in the S&DR. [7]

North Riding of Yorkshire

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  1. Kirby, M.W. (2004). "Richardson, Thomas". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23585.
  2. Kirby 2002, pp. 33, 47–48.
  3. Kirby 2002, pp. 47–48.
  4. Tomlinson 1915, p. 106.
  5. Tomlinson 1915, pp. 95, 141.
  6. Kirby 2002, p. 70.
  7. 1 2 Kirby 2002, pp. 128–129.
  8. Tomlinson 1915, p. 463.
  9. Allen 1974, p. 30.
  10. Tomlinson 1915, p. 190.
  11. Reid, H.G., ed. (1881). Middlesbrough and Its Jubilee: A History of the Iron and Steel Industries, with Biographies of Pioneers ... The Gazette. p. 11.
  12. Hoole 1974, p. 118.
  13. "Census 2011". Middlesbrough Council. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  14. Delplanque, Paul (17 November 2011). "Middlesbrough Dock 1839–1980". Middlesbrough Gazette . Retrieved 24 March 2013.


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