Born: Henry Pease was born on 4th May 1807 in Darlington. His parents were Edward Pease, the father of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and Rachel Whitwell. Henry was the youngest of four brothers and three sisters.
Educated: Henry Pease was educated in Darlington at the school run by Mr. H.F.Smith, a Quaker.
Married: Henry Pease married Anna Fell, daughter of Richard Fell of Uxbridge in 1835. She died in 1839. On 19th January 1859 Henry Pease married Mary Lloyd, daughter of Samuel Lloyd of Wednesbury, near Birmingham.
Family: Henry and Anna Pease had one son, Henry Fell Pease. Henry and Mary had three sons and two daughters.
Home: When they were first married, Henry and Anna lived at Middleton St. George. They moved to Tunbridge Wells and then to St. Leonard’s on the south coast because of Anna’s poor health. She died at St. Leonard’s. Henry returned to live at Blackwell near Darlington. In 1845 he bought Pierremont, a grand villa on the outskirts of Darlington. In 1859 he purchased Stanhope Castle in Weardale as a summer residence.
Known for: Henry Pease was the first mayor of Darlington and he was M.P. for South Durham from 1857 to 1865. As a member of the Peace Society he visited Tsar Nicholas I of Russia in 1854 and Napoleon III of France in 1867 to urge them to abstain from war. He was the driving force behind the extension of the railway from Barnard Castle to Tebay across Stainmore. The line was opened in 1861. However, Henry Pease is probably better known for his role in bringing the railway to Saltburn. In 1859, Henry Pease set up the Saltburn Improvement Company. The company purchased land on the cliff top opposite the village of Saltburn and began to develop a new town with a station, a hotel and ornamental gardens. The first train from Middlesbrough to Saltburn ran in 1861. Henry Pease had a hand in all these developments and may therefore be regarded as the father of Saltburn as a seaside resort.
Died: Henry Pease died on 30th May 1881 on a visit to London and was buried in the Quaker burial ground in Darlington.
Further Information: “Henry Pease: A Short Story of His Life” Mary H.Pease (1897)
“Men of Business and Politics: the rise and fall of the Quaker Pease dynasty of north-east England” M.W.Kirby (1984)
“Jubilee Memorial of the Railway System” James S.Jeans (1875)