Hugh Bell

Born: Thomas Hugh Bell was born on February 1844 at Walker-on-Tyne. His parents were Isaac Lowthian Bell, an ironmaster, and Margaret Pattinson.

Educated: Hugh Bell was educated at Murchison House School in Edinburgh and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Married:  Hugh Bell married Mary Shield on 23rd April 1867. In 1876, five years after Mary’s death, Hugh Bell married Florence Eveleen Eleanor Jolliffe.

Family: Hugh and Mary had two children: Gertrude Bell, the traveller and archaeologist, and Maurice Hugh Lowthian Bell. Hugh and Florence had three children: Hugh Lowthian Bell, Florence Elsa Bell and Mary Katherine Bell.

Home: After their marriage in 1876 the Bells lived at Red Barns in Redcar. In 1905 they moved to Rounton Grange in East Rounton.  In the 1920s Hugh and Florence lived at Mount Grace Manor.

Known for: Hugh Bell became a prominent member of Bell Brothers, the firm of ironmakers founded by his father and his uncles. From about 1880, he was in charge of Bell Brothers’ ironworks at Port Clarence, the largest on Teesside. After the merger of Bell Brothers with Dorman Long, Hugh Bell became chairman of Bell Brothers. Not long before his death he became chairman of Dorman Long and Company. From the time of the railway amalgamations (1921) he became chairman of the London and North Eastern Railway. He was mayor of Middlesbrough in 1874, 1883 and 1911. He was High Sheriff of Durham in 1895 and Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding. He became the 2nd Baronet Bell of Rounton Grange and in 1918 he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

Died: Sir Hugh Bell died on 29th June 1931 at his London residence, 95, Sloane Street.

Further Information: “Who Was Who in 19th Century Cleveland” David M.Tomlin and Mary Williams (1987)

“Science for the Nation” Peter J.T.Morris (ed) (2016)

“Sir Hugh Bell, Bart.” W.Bone,  Journal of the Chemical Society (1932)