Born: Isaac Lowthian Bell was born in Newcastle, 15th February 1816. He was the son of Thomas Bell and Catherine Lowthian. He had three sisters and three younger brothers. His father was one of the founders of Losh, Wilson and Bell, the Tyneside iron and chemicals company.
Educated: He was educated at Bruce’s Academy, a non-conformist school in Newcastle, at Edinburgh University and at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Married: He married Margaret Pattinson, daughter of Hugh Lee Pattinson, one of his co-founders at the Washington Chemical Works.
Family: Lowthian and Margaret Bell had two sons and three daughters.
Home: Lowthian Bell continued to live at Newcastle where he was a councillor for 30 years, becoming the city’s mayor in 1854 and 1862. In 1870, the architect Philip Webb was commissioned by the Bells to build Rounton Grange, West Rounton. Lowthian Bell spent his remaining years there.
Known for: Isaac Lowthian Bell was one of the founders of the Washington Chemical Works. In 1860, they began Britain’s first successful large-scale manufacture of aluminium by the Deville Process. With two of his younger brothers Thomas and John, he formed Bell Brothers and built the Clarence Ironworks which began production in 1854. The company had its own mines in the Cleveland ironstone district and limestone quarries in Weardale. Lowthian Bell was a noted chemist and wrote books such as “The Principles of the Manufacture of Iron and Steel” (1884) He was M.P. for Hartlepool from 1875 to 1880. He became a baronet in 1885.
Died: Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell died at Rounton Grange on 20th December 1904. He was buried at Rounton.
Further Information: “Who Was Who in 19th Century Cleveland” David M. Tomlin and Mary Williams (1987): Dictionary of National Biography.