Thomas Richardson

Born: Thomas Richardson was born on 6th June 1821 at Castle Eden. His parents were Thomas Richardson (1795-1850) and Isabella Heslop. His father owned a shipyard and the Castle Eden Foundry in Hartlepool.

Educated: Thomas Richardson was an apprentice to his father at the family shipyard in Hartlepool.

Married: On 2nd November 1843 Thomas Richardson married Maria Greenwell, daughter of Richard Greenwell of Sunderland, who was a shipowner.

Family: Thomas and Maria had six children: Thomas, William, Henry, Charles, Alice and Eleanor.

Home: From 1863 the Richardsons rented The Friarage, Yarm, from Thomas Meynell. Later they lived at The Grange, Kirklevington. In 1884 they moved into Kirklevington Hall, which was built for them.

Known for: When their father died in 1850 Thomas and his brother John William took over the business under the name of T.Richardson and Sons. They made locomotive engines and built ships, including the first iron ship constructed at Hartlepool. They soon began to concentrate on building marine engines and expanded to such an extent that by 1890, when Thomas died, his company was capable of producing up to 40 sets of marine engines a year. Thomas Richardson was M.P. for Hartlepool briefly in 1874-5 and then again from 1880 until his death in 1890. He was knighted in 1897. He was a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for County Durham. He also served as one of the Hartlepool Port and Harbour Commissioners.

Died: Thomas Richardson died on 29th December 1890.

Further Information: “Richies: A History of Thomas Richardson and Sons and Richardsons, Westgarth and Co. Ltd.”  by Peter L. Hogg (1994)