Richard Merryweather
Margaret Snaith
Moses Merryweather
Sarah Edward Taylor
Richard Moses Merryweather


Family Links

Richard Moses Merryweather

  • Born: Q4 1838, St Martin in the Field, London
  • Christened: 23 Jan 1839, St Martin in the Field, London
  • Died: 19 May 1877, Wandsworth aged 39

bullet  General Notes:

FOR some years the chief assistant to Mr. MOSES. Merryweather was his
eldest son Richard, who first became associated with his father as an
apprentice in when he was in his eighteenth year. Upon attaining his
majority in 1859 he at once took a prominent part in the management, and
by his initiative a considerable advance was almost immediately made. It
was just at the time that the fire offices controlling the London Fire
Engine Establishment were awakening to the fact that profitable use might
be made of steam driven fire engines, which, though first designed in
England by Braithwaite and Ericcsen. In 1829, had never come into
practical use in this country. These engines, however, were being
employed in the United States of America, and the fact that they were a
success in that country was breaking down the obstinate resistance, which
they encountered in London. Assisted by Mr. Edward Field, C.E., who for
some years acted as consulting engineer, the firm very speedily
constructed a thoroughly useful steam fire engine, which was put into
public service by the brigade supported by Mr. Frederick Hodges, of
Lambeth Distillery. Then came the era of public trials and competitions
between Merryweather's engines and those of several other rival houses
then in the field. These trials took place not only in many large towns
in this country, but also on the Continent. Most of the earliest were
conducted by Mr. Richard personally. It would serve no useful purpose to
name them all ; suffice it to say that the most important was the
International competition at the Crystal Palace in the summer of 1863,
when the Merryweather engine " Sutherland " won the first prize for large
steamers against all competitors. Unfortunately the labors and anxieties
of this period of storm and stress resulted in a serious breakdown in the
health of Mr. Richard, which proved to be permanent. During the last few
years of his life he was an invalid, and was wholly unable to take any
part in the work of his firm. He died on the 19th of May 1877, in his
39th year, to the great regret of those who worked with him or were
associated with him in any capacity. His ability as an engineer was
great, but it was not more noticeable than the unaffected geniality and
good nature he always displayed both in commercial and in private life.
Had he succeeded to the position of head of the firm at a time when all
was proceeding smoothly without doubt he would have conducted its affairs
with success, and he might be living at this day; as it was he came into
command of the fighting line, a young man of one and twenty, at a time
when his house was compelled to struggle seriously against opposition of
the most formidable character, His physical strength was not capable of
bearing the strain, and consequently, though he won the battle, he lost
his life. Richard Merryweather was the Nelson of his family.
Memorial South Met Cemetery, West Norwood, London

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 2 Mar 2012 with Legacy 7.5 from Millennia