Sir George White, 1st Baronet

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Sir George White, 1st Baronet (1854–1916) was an English businessman and stockbroker based in Bristol. He was instrumental in the construction of the Bristol tramways and became a pioneer in the construction of electric tramways in England. In 1910 he formed, with his brother Samuel, the Bristol Aeroplane Company. He had many other interests, particularly in transport companies.

Early life[edit]

White was born in Kingsdown, Bristol on 28 March 1854, the son of Henry White, a painter and decorator. He attended St Michaels Boys School, and in 1869 joined a Bristol firm of solicitors as a junior clerk. In 1874 White's firm was involved in the promotion of the Bristol Tramways Company, following the passage of the Tramways Act 1870, and White played a major part. In 1875 he left the law, and established a stockbroking firm, George White & Co.[1]


In 1875 White was appointed secretary of the Bristol Tramways Company. In 1892 he also became involved in the Imperial Tramways Company, which operated horse trams in Middlesbrough, Dublin, Gloucester and Reading, the Corris Railway and, from 1894, London United Tramways, which operated horse trams in west London. In 1887 the Bristol tramways company was merged into the new Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, with White as managing director. In the 1890s White became a pioneer of electric tramways, starting in Bristol in 1895 and later in west London.

White became chairman of Bristol Tramways in 1900, a post he retained until his death.[2] Under his leadership the company introduced motor buses in 1906, and began the manufacture of buses in 1908.


White became interested in heavier-than-air flight, and in 1909 saw Wilbur Wright flying in France.[3] In 1910 he founded the Bristol Aeroplane Company, which set out from the first to produce aircraft on a commercial scale.

Other interests[edit]

White also had interests in the Great Western Steamship Company, the Bristol Port and Channel Dock Company (which built Avonmouth Docks), the North Somerset Railway, the Main Colliery Company and the Taff Vale Railway. He also served as president of the Bristol Stock Exchange.[1]

White was a benefactor of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the Red Cross and other charities. He was created a baronet on 26 August 1904 for his public service.[1]

Personal life and death[edit]

White married Caroline Thomas (d.1915) in 1876. They had two children. He died at his home in Stoke Bishop, Bristol on 22 November 1916.[1]

Successors to the title[edit]

  • Sir George Stanley White, 2nd Baronet (1882-1964)
  • Sir George Stanley Midelton White, 3rd Baronet (1913-1983)
  • Sir George Stanley James White, 4th Baronet (b. 1948)

See also[edit]