Charles Richardson (cement merchant)

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Charles Richardson (born 16 February 1817 at Woodford, Essex, United Kingdom: died 30 January 1890 at Newton Abbot, Devon) was the founder of the family Brick and Cement Firm A & WT Richardson Ltd, which lasted over 100 years. On 18 October 1840 he married Selina Ellis at Lambeth. The couple had one daughter, Selina Richardson born March 1842 and four sons - Alexander R Richardson born 1847, Walter T Richardson born 1849, Frederick Charles Richardson born 1851 and George Canning Richardson born March 1855.

Company history[edit]

The business was founded by Charles Richardson in 1850 with wharves and offices at Vauxhall, (Brunswick Lodge) and Paddington. These premises being the London points of distribution for the London stock bricks and red facing bricks manufactured at Teynham in Kent and at Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush. Portland cement and Roman cement manufactured at Conyers Quay near Sittingbourne were also handled here.

Charles Richardson commenced business immediately after the repeal of the brick tax which lasted from 1784–1850 and following the demand created for the then "new" Portland Cement first discovered in 1824 by William Aspdin a bricklayer of Leeds. The White City at Shepherds Bush now occupies the old site of the Wood Lane Brickworks.


More than a million stock bricks were supplied for the foundations of the Albert Memorial. Later, the Company also supplied the bricks used in the foundation of Eros, when that statue by Alfred Gilbert was replaced in Piccadilly Circus.

Early in the 19th century, bricks and Portland cement were also supplied for the Oval cricket ground at Kennington, while much of the early production of cement from the Conyer Works was exported to New Zealand, where the high quality of the product won the Silver Medal at the New Zealand International Exhibition in 1882.

The Company ceased production of cement at Conyer in 1906 [1] and of bricks at Teynham in 1919, but in 1945 with the acquisition of the Auclaye Brickfields Limited,[2] were again producing multi-coloured stock bricks, the bulk of which were supplied to help meet the needs of London's post-war housing problems, many millions being used by the London County Council and the Ministry of Works.

There were premises at the LMS Railway Goods Depot, Wandsworth Road, London SW8.


On his death, the founder of the Company was succeeded by his two sons, Mr Alexander R and Mr Walter T Richardson and a partnership formed, to be known by the title of A & W T Richardson until, following the death of Mr Alec Richardson, the firm was formed into a private limited company in 1923,[3] having as its first board of Directors, Mrs A E Watson, Mr Alfred Jefferies Richardson, Mr H W Worsfold and Mr R E Moores, under the Joint Managing Directorship of Admiral C R Watson CMG CIE and Colonel Charles Richardson.

Three members of the family Mrs N M Monsell and Mrs A Sich - granddaughters of the founder, and Mr John W Sich - great grandson, then served the board under the Managing Director Colonel C Richardson - grandson of the founder.

Sailing barges[edit]

Charles along with Rowlie Richardson had several sailing Barges most named after family members;

  • Active 37 Rochester Sittingbourne 1864
  • Alexander 26 Rochester Queenborough 1867
  • Arthur & Eliza 38 Rochester Faversham 1862
  • Charles 36 Rochester, Queenborough 1866
  • Eliza 35 Rochester,Queenborough 1866
  • Frank 36 Rochester,Murston 1870
  • Glendower, 37 Rochester,Conyer 1893
  • Heron 40 Rochester,Milton 1884
  • Jeffie 39 Rochester,Conyer 1874
  • Lydia 40 Rochester,Conyer 1874
  • Mabel 39 Rochester,Conyer 1873
  • Nesta 42 Rochester,Conyer 1898
  • Phoebe 39 Rochester,Conyer 1876
  • Victory 44 Rochester,Wandsworth 1880
  • William 35 Rochester,Sittingbourne 1872


External links[edit]