Eleazer Pickwick

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Eleazer Pickwick
Eleazer Pickwick mayor and inn owner.jpg
Pickwick c.1803 by John Sanders
Born 1748 or 1749
Somerset
Died 8 December 1837
Bath
Nationality British
Known for Somerset Coal Canal
Net worth £20,000
Spouse(s) Susanna Combs

Eleazer Pickwick (1748 or 1749 – 8 December 1837) was a British businessman. He became very rich and funded the local canal.

Life[edit]

Coaches outside the White Hart Inn in Bath (demolished 1869)

Pickwick's grandfather, Moses, was a foundling who was discovered in an area of Corsham known as Pickwick. This Pickwick was baptised in February 1748 or 1749.[1]

He started a coaching business that came to be based at The White Hart inn opposite the iconic Pump Room. Pickwick's nephew, Moses Pickwick, managed the inn.[2]

In 1794 Pickwick was on the board of the company that was created by the Somerset Coal Canal. Pickwick invested tens of thousands of pounds in the canal business after its bankers refused to lend any more capital.

Pickwick bought Bathford Manor House in 1798.

Pickwick died in Bath in 1837 and was buried in Bathford.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The White Hart inn was demolished in 1869 but the sign was resused on another inn. There is a plaque that records the location of the inn and the Pickwicks on the corner of Stall Street and Westgate Street in Bath.[1] The coaching business continued on very successfully under the ownership of Moses Pickwick. From the 1830s business reduced as the railways grew in importance.[3]

It is widely believed that Dickens wrote the Pickwick Papers after visiting Bath using the surname he had seen there.[1] His inn is also mentioned in the works of Jane Austen.

Pickwick's descendants changed their name to Sainsbury. It has been speculated that part of the motive may have been to discard their lowly born ancestry and Dicken's caricatures that bore their name.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d James, Terence (May 2014). "Pickwick of Bath". Western Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Eleazer Pickwick". Coal Canal.org. Somerset Coal Canal Society. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Brenda J. Buchanan, ‘Pickwick, Eleazer (bap. 1749, d. 1837)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 3 Aug 2014