George Muntz

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George Frederick Muntz (26 November 1794 – 30 July 1857) was an industrialist from Birmingham, England and a Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) for the Birmingham constituency from 1840 until his death.

His father Philip Frederic Muntz came to England shortly after the French revolution.[1] As an industrialist, George Frederic Muntz developed Muntz Metal. This was a brass alloy intended to replace the copper that was then used to prevent fouling on ocean-going ships.

Muntz was a supporter of political reform and a member of the Birmingham Political Union. In his actions that led to the Reform Act of 1832, he was indicted for sedition as he tried to undermine the Duke of Wellington with a run on gold: To stop the Duke, run for gold. He also was involved in a riot at Saint Martins in Birmingham in protest against the Church Rates which were levied at around 6d to 9d in the pound. He was sent to trial in 1838, but was acquitted on all but one of 13 charges. Whilst claiming to be a republican, his true character appeared to be that of an egotistical aristocrat. Edwards wrote in 1877 of a conversation about a speech he made:

"They won't be able to print Muntz's speech verbatim." "Why not?" said I. "Why my dear fellow, no printing office in the world would have capital I's enough".

His home was at Umberslade Hall, in Tanworth in Arden. In the grounds of his estate, Muntz's son commissioned a church to be built which stands to this day, Umberslade Baptist Church. His descendants still live in the area and operate Umberslade Hall Children's Farm.[2][3]

He had seven sons and two daughters. The family business was continued by the eldest son, George Frederick junior together with Philip Albert Muntz,[4] also a Member of Parliament who was created a Baronet in 1902 (see Muntz Baronets). George's brother, Philip Henry Muntz, was also an MP. One son, William Henry Muntz, designed a new type of paddle wheel.[5]

The Muntz family are remembered by Muntz Street, a tower block called Muntz House and Muntz Park, all in Birmingham.


  1. ^ Upton, Chris (14 March 2014). "Muntz family distinguished themselves in industry and politics". Birmingham Post. 
  2. ^ "History of Muntz Park". Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Umberslade Farm Park". Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  4. ^ Samuel Timmins, 'Muntz, George Frederick (1794–1857)', rev. Matthew Lee, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Attwood and
Joshua Scholefield
Member of Parliament for Birmingham
With: Joshua Scholefield, to 1844;
Richard Spooner, 1844–1847;
William Scholefield, from 1847
Succeeded by
John Bright and
William Scholefield