Pease family

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The Pease family is an English and mostly Quaker family associated with Darlington, County Durham, and North Yorkshire, descended from Edward Pease of Darlington (1711–1785).[1][2]

They were 'one of the great Quaker industrialist families of the nineteenth century, who played a leading role in philanthropic and humanitarian interests'.[3] They were heavily involved in woollen manufacturing, banking, railways, locomotives, mining, and politics.

Notable events in their history include; their support of abolitionism; the founding of the Peace Society in 1816; the establishment of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in the 1820s and its later absorption into the North Eastern Railway; the establishment of Robert Stephenson and Company in 1823; the purchase and development of Middlesbrough from 1830; the abolition of bear-baiting and cockfighting through 'Pease's Act' (the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835[4]); a bid to avert the Crimean War through personal interview with Czar Nicholas in 1854;[5] the building of Hutton Hall in 1866; the establishment of The Northern Echo newspaper in 1870;[6] the assembly of an important art collection,[7] and the failure of the family bank in 1902. The latter forced several of them close to bankruptcy. Nine members of the family were Members of Parliament, including the first Quaker Member of Parliament.

Edward Pease was the son of Joseph Pease of Pease Hall, Felkirk, Shafton Green (now Barnsley), whose family had earlier come from Sikehouse, Fishlake, Yorkshire,[8] and who had married Ann Couldwell, heiress of her uncles William Couldwell of Cudworth (near Shafton Green) and Thomas Couldwell of Darlington, yeomen woolcombers with family businesses established in the 17th (or possibly 16th) century. These wool businesses formed the basis of the Pease's later fortunes. Edward Pease's eldest son was Joseph Pease (1737–1808) who founded Pease Partners Bank (1761). His children included

Edward Pease's descendants[edit]

Edward Pease had five sons and three daughters, including:

Joseph Pease's descendants[edit]

The second Joseph Pease married Elizabeth Beaumont of Feethams and had two children:

More distant relations[edit]

Related Peases, but not considered Darlington Peases, were descendants of the first Joseph Pease's brother, Thomas Pease (1743–1811). His granddaughter, Hannah Ford née Pease was mother of Isabella Ford, the reformer, and Emily Susan Ford, the painter. His grandson Thomas Pease (1816–1884) married thrice and had many children, with his third wife, Susanna Ann Fry, sister of the judge Edward Fry and aunt of Roger Fry. These children included

Joseph Pease's sister Ann (died 1826) married Jonathan Backhouse (1747–1826) founder of Backhouse's Bank in 1774 and was mother of

She was also great-grandmother of

  • Robert Backhouse (1854–1940), well-known horticulturist and British archer in the 1908 Olympics. Through his mother, Katherine Aldam, he was also a great-grandson of Thomas Pease (1743–1811).

and ancestor of, among others,

  • Ernest Pease Hodgkin (1906–1997) Husband of Mary Constance Hodgkin née McKerrow (1909–1985) a well-known anthropologist and Girl Guide.[14] He was nearly disowned for doing so. Ernest became an expert on mosquito breeding habits and moved to Malaya to further his studies. He was interned in a civilian POW camp from 1942 to the end of the war and he and his family moved to Australia. He became a very well known marine biologist in Western Australia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Men of Business and Politics. M. W. Kirby. George Allen & Unwin. 1984. ISBN 0-04-941013-X. A study of the rise and fall of the Quaker Pease Dynasty of North East England, 1700-1943.
  2. ^ [1].
  3. ^ Clare Midgley, ‘Nichol, Elizabeth Pease (1807–1897)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 May 2011
  4. ^ "The origins & history of the RSPCA | RSPCA".
  5. ^ Griselda Fox Mason, Sleigh Ride to Russia, William Sessions, York, 1985. ISBN 0 900657 99 5
  6. ^ Chris Lloyd, Attacking the Devil, The Northern Echo, 1999. ISBN 1 899432 1 40
  7. ^ Frederick, Margaretta S. (2006). "A Quaker collects". Journal of the History of Collections. 18: 59–69. doi:10.1093/jhc/fhi039.
  8. ^ Sir Alfred Edward Pease, The Diaries of Edward Pease, The Father of English Railways, Bodley Head, 1907.
  9. ^ A Wealth of Happiness and Many Bitter Trials. Joseph Gurney Pease. (1992) ISBN 1-85072-107-6 The life and journals of Sir Alfred Edward Pease Bt.
  10. ^ "How The Pease Dynasty is linked to the credit crunch | Business". The Guardian. 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  11. ^ Kirby, M. W. "Pease, John William Beaumont". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47702.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ Midgley, Clare. "Nichol, Elizabeth Pease". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55204.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  13. ^ Thomas, John B. "Pease, Marian Fry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^ Parker, Dorothy. "Hodgkin, Mary Constance (1909–1985)". Biography - Mary Constance Hodgkin - Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2017-07-04.


External links[edit]