Thomas de la Rue

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Thomas de la Rue

Thomas de la Rue (24 March 1793 – 7 June 1866) was a printer from Guernsey who founded De La Rue plc, a printing company which is now the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker.

Thomas de la Rue
Born 24 March 1793
Forest, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Died 7 June 1866 (1866-06-08) (aged 73)
Occupation Printer
Spouse(s) Jane Warren
Relatives Warren de la Rue
William Grantham
Alexander Grantham

Biography[edit]

Born in La Forêt in Guernsey to Eleazar de la Rue and Rachael de la Rue(Nee Allez), Thomas de la Rue was apprenticed to a master-printer at St Peter Port in 1803.[1]

He went into business with Tom Greenslade and together they launched the newspaper Le Publiciste. Shortly thereafter Thomas de la Rue launched his own publication, Le Miroir politique.[1]

In 1816 he left Forest, Guernsey, for London, where he initially established a business making straw hats.[1] Then in 1830 together with Samuel Cornish and William Rock he founded a business of "cardmakers, hot pressers and enamellers".[1] in 1831, De la Rue was granted the right to print playing cards, making it the first company to do so; it printed its first pack the following year. Soon afterwards, Thomas hired Owen Jones, a well-known designer and architect.[2] By 1837 his wife, his two sons William Frederick and Warren De la Rue and his eldest daughter were involved in the business.[1] In 1855 Thomas was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.[1] In 1858, he retired from De La Rue, handing over the management of the business to his sons.

Thomas de la Rue died in London in 1866.[1]

Family[edit]

He married Jane Warren (17 June 1789 – 22 September 1858) on 21 March 1816.[1] He had six daughters and two sons: Mary, Elizabeth, Georgiana, Louisa, Jane, Warren and William.

Memorials[edit]

The Guernsey Post Office has issued two sets of postage stamps commemorating his life and achievements, in 1971 and 1993.

There is a pub in the Pollet, St Peter Port, Guernsey, named after him.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Houseman, Lorna, The House That Thomas Built: the Story of De La Rue, Chatto & Windus (1968) ISBN 0-7011-1343-X
  • Marr, L. James, Guernsey People, Phillimore (1984) ISBN 0-85033-529-9

External links[edit]