Urban H. Broughton

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Urban Hanlon Broughton (12 April 1857 – 30 January 1929) was an English civil engineer, railroad and mining executive, and Conservative Party Member of Parliament. In 1929, he was in line for elevation to the peerage, but he died in January before the process was finalized. However, his wife, Cara Leland (née Rogers) Broughton was granted the style of a baron's wife and their eldest son was created the first Baron Fairhaven.

Youth, education, early career[edit]

Born in England, Urban Broughton studied civil engineering at the University of London. Upon graduation, he worked on a variety of projects including railways, drainage systems, and dock works. He became involved with the Shone sewer system, a pneumatic-pump-based system invented by Welsh mechanical and civil engineer Isaac Shone and first installed in the British Houses of Parliament. This work led him to the United States around 1887.

Coming to America[edit]

Around the same time, self-made millionaire industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers, who had become a principal in the Standard Oil empire, began to consider providing a sewer and water project for his hometown of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where his family maintained a summer house. After much consultation with experts, he had chosen to adopt the Shone sewer system that had been developed in England. To manage the project, young Urban Broughton was assigned to explain procedures and direct the actual work.

Marriage, children[edit]

During his stay at Fairhaven, Broughton became acquainted with one of Rogers' daughters, Cara Leland Duff (née Rogers), a young widow. By 1895, the sewer work was well on its way to completion, and Cara Rogers Duff and Urban Broughton had decided to be married. A quiet wedding was held at the residence of Henry H. Rogers and his wife, Abbie Gifford Rogers at 2026 East Fifty-Seventh Street in New York City. On Christmas Day, they sailed aboard an ocean liner on a honeymoon trip to Europe. Cara and Urban had two sons, Urban Huttleston Rogers Broughton, also known as Huttleston Broughton, born in August 1896 at Fairhaven, and Henry Rogers Broughton, born in January 1900.

Career in the United States[edit]

Although Urban Broughton was by birth a British subject, he spent more than twenty-five years in America, many of them in Chicago, Illinois. Urban Broughton became president of Utah Consolidated Mining Co. in 1901, and was chosen a director and a manager of the United Metals Selling Co., the selling agency for Amalgamated Copper Co.. He was also a director of the Atlas Tack Co. in Fairhaven, the Santa Rica Mining Co., and the Butte Coalition Mining Co. in Montana.

After the sudden death of his father-in-law, Henry H. Rogers Sr., in 1909, Urban Broughton became president of The Virginian Railway Company.

Returning to England[edit]

In 1912, Urban, Cara, and their two sons, Huttleston Broughton, and Henry Broughton, moved to England. They took up residence in wealthy Mayfair, London. In 1915 Urban became a Member of Parliament for Preston, a seat he held until 1918. He found pleasure in this new career, becoming a close personal friend of Prime Minister Bonar Law. Cara devoted herself to family matters and other domestic duties. Their sons became thoroughly oriented British subjects.

During World War I, both Urban and Cara were very active in the war effort. Urban was used by the British government in many ways. He published a strong brochure designed to appeal to the good will of America. It was entitled The British Empire At War.

Cara offered all her efforts to the good of her adopted country as well, sponsoring many types of war work. She was deeply interested in the well-being of Bethnal Green Military Hospital. She gave hospitable parties for wounded soldiers at Broadoaks, Byfleet.

Death, peerage, memorial[edit]

Urban Broughton died in January 1929, at the age of 71. Just a few weeks earlier, his name had been pending for elevation to the peerage by King George V. On 2 May 1929 the king proclaimed that "Cara Leland Broughton, widow of Urban Hanlon Broughton, may henceforth enjoy the same style and title as if her husband...had survived and received the title and dignity of Baron Fairhaven". The eldest son, Huttleston, was elevated to his father's barony, and became the first Baron Fairhaven, and Cara, the first Lady Fairhaven.

In December 1929, the historic Runnymede Meadow, with adjoining lands totaling 182 acres (0.74 km2) twenty miles (32 km) southwest of London, where the civil freedoms of Magna Carta were agreed to in 1215, was presented to the National Trust by Lady Fairhaven and her two sons in memory of Urban Hanlon Broughton.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alfred Aspinall Tobin and
George Stanley
Member of Parliament for Preston
With: George Stanley
Succeeded by
Thomas Shaw and
George Stanley