William George Ainslie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

William George Ainslie MP JP (9 January 1832 – 10 February 1893) was a British Conservative politician, magistrate, ironmaster and stockbroker.

William George Ainslie

Early life[edit]

Born in 1832 in Bengal, India, and educated at Sedbergh School,[1] Ainslie was one of sixteen children of Montague Ainslie (1792–1884), a native of Kendal in Cumberland.[2]

Ainslie's father, after attending the East India Company College, entered the East India Company's service and was Political Agent to Lord William Bentinck while he was Governor-General of India (1828–1835), and later returned to Grizedale Hall in Lancashire where he became a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant for the county.[3]

Ainslie's father built a house for him at Ulverston. Set in parkland, the house was named Ford Park in honour of Montague Ainslie's grandfather, the ironmaster William Ford.[3]


Ainslie, like his father before him, entered the service of the East India Company, but spent only a short time in India.[1] In 1849, he entered the family firm of Harrison Ainslie & Co, which traded as Ironmasters at Newland Furnace, Ulverston, Lancashire, and Lorn Furnace, Bonaw, Argyll, and as gunpowder manufacturers at Melfort, near Oban.[4][5] The firm, which also had shipping interests, had carried the name of Ainslie since 1785.[6] Ainslie was also a partner in the stockbroking firm of R. S. and C. J. Scrimgeour and Co., of Threadneedle Street in the City of London.[7]

Ainslie became senior partner of Harrison, Ainslie & Co. in 1863, on the death of Benson Harrison. In 1861, he was living at Ford House, Ulverston, but by 1869 he had become permanently based in London to supervise the financial affairs of the firm.[8]

In 1860, Ainslie was commissioned as a Captain of the North Lonsdale (or 37th) Lancashire Rifle Volunteers.[9] In June 1863 it was announced that "The 71st Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps having been struck out of the records of the War Office, will henceforth cease to hold any number or designation in the Volunteer Force, and her Majesty has been graciously pleased to approve of the services of Lieutenants Innes Macpherson and William James Audsley and Ensign John Milligan in that Corps being dispensed with. Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to accept the resignations of the following officers... Captain William George Ainslie in the 37th A Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps."[10]

In October 1863, he withdrew from his partnership in the family firm of Harrison, Ainslie & Co.,[5] and retired from his partnership in the stockbroking firm of Scrimgeour and Co. on 30 December 1865.[7] The withdrawal from Harrison Ainslie was temporary, as in 1879 he held 31% of the shares and drew a salary of £500pa as manager.[11] He became the first chairman of the North Lonsdale Iron and steel company when the company was established in 1873.[12]

In December 1868, the Office of the Commissioners of Patents for Inventions gave Ainslie provisional protection "To William George Ainslie, of 3, East India-avenue, Leadenhall-street, in the city of London, for the invention of "improvements in means for drying peat, peat compounds, and other materials"."[13]

In 1885, Ainslie was elected as member of parliament for North Lonsdale in Lancashire[14][15] and held the seat until 1892.[16]

At the time of his death, aged 61, in February 1893, Ainslie was senior partner in Harrison, Ainslie & Co.[1] Following his death, he was described in the London Gazette as "...formerly of Furness Lodge, East Sheen, in the county of Surrey, and late of 21 Ennismore-gardens, Kensington, in the county of Middlesex, and Grizedale, Hawkshead, in the county of Lancaster". Administration of his Will was granted to his son William Langstaff Ainslie.[17]

Wife and children[edit]

On 29 April 1858, Ainslie married Eliza Anne Sawer, daughter of Thomas Sawer of Ickham, Kent, and they had ten children, William Langstaff, Lylie Sophia, Francis Sawer, Mary Isobel, Montague, Rose, Beatrice, George Robert, Thomas Oswald, and Charles Bernard, the last of whom became the father of the Liberal politician Jack Ainslie.[18]

Ainslie's widow outlived him by six years, dying on 27 December 1899.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Obituary of William George Ainslie in The Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute vol. 43 (1893), p. 172
  2. ^ Genealogy Data, dat5 page at ainslie.org.uk
  3. ^ a b Montague Ainslie page at sirjohnbarrowmonument.co.uk
  4. ^ The Annual Register (London: James Dodsley, 1894) p. 151
  5. ^ a b London Gazette Gazette Issue 22831 published on the 11 March 1864, Page 1505
  6. ^ Harrison Ainslie’s Shipping Interests page at lindal-in-furness.co.uk
  7. ^ a b London Gazette Gazette Issue 23095 published on the 3 April 1866, Page 2231
  8. ^ Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archeological Society vol. 96, 1996 (T. Wilson and sons, 1996) p. 206
  9. ^ London Gazette Gazette Issue 22388 published on the 22 May 1860, Page 1960
  10. ^ London Gazette Gazette Issue 22748 published on the 26 June 1863, Page 3241
  11. ^ Harrison Ainslie deed of partnership, BRA1770/6/3 at Cumbria Records Office, Kendal
  12. ^ North Lonsdale ironworks Co Directors' minutes, BDB47 box 16 at Cumbria Records Office, Barrow
  13. ^ London Gazette Gazette Issue 23451 published on the 18 December 1868, Page 6271
  14. ^ London Gazette Gazette Issue 25541 published on the 18 December 1885, Page 6135
  15. ^ Robert Henry Mair, ed., Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench (Dean and Son, 1889), p. 215
  16. ^ Ncommons3 page at leighrayment.com
  17. ^ London Gazette Gazette Issue 23095 published on the 3 April 1866, Page 2250
  18. ^ Genealogy Data, dat7 page at ainslie.org.uk
  19. ^ Satterthwaite memorials page at satterthwaitepc.org.uk

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Lonsdale
Succeeded by
William Smith