Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Thomas Smith Wharrie |
|Designation: ||Engineer |
|Born: ||30 August 1828 |
|Died: ||16 January 1917 |
|Bio Notes: ||Thomas Wharrie was born 30 August 1828 at Symington, Ayrshire, the third son of the Rev Thomas Smith Wharrie and his wife Eliza, daughter of Rev John Fraser of Liberton. He would appear to have trained as both surveyor and engineer. He was apprenticed to a Mr Macfarlane who was the estate factor for the Hafton feuing estate in and near Dunoon. |
In 1853 Wharrie formed a partnership with William H Steel as Wharrie & Steel, Land Surveyors, though this only survived for two years being dissolved on 3 November 1855. In or about the following year he was in partnership with John Dennison as Wharrie & Dennison, Mining Engineers and Surveyors. Again this partnership was short-lived and was dissolved on 1st May 1857. From 1857 or 1858 Wharrie was in partnership with James Smith as Smith & Wharrie. During this period Wharrie acted as factor for the Hafton estate and for Lamont of Knockdow which was adjacent to Hafton. This continued until the 1870s. In 1871 Wharrie (his name given in the court report "Thomas Smith Wharry") gave evidence in the important case Mackintosh v. Moir, IX Macpherson 514, 517 and 582. He had carried out work for Hunter of Hafton (indeed, Junior Counsel in the case was William Frederick Hunter who was himself Hunter of Hafton) and for Lamont of Knockdow. He stated that he had investigated the boundaries for these two landowners for 15 years.
Smith died in or shortly before April 1874 and two years later Wharrie joined Francis Steel Colledge (who was prehaps related to Wharrie's earlier partner William H Steel) and James Brand in partnership as Wharrie, Colledge & Brand, Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers. They were factors to Pollok and other west of Scotland estates, undertaking associated civil engineering and architectural work; although they did not design the original layout, they were responsible for the feuing of Pollok, Pollokshields and parts of Govan. Wharrie was Burgh Surveyor Hillhead from its creation as a Police Burgh in 1869 until its amalgamation with Glasgow 1891.
In 1864 Wharrie married Margaret Victoire, the daughter of Andrew Houston, Governor of Grenada, West Indies. She died on 13 March 1895.
Thomas Wharrie joined the Prudential Assurance Company as Auditor in 1884 possibly through the influence of his uncle, Dr Patrick Fraser. Dr Fraser was one of the company’s first medical officers and a founding director of Prudential from 1848 to 1896. Thomas Wharrie acted as Auditor from 1884 until 1893 when he became a director of the Prudential, remaining so for nearly twenty-four years until his death in 1917. He was also a Director British Mutual Banking Company Limited and a JP in London. From 1893 the Wharries appear to have spent most of their time in London, living at 9 Eaton Avenue.
Many of the early directors of the Prudential were related by family and marriage ties and Thomas Wharrie was to prove no exception. On 5 September 1899, he married Mary Woodgate Harben, (1847-1937) daughter of Sir Henry Harben; he was over seventy at the time and she some twenty years his junior. It has been suggested that her father, Sir Henry, only consented to the marriage on condition that Mary continue to keep house for him at Warnham Lodge, a role which had begun on the death of her mother in 1883 and had not ceased on Sir Henry’s own re-marriage (to the daughter of another director) in 1890. Thomas Wharrie appears to have had no difficulty with this arrangement, amusing himself with the running of the “excellent pheasant and partridge shooting on the estate.” Sir Henry Harben, (1823-1911) had been a pioneer in the field of Industrial Assurance, largely responsible for the Prudential’s phenomenal expansion during the latter years of the nineteenth century, amassing a considerable personal fortune in the process.
Wharrie Colledge & Brand was dissolved on 30 April 1897, after which it continued as Wharrie & Colledge. James Brand established a new office on his own at 65 Bath Street, Glasgow. It is unclear how much involvement Wharrie had after 1893 as from that time he was living in London. By 1901 Wharrie had completely retired. Colledge acquired the whole firm and ran it on his own at 103 Bath Street from 1903 but the firm title was retained until 1949.
Wharrie died on 16 January 1917 at Warnham Lodge near Horsham. He left £294,852, net personalty £241,748. Mary Woodgate Wharrie, who inherited much of her father’s wealth and who died in 1937, would leave approximately £1,500,000.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this engineer:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|109, Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business|| || ||Check this address|
|103, Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1870s||1897|| |
|156, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1876 *|| || |
|Sachel Court, Alford, Billinghurst , Sussex, England||Private||1890s|| || |
|10, Eton Avenue , Hampstead , London, England||Private||1893||1917|| |
|142, Holborn Bars, London, England||Business||1893||1917|| |
|Warnham Lodge, Horsham, Surrey, England||Private||1899|| ||Belonged to Wharrie's second wife's father. |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this engineer:|
|Crisp, Frederick Arthur (ed.)||1921||Visitation of England and Wales|| ||London||p174|
|Dennett, Laurie||1998||A Sense of Security: 150 years of the Prudential|| || ||pp161-2 and 212|
|Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (ed.) ||1929||Armorial Families: a Directory of Gentlemen of Coat-Armour|| || ||p2070|
|Prudential plc|| ||Prudential plc: 160 years old and still planning for the Future|| || || |
|Scotlands People Website|| ||Wills & Testaments|| || ||Glasgow Sheriff Court Wills Sc36/51/112 and Inventories Sc36/48/151|
|The following periodicals contain references to this engineer:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Building News||2 May 1917|| || ||p392|
|Edinburgh Gazette||9 November 1855|| || ||p1384|
|Edinburgh Gazette||8 May 1857|| || ||p428|
|Edinburgh Gazette||1 June 1897|| || ||p518|
|Edinburgh Gazette||27 April 1917|| || ||p804|
|The Times||18 January 1917|| || ||p1 Deaths|
|The following archives hold material relating to this engineer:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of Neil Darlington||Information sent via DSA website|| ||Sent November 2009|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Research by Iain Paterson|