Portrait of Thomas  Skinner

Name: Thomas Skinner

Burial Number: 1243

Gender: Male

Occupation: Publisher and Journalist

Distinction: Financial Entrepreneur

Born: 23/11/1840

Died: 11/05/1926

Buried: 15/05/1926

Story

 

Heene Hallmark

Sir Thomas Skinner 1840 – 1926

Financial Entrepreneur

 

Thomas was born in Bristol, the son of James and Eliza. He learned his trade as a printer and compositor with his uncle John Moss. He married Sarah Margaret Hewitt at Holy Trinity Church, Islington on 17th March 1866. The couple had eight children, four boys and four girls. In 1875, Thomas published “The Stock Exchange Yearbook” followed later by “The Directory of Directors” and “London Banks” His knowledge of the London financial markets enabled him to assist those men who were looking for finance to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. Thomas’s interest in Canada grew and in 1883 he published “The Canadian Gazette”. In 1889, he was appointed to the board of the Canadian Pacific Railway and a year later to the committee of The Hudson’s Bay Company, later becoming its chairman. Sarah died on 6th February 1902. The following year, Thomas married Martha Lauretta Williamson, a widow from New York. The wedding took place at Christ Church, Down Street, Westminster on 26th May. Thomas received a knighthood on 9th February 1912. By 1914, he was living at “The Gables” in Boundary Road, Worthing. Martha died in London on 31st January 1924. Thomas died at his London home in Pont Street on 11 May 1926. Probate was granted on 10th August to Sir Thomas Hewitt Skinner baronet, Charles Henry Skinner member of the Stock Exchange, Elsie Winifred Berry widow and William Henry Quarrell solicitor. Effects £321717 16s 6d (approx £13.2 million in 2020).

For further details of the career of Sir Thomas, please see his obituary.

Researcher: Carol Sullivan

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Thomas  Skinner

Location in Cemetery

Area: NES Row: 6 Plot: 10

Exact Location (what3words): slick.craft.pots

Ashes or Urn: Unknown

Headstone

Description:

No description of the headstone has been added.

Inscription:

In loving memory of Sarah Margaret Skinner the beloved wife of Thomas Skinner J.P. of London and Worthing, born August 30th 1845 died February 6th 1902 and of Sir Thomas Skinner Bart. Born November 23rd 1840 died May 11th 1926. List confirms and adds Ernest Skinner 1919

Further Information

Birth

Name: Thomas Pike Skinner

Gender: Male

Born: 23/11/1840

Town: Bristol

County: Gloucestershire

Country: England

Marriage

Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 17/3/1866

Spouse First Name: Sarah

Spouse Second Name: Margaret

Spouse Last Name: Hewitt

Town of Marriage: Islington

County of Marriage: London

Country of Marriage: England

Marriage Date: 26/5/1903

Spouse First Name: Martha

Spouse Second Name: Lauretta

Spouse Last Name: Williamson

Town of Marriage: Westminster

County of Marriage: London

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 11/05/1926

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: 22

Address line 2: Pont Street

Town: Chelsea

County: London

Country: England

Obituary

Worthing Herald 22 May 1926

Sir Thomas Pike Skinner Bart.

The Last Survivor of a Remarkable Band of Men

More extended notice of the remarkable career of the late Sir Thomas Skinner Bart, whose death recorded in last Saturday’s Worthing Herald will be read with interest by Worthing residents among whom he had lived for a long time. Sir Thomas Skinner was the last survivor of the remarkable band of men who were mainly responsible for the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway system and the modern Canada of which it has become the core. The original projectors of the system in the early eighties, George Stephen (afterwards Lord Mount-Stephen), Donald A Smith (afterwards Lord Strathcona), R B Angus, W C Van Horne and others found it beyond their powers to inspire the London market with their own confidence in a new and greater Canada stretching from sea to sea. Were not certain Canadian politicians declaring from their places in the Canadian Parliament that the C.P.A. would never earn enough to pay for its own axle grease? Was the then existing Grand Trunk Railway such a bonanza for British investors that more British money could be expected to go in like direction? In the task of dispelling British ignorance and indifference and securing hearty British co-operation no man was able over a long series of years to wield forceful and beneficent influence over Canada’s behalf than Thomas Skinner. He cared nothing for the arts of self-advertisement; his influence was the outcome of high intelligence, cool judgement and immovable integrity. Sir Thomas Skinner’s career naturally falls into two parts. When as a young man of twenty or so he came to London in the early sixties from his native city of Bristol, he found that the Limited Liability Act of 1862 had started joint-stock company enterprise upon its eventful career. Speculation, inflation and over-trading had become rampant, and their inevitable sequel was panic and the “Black Friday” of 1886. This gave the journalist his chance, and young Skinner soon earned a reputation for exceptional insight and integrity on the financial side of the London and provincial press. His ideas took permanent literary form in 1875 in the issue of the now world famous “Stock Exchange Yearbook” which has of late years taken to itself a weekly newspaper supplement in the form of the Stock Exchange Gazette. Two kindred enterprises followed in 1880, “The Directory of Directors” and “The London Banks”.

It was at this time that Canada was starting her new national career. In conjunction with Canadian ministers, of whom Sir John Macdonald and Sir Charles Tupper were foremost, a group of daring Canadian men of affairs set themselves to what proved to be the final and successful effort to fulfil an essential condition of the Federal compact, the construction of a railway to the Pacific coast. Mr Stephen as president of the new concern, turned to Mr Skinner as a guide for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the world of London finance, and thenceforward the upbuilding of Canada became his life’s concern. The “Canadian Gazette” which he started in 1883, was an essential part of his campaign of enlightenment in this country. In these formative years for Canada, Mr Skinner led the way in a new conception for Englishmen in what Canada was and what her future must be as a partner in a nation within an Empire. His first financial triumph was the issue of £3 million in 5 per cent debentures by the House of Baring in July 1885. This issue was soon followed by a larger one, and from that time forward the reception of C.P.A. securities on the London market was assured. Acting on the maxim that in entering into a transaction with anybody you should proceed so as to make him anxious to deal with you again, he maintained harmonious relations between the railway and what was, until the dislocation of the exchanges as a result of the Great War, the only market it cared for. He was appointed a director of the Canadian Pacific in 1880 and remained on the board to the end of his days, sole survivor of those who were his first colleagues. Associated enterprises soon claimed his services as director. He was for nearly forty years a director of the Hudson’s Bay Company, finally succeeding Lord Strathcona as Governor. For years he was a member of the London Committee of the Bank of Montreal. He was a director of the Laurentide Company, one of the pioneer power, pulp and paper companies of Canada. These as well as membership of the Colonisation Board, having for its objects assisting colonisation in Canada from the congested districts in the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland and of the Council of the Imperial Institute, led to the offer of a baronetcy in 1912. Sir Thomas was a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and resided at 22 Pont Street SW and “The Gables” Worthing. He was twice married:- firstly in 1866 to Sara Margaret who died in 1902, leaving 4 sons and 4 daughters, of whom all but one son and one daughter survive; and secondly to Martha Laurette, widow of Mr C J Williamson of New York, and she died in January 1924. The new baronet  Sir Thomas Hewitt Skinner is the eldest son of the late Sir Thomas and is 51 years of age. he has two sons and two daughters.

The Funeral

The funeral service which was attended only by members of the family and a few intimate friends, took place at St Botolph’s Church, Worthing on Saturday, the interment following in Heene Cemetery. The Rev. J P Fallowes (rector) officiated and was assisted by rev. L S Blenkins (curate). The family mourners included three daughters and two sons of the late baronet, Mr palmer (private secretary), and a number of friends, among whom were Mr W Sams JP, Mrs Fallowes (wife of the rector), the Rev. J Puttick, Mr Cory, Mr J B Saunders, and Mr A Hawthorn. Floral tributes were sent by :- Hewitt and Nellie; Gordon and Irene; Stanley and Vivien; Millie, Dolly and James; Elsie;  Muriel, Leslie and Sheila; Lorna; Violet and Charlie; John and Marjorie; Kenneth and Duncan; Sir Woodman and Lady Burbidge. Wreaths were also sent by the maids and gardeners at “The Gables”, the staff at 22 Pont Street and the staff of Thomas Skinner and Co.

 

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £321717 16 s 6 d

Current value of effects: £13200000.00

Census Information

1841

Lower Arcade, St James, Bristol.

James aged 35. Eliza aged 37. Thomas aged 5 months. Eliza aged 7. Fanny aged 5.

1861

5 Berkeley Place, Clifton, Bristol.

Thomas P aged 20, printer, compositor. George W aged 18, clerk. Living with their uncle John B Moss, printer, compositor.

1871

Villa, Carleton Road, Islington.

Thomas P aged 30, newspaper printer. Sarah M aged 25. Margaret M aged 3. Plus 2 servants.

1881

Avenue House, Avenue Road, Hornsey.

Thomas aged 41, journalist. Sarah Margaret aged 35. Lynette aged 7. Thomas H aged 5. Ernest aged 7 months. Plus 3 servants.

1891

Westcliff Hotel, Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent.

Thomas aged 50, publisher. Sarah M aged 45.

1901

In Canada

1911

22 Pont Street, Chelsea.

Thomas aged 70, publisher. Plus 7 servants.

Miscellaneous Information