Online Encyclopedia

SIR JOHN PENDER (1816—1896)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 87 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR JOHN PENDER (1816—1896), British cable pioneer, was born in the Vale of Leven, Scotland, on the loth of September 1816, and after attending school in Glasgow became a successful merchant in textile fabrics in that city and in Manchester. His name is chiefly known in connexion with submarine cables, of which on the commercial side he was an important promoter. He was one of the 3.15 contributors who each risked a thousand pounds in the Transatlantic Cable in 1857, and when the Atlantic Telegraph Company was ruined by the loss of the 1865 cable he formed the Anglo-American Telegraph Company to continue the work, but it was not till he had given his personal guarantee for a quarter of a million pounds that the makers would under-take the manufacture of a new cable. But in the end he was justified, and telegraphic communication with America became a commercial success. Subsequently he fostered cable enter-prise in all parts of the world, and at the time of his death, which occurred at Footscray Place, Kent, on the 7th of July 1-896, he controlled companies having a capital of 15 millions sterling and owning 73,640 nautical miles of cables. He represented Wick Burghs in parliament from 1872 to 1885 and from 1892 to 1896. He was made a K.C.M.G. in 1888 and was promoted in 1892 to be G.C.M.G. His eldest son James (b. 1841), who was M.P. for Mid Northamptonshire in 1895—1900, was created a baronet in 1897; and his third son, John Denison (b. 1855), was created a K.C.M.G. in 1901.
End of Article: SIR JOHN PENDER (1816—1896)

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