Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Green, Richard

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GREEN, RICHARD (1803–1863), shipowner and philanthropist, born at Blackwall in December 1803, was the son of George Green, by his first marriage with Miss Perry, daughter of a shipbuilder of repute at Blackwall. On the introduction of the elder Green into Perry's business, he became a shipowner, and fitted out a number of vessels in the whaling trade, thus laying the foundation of the house which at the time of his son's admission to the firm was styled Green, Wigram, & Green. Increasing their operations the partners took advantage of the East India Company's charter to build East Indiamen, for which they became well known. On the death of the head of the firm and the consequent dissolution of partnership, Richard Green continued the business in conjunction with his then surviving brother Henry. Green increased the number of vessels until the discovery of gold in Australia, when he and his brother launched a large number of ships for this voyage also. To this service they were about to add another to China, one vessel having made the voyage just before Green's death, and a second being then near completion. Green devoted much care to the improvement of the mercantile marine. The establishment of the Sailors' Home was one of his earliest efforts. In connection with it he provided a course of instruction in navigation for officers and men. He was the principal supporter of schools at Poplar, at which two thousand children were taught and partly clothed. To the Merchant Seamen's Orphan Asylum, the Dreadnought Hospital, the Poplar Hospital, and many other charities he was a great benefactor. Green was affectionately regarded in East London. He warmly interested himself in the naval reserve, and was chairman of the committee and a chief mover in the employment of the Thames Marine Officers' Training Ship. His favourite saying was that 'he had no time to hesitate,' and he was noteworthy for his unfailing promptitude, quick decision, clear judgment, and great business acumen. He died near Regent's Park on 17 Jan. 1863, and his funeral at Trinity Chapel, Poplar (founded by his father), was attended by an immense concourse. Green left by his will a large number of charitable bequests, including a free gift of the building and a perpetual endowment of his Sailors' Home at Poplar.

[Gent. Mag. 1863, i. 262; Illustrated London News memoir; Great Industries of Great Britain.]

J. B-y.