Jonathan Backhouse

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Jonathan Backhouse

Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: England (Co. Durham, Darlington)
Death: Died in England (Co. Durham)
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Backhouse and Ann Backhouse
Husband of Hannah Chapman Backhouse
Father of Jonathan Backhouse; Jane Gurney Fox; Anne Hodgkin; Joseph Gurney Backhouse; Henry Gurney Backhouse and 1 other
Brother of William Backhouse; Jane Backhouse; Elizabeth Richardson; William Backhouse; Edward Backhouse and 4 others

Occupation: banker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jonathan Backhouse

Jonathan Backhouse (1779-1842) was a third generation banker from Darlington. He is known for financing the Stockton to Darlington Railway.


Backhouse was born in 19 January 1779 to Jonathan Backhouse (1747–1826) and his wife Ann (1746-1826) daughter of Edward Pease (1711–1785) of Darlington. After his father died, Backhouse took over what was to become Backhouse's Bank. In 1811 he married Hannah Chapman Gurney. Backhouse was involved with financing the Stockton and Darlington Railway. He raised £125,000. Twenty thousand pounds were from his own resources and the largest contribution of £80,000 came from his Quaker banker contacts.

A story is told that when the Earl of Darlington's plot to bankrupt the Backhouse bank was discovered then Backhouse went to London to obtain gold to provide additional and urgent collateral. The plot was due to the Earl's anger that the new railway, financed by Backhouses's bank was causing problems with the Earl's fox hunting. Backhouse was racing back to Darlington when he lost a wheel. It is said that he was able to continue the journey by moving the gold so that the chaise was still balanced and he was able to complete the journey with a wheel still missing.

Backhouse gave up banking in 1833 in order that he could concentrate on his Quaker ministry.

In 1840, Backhouse is one of the leading people at the World Anti-Slavery Convention organised by Joseph Sturge and the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society in 1840. Backhouse is one the larger figures on the left of the painting. He is shown supporting the chair of the star guest and speaker, Thomas Clarkson.

Backhouse had two daughters and four sons including Edmund Backhouse who took over the banking firm and was also an M.P.

Other References

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Jonathan Backhouse's Timeline

January 19, 1779
England (Co. Durham, Darlington)
September 5, 1812
Age 33
England (Co. Durham, Darlington)
May 21, 1814
Age 35
Darlington, Durham, , England
Age 35
England (Yorks, Richmond)
September 19, 1817
Age 38
England (Norfolk, Norwich)
July 15, 1819
Age 40
England (Co. Durham, Darlington)
November 28, 1824
Age 45
Darlington, County Durham, England UK
Age 61
Darlington, Durham, England
October 7, 1842
Age 63
England (Co. Durham)