Ann Alder Samuel Drewry Mary Ann Stewart Laurentia Buschman William Tillotson Drewry Charles Stewart Drewry Edith Stewart Drewry Charles Stewart Drewry Georgina Drewry Laurentia Drewry Emily Drewry Nathaniel Samuel Maria William T Henry R Louisa Thomas Mini tree diagram

Charles Stewart Drewry

Charles' signature

16th Sep 1805 - 3rd Sep 1881

Life History

16th Sep 1805

Born in Harlesden, Middlesex.

28th Nov 1805

Christened in St Marylebone.

11th Nov 1835

Married Laurentia Buschman in St Pancras Old Church.


Birth of son William Tillotson Drewry in Marylebone, Middlesex.

Dec 1838

Birth of son Charles Stewart Drewry.

12th Jan 1841

Birth of daughter Edith Stewart Drewry in 11, Cambridge St., Hyde Park, London.

28th Jan 1841

Death of son Charles Stewart Drewry in 11, Cambridge Street, Hyde Park, London.

7th Dec 1842

Birth of son Charles Stewart Drewry in Notting Hill.

24th Nov 1845

Birth of daughter Georgina Drewry in London, Middlesex.


Birth of daughter Laurentia Drewry in London, Middlesex.


Birth of daughter Emily Drewry in London, Middlesex.

Mar 1875

Death of Laurentia Buschman in Kensington.

3rd Sep 1881

Died in 1, Westbury Terrace, Paddington.


In 1805, a Baptism (& birth) Record

Charles Stewart Drewry baptism

multimedia/CSDInstEng1927.jpgIn 1827 Charles was a member of the Institute of Engineering.

In 1835, a Marriage was nnouncemed in a number of journals and newspapers:


In 1836 an 'Appendix' showing office bearers, members, etc., in 'Transactions', lists amongst the Associates: Charles Drewry of Howland St, Fitzroy Square.
A similar entry is in 'Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers' in 1842.

Charles Stewart Drewry seems to have been an extremely able man, working as an engineering draughtsman in his early twenties on the plans for Clifton Suspension Bridge and then in his forties, becoming a barrister at 77, Chancery Lane, London.

Anecdotally, within the family, Charles is reputed to have had something to do with Robert Peel in organising the English police force (created in 1829).

In 1841 Charles is shown as barrister on birth certificate of his daughter Edith, living at 11, Cambridge Street, Hyde Park. ('Cambridge Street, Connaught Square' in the newapaper report of CSD junior.)

CSD_Biography_sm.jpg In 'A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland',
(ISBN 072772939X) by A. W. Skempton,

Mike Chrimes says that: Charles
"was the author of the first textbook in the English language on suspension bridges, and indeed the only textbook devoted to the subject to be produced in the British Isles before the Second World War."
Chrimes goes on to say:
"It is unclear what prompted Drewry's work on suspension bridges. When he joined the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Associate in 1827 he was described as an engineering draughtsman and as such he helped Brown with his plans for Clifton Suspension Bridge in 1829 and dedicated his book to him.
He had been educated at the Brussels Lycée and had the education and intellectual capacity to come to terms with the mathematics involved.
Soon after writing his work he must have begun legal training, being enrolled at the Inner Temple on 10th June 1836 . He resigned from the Institution in 1842, presumably because of his legal career.

The dates could suggest that Charles' early interest in engineering may be due to his (admired/beloved) eldest brother's career in the Madras Engineers, and that his change of career is related to his brother's death. Whatever the reasons, it does appear that Charles was a most able man who was successful and almost certainly influential and respected in two completely separate careers. On the other hand it seems clear that his interest in engineering was not diminished by his new career.

Interesting! "In the Victorian age, phrenology as a psychology was taken seriously and permeated the literature and novels of the day." (Wikipedia)

Charles, as an engineer, apparently became interested and made a contribution, which was warmly received if a little too complex for most phrenologists to understand.

(See the original letter, 1833.)

Reading it now, Charles' contribution looks almost tongue-in-cheek.

In 1845, in the 'Post Office Directory of London and Birmingham with Warwickshire - Part 2', Charles Stewart Drewry is a Barrister and his address is: 5, New Square, Lincoln's Inn.

In the 1851 census at 4, Park Road, Kensington:

Drewry, Charles S Head Mar. 45 Barrister b. Willesden, Middlesex
Drewry, Laurentia Wife Mar. 43 b. West Indies, Surinam
Drewry, William T Son Unm. 14 Scholar b. St Pancras, Middlesex
Drewry, Edith Daughter 10 Scholar b. Paddington, Middlesex
Drewry, Charles S Son 8 Scholar b. Notting Hill, Middlesex
Drewry, Georgiana Daughter 6 At Home b. Notting Hill, Middlesex
Drewry, Laurentia Daughter 4 At Home b. Notting Hill, Middlesex
Drewry, Emily Daughter 2 At Home b. Notting Hill, Middlesex
Buschman, Amelia Sister to Wife Unm. 48 None b. Surinam, West Indies
Wyatt, Mary Unm. 25 Servant b. Tring, Hertfordshire
Holland, Margaret Unm. 25 Servant b. Middlesex
Holland, Ellen Unm. 23 Servant b. Middlesex

1857 Court Guide

In the 1861 census at 12, Uxbridge Road, Ealing, and consists of:

Drewry, Charles S Head Mar.55 Chancery Barrister
In Actual Practice
b. Willesden, Middlesex
Drewry, LaurentiaWife Mar. 53 b. Surinam, Dutch Guiana
British Subject
Drewry, Edith Daur Unm. 20 Scholar Private Education b. London, Middlesex
Drewry, Georgina Daur Unm. 16 Scholar Private Education b. Kensington, Middlesex
Drewry, Laurentius Daur Unm. 14 Scholar Private Education b. Kensington, Middlesex
Drewry, Emily Daur Unm. 12 Scholar Private Education b. Kensington, Middlesex

In the 1871 census at 16, Cottage Road, Paddington:

Charles S Drewry65Barrister
Laurentia Drewry63
William T Drewry34 Clerk
Edith Drewry30 Author
Georgina Drewry26 Reader at Newspaper Office
Laurentia Drewry24 ditto
Emily Drewry22 Pianist

In 1873 the Electoral Registers have Charles Stewart Drewry at 16, Cottage Road in the Borough of Westminster.
In 1875 he is registered at 15 and 16 Cottage Road, described as '2 dwelling houses in succession'.
In 1876 and 1877 Charles is registered at 15 Cottage Road.

In 1878 the Electoral Registers have Charles Stewart Drewry at 2, Cromwell Terrace in the Borough of Westminster, and
In 1880 at 1, Westbury Terrace.

In the 1881 census at 1, Westbury Terrace, Paddington

Charles S Drewry75a widower and a 'Barrister Not Actually Practicing'
Edith S. Drewry40 Novelist & Press Writer
Georgina Drewry36 Novelist & Press Writer Author Corrector Of Press
Laurentia Drewry 34 Author Corrector Of Press
Amy Drewry32 Pianist Professor Of Music (Emily has changed her name!)

Charles died that year.He was 76. (See below)

Suspension Bridges

Charles was a contemorary of I. K. Brunel and may very well have worked with him. He was an enterprising, inventive and respected engineer.

In the 1830's Charles developed and tested a design for a suspension bridge cable made from wooden links. ('Constructing a Bridge' By Eda Kranakis.)

Memoir on Bridges In 1832, publication of

'A Memoir on Suspension Bridges, Comprising the History of Their Origin and Progress, and of Their Application to Civil and Military Purposes' (Charles Stewart Drewry, 1832).

"The first comprehensive work on suspension bridges in English and one of the best sources on the early history of this type of structure. The major bridges built or projected, both in Britain and abroad, are described in detail from information supplied directly to Drewry from the engineers involved (he acknowledges Brown, Tierney Clark and I.K.Brunel)"

Drawing from Charles' book This book on bridges remained an engineering textbook well into the twentieth century.

Another piece of engineering writing, found on the Web (Institution of Civil Engineers: File ref. O.C/136 - date: 1830?:

'Account of a wire suspension bridge at Geneva' Author: Drewry, C.S.

Engineering and Railways

1847 advertisement in 'Iron' To the right is an advertisement found in the 'Iron' weekly illustrated journal in 1847.
The advertisement is very interesting in that it makes a link between Charles's engineering and legal careers - particularly in the area of development of Railway systems. His son Charles and his grandson James were to be eminent engineers and inventors of rail cars.

Charles is retained as standing counsel for the Patent Metal-Cored Railway Sleeper Company. With capital of £100,000, this was not a small concern - perhaps the equivalent of more than £10 million today (2013).

It is also interesting to note that, the following year, Charles's brother-in-law John Buschman is recorded as Secretary to this company, in an advertisement regarding a 'Special General Maeeting' - probably to wind up the company.

SteelSleepers_sm.jpg In 'The Railways of England'(1899), W.M. Acworth notes that:

"The adoption of steel sleepers might well postpone the destruction of the American forests for another generation"

but that while a number of companies have experimented with them in England, they have reverted to wood.
Acworth calculated that the replacement of sleepers in Great Britain would require more than 4,000,000 tons of steel not including fittings.

So the company was not successful. It was an idea ahead of its time.
In the 21st century: " Modern steel ties handle heavy loads, have a proven record of performance in signalized track, and handle adverse track conditions. Of high importance to railroad companies is the fact that steel ties are more economical to install in new construction than creosote-treated wood ties and concrete ties." (Wikipedia)

The Provisional Directors, John Fulford Owen, Christopher R. Read and Henry Wrench, were probably backers and investors.

JohnBraithwaite.jpg The Provisional Director, John Braithwaite, Esq., C.E. was not just a civil engineer. He was very much into railways – and other things:

In 1820, Braithwaite ventilated the House of Lords by means of air-pumps.

In 1822, he created the 'Steam donkey', or 'donkey engine' - a steam-powered winch widely used at that time in logging operations.

In 1829, Braithwaite and John Ericsson built the engine 'The Novelty' and entered it in the Rainhill Trials. The Novelty was the first engine to cover a mile within a minute (fifty-six seconds - i.e. achieving 60 mph). It was a crowd favourite but eventually had to drop out (the last to do so) with a damaged pipe, ceding victory to Stephenson's Rocket

From 1836 to 1843, Braithwaite was engineer-in-chief to the Eastern Counties Railway

In 1846, he was on the continent surveying for railway lines in France

He was joint founder of the Railway Times, and much more – see: Wikipedia

A strange coincidence in respect of the family and John Braithwaite is that: " his father developed a profitable business raising wrecks and 1806/1807 [aged about 9 years old] he accompanied his father securing £130,000 of coins as well as the general cargo of the East Indiaman Earl of Abergavenny. "

[Cosmas Henry Stewart (jnr) died in the wreck; Cosmas Henry (snr) was purser of the Earl of Abergavenny.]

CS_EquityPleading.jpg Some of Charles Stewart's 'Law' writings

A treatise on the law and practice of injunctions; London : S. Sweet, 1841.

The law and practice of injunctions with a supplement containing the cases decided since 1841 ; London : S. Sweet, 1849.

Supplement to the law and practice of injunctions containing the cases decided since 1841 ; Philadelphia : T. & J.W. Johnson, 1854.

The new practice of the Court of Chancery; London : Law Times Office, 1856.

A concise treatise on the principles of equity pleading with precedents; London : Butterworths, 1858.

Reports of cases decided in the High court of chancery, in 1850 [and 1852] by the Right Hon. Lord Cranworth [and Sir Richard Torin Kindersley.]; By Nicholas Simons [with some cases reported by C. Stewart Drewry].

Reports of cases decided in the High Court of Chancery, in 1852 to [1859] by Sir Richard Torin Kindersley, vice-chancellor.; By Charles Stewart Drewry

Reports of cases decided in the High Court of Chancery, 1859 to [1865] by Sir Richard Torin Kindersley, vice-chancellor.; By C. Stewart Drewry and J. Jackson Smale

The Married Women's Property Act
In 1875 Charles contributed 'The Married Women's Property Act ' to The Victoria Magazine (volume 24) In the same volume are stories contributed by Charles' daughters Edith and Georgina

The law of trade marks ; London : Knight, 1878



1833, testifying in respect of Catherine Stewart's Will, Charles gives the address of his office: 77, Chancery Lane.

1835, Charles S Drewry of Howland Street marries Laurentia.

Eleven years earlier, in the Marriage Settlement of Sense Drewry, Charles's step-brothers Samuel and Henry Runciman and his step-sister Louisa are recorded as living in Howland St, Fitzroy Square. It seems likely that this was Charles' home as well.)

1836, in Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 1, 'List of Members': Drewry, Charles, Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, London.

1837, February: Howland Street, when William Tillotson was born.

1839, 1941, January: 11, Cambridge St., Hyde Park, when Charles Stewart and Edith were born (and Charles Stewart died).

1841, 1843, 1845: Park Street/Park Road, Notting Hill

when Edith is baptized: Park Street,
when the second Charles Stewart is baptized: 4, Park Street
when Georgina is baptized: 4, Park Road.
(In 1842: Mary Ann, Charles' mother, is living at 4, Park Street. See Sophia Runciman's will.)
(In 1843: Majorin Elizabeth - Laurentia's mother - dies in 2, Park St.)

1847, 1849: In the Baptism records of Laurentia and Emily the family address is given as 'Clarendon Road'. At least one article on the Web suggests that Park Street becomes Clarendon Road. However:

1851: 4, Park Road, Notting Hill. (Census)

1861: 12, Uxbridge Road, Ealing. (Census)

1871: at 16, Cottage Road, (St. Paul) Paddington. (Census) Cottage Road no longer exists.

1881 at 1, Westbury Terrace, (St. Paul), Paddington. (Census) Westbury Terrace no longer exists.

Charles's Death Charles_S_Drewry_accidental_death.jpg

From the London Daily News on the 5th October, 1881.

"Fatal Accident to a Barrister. - An inquiry was held yesterday by Dr. Danford Thomas, Coroner for Central Middlesex, at No. 1, Westbury Terrace, Harrow Road, respecting the death of Mr Charles Stuart Drewry, aged 76, of the above address, and the Temple, barrister-at-law, who died on Friday last from the effects of a fall.

" The evidence of Miss Edith Stuart Drewry was to the effect that her father, who had lately become very infirm, did not go to Chambers on Wednesday last. She never allowed him to go by himself. In the afternoon he left the dining room to go upstairs, and had hardly reached the top stair when he fell suddenly backward. On picking him up she found him quite insensible.

"Dr. Young, of 30 Westbourne Square attended deceased on the day of the accident, and found he was suffering from compression of the brain, from which he never recovered. He had attended for some time past and noticed there was softening of the brain gradually coming on. He had no doubt that at the timeof the accident he was seized with a fainting fit.

"The jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental death'."

From freeBMD

Deaths Dec 1881 Kensington 1a 3 - Drewry Charles Stewart 76

Also found:

Deaths Jun 1888 - Drewry William 77 W. Ham 4a 33 (Would have been born abt. 1811, 5 years after Charles.)

Deaths Mar 1898 - Drewry William 81 Kensington 1a 71
This William Drewry would have been born abt.1817 - some 11 years after Charles.

Deaths Dec 1907 - Elizabeth Drewry 80 - Marylebone 1a 352 (born abt. 1827)

Marriage Date found in Pallot's Marriage Index via (Confirmed by Mike Chrimes in  'A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers'.)

A Stuart Drewry married Mary Cundell, 29 Sept. 1803, St. George the Martyr, Southwark, Surrey, England.
(Found in - International Genealogical Index) Note that Edith and Laurentia are living in this parish in the 1901 census.