Pease, Henry (1807-1881) Quaker Railway Promoter MP 1807 - 1881

Edward Pease's fifth son, Henry Pease a Quaker railway company promoter, was born at Darlington on 4 May 1807. He also entered with enthusiasm into the railway projects of his father. His principal achievement was the opening in 1861 of the line across Stainmoor, called ‘the backbone of England’, the summit of which was 1374 feet above sea level. It joined at Tebay the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), and was soon extended at its eastern limit to Saltburn-on-Sea.

Henry Pease was a director of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and was responsible for the foundation of the seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. He purchased the Pierremont house in Darlington in 1845, moving in 1846. The Pease family also rented the Stanhope Castle, Durham. Henry Pease was elected in 1857 as MP for South Durham and held the seat until 1865.

In January 1854 Pease was deputed by the meeting for sufferings, held on the 17th of that month, to accompany Joseph Sturge and Robert Charleton as a deputation from the Society of Friends to Russia. On 10 February they were received by the emperor Nicholas, and presented him with a powerful address, urging him to abstain from the then imminent Crimean War. He received them politely, but their efforts were unavailing, and Alexander William Kinglake ridiculed their action in his history of the campaign, Invasion of the Crimea (1863). Pease was MP for South Durham from 1857 to 1865. In 1867 he visited Napoleon III with a deputation from the Peace Society, but their request for permission to hold a peace congress during the Universal Exhibition in Paris was rejected.

Henry Pease married, on 25 February 1835, Anna, only daughter of Richard Fell of Uxbridge, who died on 27 October 1839, leaving a son, Henry Fell Pease, MP from 1885 for the Cleveland division of Yorkshire; second, on 19 January 1859, he married Mary, daughter of Samuel Lloyd of Wednesbury, with whom he had three sons and two daughters.

Henry Pease was chairman of the first Darlington school board in 1871, in 1867 the first mayor of the town, and president of the Peace Society from 1872. In the early 1860s, when negotiations were in hand for a takeover of the Stockton and Darlington Railway by the North Eastern Railway Company (NER), Pease declared his opposition to the merger, in spite of the generous terms on offer to his family as leading shareholders in the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Following the takeover, however, Pease's sensibilities were overcome by his appointment as vice-chairman of the NER board. It was in that capacity that he presided over the railway jubilee held at Darlington on 27 September 1875, at which eighty British and thirty foreign railways were represented. He was always a prominent member of the Religious Society of Friends. He died at 23 Finsbury Square, London, while attending the yearly meeting, on 30 May 1881, and was buried in the Quaker burial-ground at Darlington on 2 June.