Bidder, George Parker 1836 - 1896

English; British

(1836-1896) Barrister and Businessman

George Parker Bidder, born on the 18th August 1836 in London, was the eldest son of George Parker Bidder (1806-1878) an engineer and calculating prodigy. He was educated first at King’s College School and at the University of Edinburgh, where he gained distinction in the mathematical classes under the late Professor Kelland. Passing to Trinity College, Cambridge, he obtained a scholarship there, and in 1858 graduated as seventh wrangler.

Two years afterwards he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn and joined the Home Circuit, his success as a Junior being marked and rapid. One of his greatest triumphs was in 'The Metropolitan Board of Works v. The Millwall Dock Company' (1876), a case which turned on the laws of deposit and silting in rivers; better known is his masterly and effective opposition for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board against the Manchester Ship Canal, based mainly on the theory of the formation and erosion of banks in an estuary. In the inquiry into the collapse of the Tay Bridge he successfully defended the reputation of its engineer, the case involving the closest study of every technical detail.

Bidder took a prominent part (as Chairman of the Cannock Chase Colliery Co) in the great coal strike of 1893, and was a member of the body of coal-owners which, under Lord Rosebery’s presidency, met the representatives of the collier. He was an Associate of the Surveyors’ Institution and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Bidder died at Queen Anne’s Mansions, Westminster, on the 1st of February 1896, quite unexpectedly, from the effects of a street accident in Manchester three weeks previously.