The son of a bricklayer and proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel, his wealth was founded on his entrepreneurial spirit, and the family connection with the brewing and hotel trade. He was born in Pocklington on the 9th April 1823, and was christened in Pocklington church on the 11th April. He took over the family business when only 17 following the death of his father, and married Mary Anne Dax on the 20th Sep 1864 in Welshpool Parish Church, Montgomery, Montgomeryshire. By the time of his marriage he was already a substantial employer in the town and in 1851 was employing 10 men, which later grew to the employment of over 40 men. His business expanded to include the trades of builder, warehouse storage, architect, surveyor, bricklayer, brick maker, cabinet maker, timber merchant, joiner, glass merchant, builders merchant and dealer in china. He took over the warehouse of RM English following the fire in the old flax rettery in Chapmangate and used it for storage and in 1896, rebuilt one warehouse as the communal Victoria hall, for the benefit of the town. He had five daughters, only one of which (Alice George-Powell) had any children and after his death Thomas apparently passed the business to his son-in-law, and nephew Thomas Cliffe Grant. However, it was Thomas's senior former foreman Joseph Allison (possibly the one next to Thomas Grant in the picture) who established a business to become the foremost builder in the town in the 20th century.
An example of the type of houses that Thomas Grant built in Union Street, he built all houses in the picture including the chapel, and it is believed his home was the house seen here with ivy by the porch in 1 Union Terrace (ref: 1881 Census).
Thomas was a prominent figure in the running of the town. He was a Justice Of The Peace, Chairman of the Pocklington Urban District Council , Chairman of the Pocklington New Lighting Company and he also had some involvement in the Pocklington Floral & Horticultural Society and in the Pocklington Poultry Show. He was a keen gardener and in 1881, he won numerous prizes for his plants at the Floral show, and is also mentioned in the 'Transactions of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union".
Amongst the long list of buildings he is attributed to have built are the impressively built Victorian houses on Percy Road, Burnby Lane, Union Street including Kimberley House, the extensions of the Grammar School on West Green and the primary schools and methodist chapels. He also built the new Post Office on Railway street, and he is pictured here (far right) with his workers and Trevor Wheler Calverley Rudstone (next to the lamp), the leader of the council. He died on the 24th June 1907, in Pocklington, at the age of 84, and was buried in Pocklington next to the two chapels of rest he built at the entrance of the cemetary.
The opening of the New Post Office, in Railway Street, in Nov. 1904
The information above on Thomas Grant uses references,
taken with permission, from
the website of Stephen George-Powell