THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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188                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
One of them is said to have been Commander of the ships of war, and another brother General of the Army. Many members of the family were knights, but the first baronet, Walter, was created by Charles I. in 1642. Sir Edward's grandfather was the sixth baronet of this creation. The family has always remained staunch to the Roman Catholic Church and Sir Edward fully main­tained the faith of his fathers.
Sir Edward's education was commenced at Rugeley Grammar School and continued at St. Mary's College, Oscott. He first began work in the London office of the Provincial Bank of Ireland, but soon gave this up and became an attache at the Home Office, being afterwards appointed to a like position at the British Embassy in Paris. This was when he was 20 years of age. After a time he was transferred to the Consulate at Rome. He went back to Paris in 1831, where he joined the banking house of Callaghan & Company. He soon launched out on his own account, and, with his father's help, founded the bank of Edward Blount, Pere et Fils. It was about this time that he married the beautiful Miss Gertrude Frances Jerningham, and their happy union lasted only nine days short of 63 years, Lady Blount dying at Imberhorne on November 9th, 1897. In due course the Paris banking house became that of Charles Laffitte, Blount & Company, and the partnership lasted until the Revolution of 1848, when the bank was ruined, but young Blount afterwards paid all his creditors in full. Four years later, mainly by the help of the late Mr. Brassey, he re-established himself as a banker under the style of Edward Blount & Company. This bank lasted until after the Revolution of 1872, when it was wound up and the business transferred to the Societe Generale of Paris, of which Mr. Blount became President, holding the position until he resigned, much against the wish of his colleagues, on June llth, 1901.
Sir Edward was the founder of railway enterprise in France and practically financed the Western Railway Company, of which he was chairman for 30 years, being then ousted from the position by the demands of the
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