Summers, Augustus William

Augustus William Summers (1842-1925) was a mineral water manufacturer who ran the Bristol-based mineral water company W. Summers & Co. He later became a Justice of the Peace, held Directorships at the Bristol Water Company and Lloyd’s Bank, and became the Chairman of the Bristol and West of England Bank and Bristol United Breweries Ltd.

Summers was born in St Pauls, Bristol, on the 22nd of August 1842. His father, William Summers, was a successful mineral water manufacturer from London, who co-owned the Bristol-based company Roughsedge & Summers; his mother, Maria, was from Warminster. By 1851, the Summers family was living 23 Wellington Place, Ashley Road, in St Pauls, and by 1861 they were living a few doors down at Grafton House, 13 Wellington Place. By this date Summers was working as a clerk.

In 1865, Summers married Ellen Bush, from Warminster, with whom he had five daughters and two sons. The eldest, Herbert, went on to run W. Summers & Co.; the youngest, Augustus Montague, became famous as vampireologist and occultist!

By 1871, Summers had moved to 22 Park Road South, in Birkenhead. By this date, he formed a short-lived wine and spirit merchant partnership with Thomas Castle and John Fox, which traded under the name Castle & Co. This company was dissolved on the 13th of June 1871. Summers’ father died in 1876, leaving him and his brother John, who were both heirs to their father’s substantial inheritance, as the owners of W. Summers & Co.

In 1879, Summers became a director of the Bristol and West of England Bank, and by 1881 the family had moved to a large house at 5 Upper Belgrave Road, Clifton. Summers’ brother John died in 1884, leaving him in charge of the family business. By this date Summer’s was rapidly diversifying his business interests, and In 1888, he became Chairman of the Bristol and West of England Bank, and in 1889, he became the founding Chairman of Bristol United Breweries Ltd.; a position he retained until his retirement in 1925.

By 1891, Summers had moved into a mansion, known as Tellisford House, on the corner of Clifton Down, which remained his residence for the rest of his life. In 1893, Summers became a Director of the Bristol Water Company, and in 1909 he became a Director of Lloyd’s Bank; he later became Vice Chairman.

Summers died on the 27th of July 1925; by this date W. Summers & Co. was probably being run by his son Herbert.

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