William Summers (1798-1876) was a mineral water manufacturer, who worked as an engineer for J, Schweppe & Co. in the 1820s, and co-founded the Bristol-based mineral water company Roughsedge & Summers, which he later ran as W. Summers & Co.
Summers was born in Marylebone, London, on the 2nd of February 1798. His parents, William and Mary Summers, were both Londoners. During the late 1810s and 20s Summers worked as an engineer for J. Schweppe & Co., but by 1834 he had moved to Bristol and founded a new mineral water company (Roughsedge & Summers) with another former Schweppe employee named William Roughsedge; their factory was at 37 Bridge Street. Roughsedge was in charge of the commercial side of the business; Summers ran the factory.
By 1841, Summers was living with his wife Maria on Newfoundland Road in St Pauls, Bristol. During the 1840s Summers and his wife had three children, two of whom, Augustus and John, went on to run the family business. By 1851, Summers had moved to 23 Wellington Place, Ashley Road, also in St Pauls, and by 1861 they were living a few doors along at Grafton House, 13 Wellington Place.
William Roughsedge died in 1863. The company was subsequently run as a partnership between Summers and Roughsedge’s widow Mary. This partnership was dissolved in 1869, leaving Summers as the sole proprietor of the company, which was re-named as W. Summers & Co.
By 1871, Summers was living at Glenmire Villa, Oakland Road, in Redland, Bristol, where he remained until his death on the 23rd of April 1876. He left nearly £25,000 in effects. His sons, Augustus and John, took charge of the family business.