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The Taylors
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Edgar Lavington History


The Taylor Family
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Paul Harvard Taylor was the son of Charles Taylor and the grandson of Seth Taylor. Seth Taylor was the son of a miller and baker in Rickmansworth, Middlesex, who went on to build the largest flour mills in the world at Waterloo, London. Seth Taylor was Chairman of the Baltic Exchange, Chairman of the Corn Exchange and Master of the Merchant Taylors Livery Company. He is regarded as the most famous grain merchant and miller in the last quarter of the 19th century, dying in 1917.


Seth and his family lived at Granard, a magnificent Victorian stately home (demolished in the 1960’s), next to St Margaret’s Church, which still survives in Putney Park Lane, London, thanks to Seth Taylor’s philanthropyGranard. Seth’s son Charles (Paul Taylor’s father b. 1868) studied Theology at Cambridge and coxed for the Trinity College rowing eight. He intended to go into the church but a crisis of faith on the night before his ordination led him to become a stockbroker in London (Taylor, Jackson & Co), specialising in helping widows and orphans. There is a plaque in the London Stock Exchange celebrating his philanthropy.


Charles married Gertrude Harvard Watts (b. 1877) – the daughter of a Louth (Lincolnshire) vicar and a direct descendent to John Harvard, who founded Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Gertrude played tennis with Disraeli and lived to see the invention of the internal combustion engine and the moon landing, dying in 1971 aged 94.

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