George Green, 1767-1849 (proof before title)

Green was the founder of the well known Blackwall shipbuilding and shipowning family of that name. Having been apprenticed to John Perry in his Blackwall yard at the age of 15 he married Perry's daughter in 1796, and became a partner in 1797. Perry became his brother- and well as father-in-law when he subsequently married Green's sister as his second wife.

After Perry's retirement in 1803 Green and subsequently his sons, of whom Richard was the oldest and leading partner, were in partnership with the Wigrams until 1843. The time-limited Wigram & Green partnership then expired and the Blackwall yard was divided between them. The Green company, which after George's death became 'R & H.Green', retained the eastern half. In 1902 it became part of the ship repairers, Green & Silley Weir. This was nationalized into the Government-owned Thames Shiprepairers Ltd in the 1970s, itself wound-up in the 1980s. George and Richard were both noted philanthropists and both appear in the 'Dictionary of National Biography' (more usefully, in business terms, in the 2004 edition).

The plans on the desk here, under a book which is clearly the Bible, are of one of the many public projects Green funded, which included building Trinity Chapel, Poplar, where he was buried. He is presumably shown seated in Blackwall Yard House, the family home, looking east across the bows of ships on the stocks to the Blackwall mast house - the masting crane building which Perry had built in 1793 as part of his adjacent Brunswick Dock, excavated in1789-90. The portrait thus combines references to Green's profession and antecedents, the affluence they brought him and his pious and charitable use of his wealth for public benefit. There is also an oil painting of him as an older man in the NMM Green Blackwall collection, by Samuel Laurence (BHC2725).

Object Details

ID: PAH5558
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Phillips, Thomas; Bellin, Samuel
People: Green, George
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 695 x 402 mm; Mount: 835 x 605 mm

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