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Charles Wells (brewer)
|Born||(1842-08-13)13 August 1842|
|Died||1 April 1914(1914-04-01) (aged 71)
|Known for||Founder of Charles Wells Ltd
Progenitor of the Wells Baronets
Captain Charles Wells (13 August 1842 – 1 April 1914) was the British founder of Charles Wells Ltd, now the largest privately owned brewery in the United Kingdom, and the progenitor of the Wells Baronets of Felmersham.
Wells was born on 13 August 1842, the second son of George Wells. He left Bedford Modern School at the age of fourteen and went to sea, ‘signing up with the shipping company Wigrams as a midshipman on the frigate Devonshire’. Wells was made a Captain on 16 December 1868 and offered command of Wigrams's first steamship.
While on leave in the early 1870s, Wells became engaged to Josephine Grimbly of Banbury, Oxfordshire. Josephine's father, although in favour of the match, said that ‘Charles Wells must leave the sea and find a new and less dangerous career’. In 1872 Charles and Josephine married; they had five sons (one of whom, Richard Wells was created a baronet) and three daughters.
In 1876, Wells became a brewer when he took over a coal wharf, a malt house and brewery in Horne Lane, Bedford and thirty five public houses, sold to him at public auction in December 1875. He subsequently sold off the coal business.
In 1903, Wells became a member of Bedford Borough Council which he served until 1909. Four of Charles's sons became partners in the brewery on condition that they live in Wells's native town of Bedford. In 1910, the business was registered as a private limited company, valued at £150,000 and owning 140 pubs.
- Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council. "charles wells brewery timeline - Digitised Resources - The Virtual Library". culturalservices.net.
- "Our Heritage and History". Charles Wells. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "The Brewing Industry". google.co.uk.
- England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
- UK and Ireland, Masters and Mates Certificates, 1850-1927
- "Our History - Charles Wells Brewery and Pub Company Bedford - www.charleswells.co.uk". charleswellspubs.co.uk.
- "Pub". familybrewers.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
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