Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 04, 2019
Webpage updated: January 01, 2020




George David Bellamy was born on September 27th 1833 in the family's rented home in George Street, Plymouth.  He was baptised at Saint Andrew's Church on November 1st 1833.  His father was Mr Peter Franklin Bellamy, surgeon.

He was the Grandson of Mr George Bellamy, surgeon-in-ordinary to HM King George IV, and Mayor of Plymouth 1810-11.

Naturally he received the best education that Plymouth could offer in those days, at the Corporation Grammar School, adjoining Saint Andrew's Church, under Mr Peter Holmes.  Upon finishing his education the young George was articled to Mr Oswald Cornish Arthur, architect.  Subsequently he became a draughtsman at the Royal Navy's Woolwich Dockyard, during which time he designed the casemates for the forts at Bovisand and Picklecombe.  A few years later again became an engineering draughtsman under Isambard Kingdom Brunel during the construction of the Royal Albert Bridge.

While he was based in Plymouth he engaged himself in an unusual activity that was not recorded in his Obituary.  He became a soap boiler.  Indeed that was his stated occupation when, on March 17th 1857, Mr George David Bellamy married Miss Caroline Clark(e) Cuming, daughter of a Liverpool ship owner.

Furthermore, on December 11th 1857 he and his business partner, Mr James Higham, were granted temporary patent protection 'for the invention of an improvement in the manufacture of soap'.

Quite how he became involved in this is unknown but it is probably no coincidence that on April 7th 1857 one of his younger sisters, Miss Rose or Rosa Bellamy, married Mr James Higham at Plymstock Parish Church.

The soap manufacturing venture did not last very long.  On September 28th 1858 "The London Gazette" published a notice that the partnership, trading as Messrs Higham and Bellamy, of the Eagle Soap Works, Plymouth, was dissolved by mutual consent on September 24th 1858.  Any debts were to be settled by Mr Higham.

Upon the completion of his work on the Royal Albert Bridge, Mr Bellamy secured a post in the Borough Engineer's Office at Liverpool.  At the time of the census in 1861 he and Caroline were living at Prospect Vale, West Derby, in Liverpool, the home of his widowed mother-in-law.  He was an architect and civil engineer at that time.  With tem were their 3-years-old son, Henry Bellamy, who was born in Plymouth; their 2-years-old son, George Cuming Bellamy and one month old daughter, Jennie Strachan Bellamy, both born in Liverpool.  The family had a cook, a nurse -- two sisters -- and a house servant who was already a widow by the age of 25.

In 1864 Mr Bellamy was appointed as Water Engineer for the Borough of Plymouth, to which he later added the duties of Borough Engineer as well so that he could attend to the similarly pressing problem of drainage.  He designed a water supply scheme out of which evolved the Burrator Reservoir; the Drake's Place Reservoir and Pleasure Gardens; the Hartley Reservoir and Pleasure Gardens; Freedom Park; Victoria Park; and Beaumont Park.  Mr Bellamy was also responsible for laying out The Hoe, the slopes and glacis of the Royal Citadel and the construction of Madeira Road.

In September 1893 Mr Bellamy retired on a 'retiring salary' but was appointed as consulting engineer to the Corporation and took an office in Courtenay Street.  He retired from that post in 1907 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Mr Henry Franklin Bellamy MInst CE.

Mrs Caroline Clarke Bellamy died at "Combeside", Plympton, on Sunday February 4th 1900 at the age of 70 years.

The Bellamy's had three sons and two daughters.  In addition to the eldest, mentioned above were: Mr George Cuming Bellamy MA TCD; Mr Charles Vincent Bellamy MICE; Mrs Herbert Peter Stessiger (Miss Jennie Strachan Bellamy); and Miss Ellen Caroline Bellamy.

Mr George David Bellamy died at his home, 5 Elm Road, Plympton, on Saturday July 3rd 1909.  He was 75 years of age.

At the request of the deceased, the funeral cortege passed unaccompanied and without ceremony from the house to Plympton Saint Maurice Church, where the serviced was conducted by the vicar, the Reverend H T Hole, and the curate, the Reverend F G Chamberlain.  The Mayor of Plymouth, Mr A E Spender, was unable to attend as he was on business in London.


  With acknowledgement to the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, which holds the marriage settlement dated  March 17th 1857 (accession number 1425/14/3); and to Mr Richard Higham, a descendant of Mr James Higham, for drawing attention to the announcement in "The London Gazette" in 1857.