De la Rue, Thomas Andros (DNB12)

DE LA RUE, Sir THOMAS ANDROS, first baronet (1849–1911), printer, born in London on 26 May 1849, was second of the four sons of Warren de la Rue [see Rue, Warren de la], astronomer and inventor, by his wife Georgiana, third daughter of Thomas Bowles of Guernsey. Thomas de la Rue [q. v.] was his grandfather. He entered Rugby in Feb. 1864, and matriculating in 1868 from St. John's College, Cambridge, graduated B.A. in 1871 and proceeded M.A. in 1874. In 1871 he joined the family printing business established by his grandfather, which was celebrated for its playing cards and printed stamps. By his enterprise he helped to increase the firm's reputation for artistic quality and convenience in the production of the postage-stamp, contracts for the manufacture of which the firm held not only for the United Kingdom but for most of the colonies and for many foreign countries. On the death of his father in 1889, and the retirement of his elder brother, Warren, Thomas became head of the business, and retained that position until 1896, when the firm became a limited company, of which his three sons subsequently became directors. De la Rue was created a baronet on 17 June 1898. He took a generous interest in the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest City Road, much of his spare tune being devoted to its service. He died at his residence, 52 Cadogan Square, on 10 April 1911, and was buried at Golder's Green. De la Rue married, on 1 Feb. 1876 Emily Maria (d. 11 Oct. 1904), daughter of William Speed, Q.C., by whom he had three sons, of whom Evelyn Andros, the eldest, succeeded to the baronetcy, and a daughter.

[Stationery World, xxxix. 232; Stationery Trades Journal (portrait), xxxii. 236; Lodge's Peerage and Baronetage; Rugby School Register, 1886, ii. 115; Book of Matriculations and Degrees, Univ. of Cambridge, 1851 to 1900, p. 165; The Times, 10 and 15 April 1911, Athenseum, 15 April 1911.]

C. W.