Thrupp, George Athelstane (DNB12)

THRUPP, GEORGE ATHELSTANE (1822–1905), author of 'History of the Art of Coachbuilding,' born in Somerset Street, Portman Square, on 16 July 1822, was second son of Charles Joseph Thrupp, coachbuilder, by his wife Harriet Styan [see Thrupp, Frederick, and Thrupp, John]. A younger brother was Admiral Arthur Thomas Thrupp (1828–1889). Educated privately at Clapham, George entered at an early age the family coach-making business in Oxford Street, which his great-grandfather had founded, and on the death of his father in 1866 he carried on the business with George Henry Maberly, who joined the firm in 1858 and died in December 1901. As a coachmaker Thrupp enjoyed a high reputation both in this country and on the continent, and did much to promote the general welfare of the trade. He was one of the founders in 1881 of the Institute, of British Carriage Manufacturers, and of the Coach Makers' Benevolent Institution in 1856; he also took a leading part in establishing the technical schools for coach artisans in George Street (now Balderton Street), which were in 1884 taken over by the Regent Street Polytechnic. He became a liveryman of the Coachmakers' Company in 1865, a member of the court of assistants in 1879, and served as master in 1883.

In 1876 Thrupp delivered a series of lectures on coachbuilding before the Society of Arts. Published in 1877 as a 'History of the Art of Coachbuilding,' the volume became a standard work. He also published with William Farr a volume on 'Coach Trimming' (1888), and edited in the same year (2nd edit. 1894) William Simpson's 'Hand Book for Coach Painters.' Thrupp retired from business about 1889, and residing at Maida Vale divided his interests between local affairs and foreign travel. He died at his residence in Maida Vale on 1 Sept. 1905, and was buried in Paddington cemetery, Willesden Lane.

He married in August 1858 Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Massey, by whom he had an only child, George Herbert Thrupp, who is now sole member of the firm of Thrupp & Maberly.

[City Press, 9 Sept. 1905, p. 5; Journ. Soc. Arts, 1904-5, vol. 53, pp. 1038, 1144; private information.]

C. W.