Jump to content



Recommended Posts

John Tertius Fairbank was a member of an illustrious Sheffield family which ran a surveying practice in the town in the 18th & 19th centuries.He was one of the 97 people who submitted an entry to the competition to select a design for the new Houses of Parliament after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. There is not as much on the web about the 96 unsuccessful entries as you might expect, but I have seen this description of Fairbank's design on "The Londonist" website: John Tertius Fairbank proposed a great circular corridor 800 feet long to provide easy access to offices, based around ‘a colossal circular tower… a vast and ornamental object’

 However, there is no plan or drawing with the description, and I've not been able to find one elsewhere on the web. I should like to have one for an illustrated talk that I give on the history of Parliament, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Sheffield Archives have some material from John Tertius Fairbanks - The design for the Houses of Parliament is ref FC/P/Ebu/241S  and there is also a design for the elevation of Brunswick Chapel in 1834 (ref FC/P/Ebu/132S).  His work diaries are at the Archives - here is an extract:

7 Dec 1832: 'Colouring the late Mad [George] Vickers' property in Edward Street &c. NB he died penitent.'
8 Dec 1832: 'Finishing the above plan of that martyr to his principles, Parson Vickers...'
12 Dec 1832: 'At the Nomination Meeting of the Candidates for the Borough of Sheffield. Came away in the middle of the well known 'Buck Horn of Lord Durham' speech without waiting til the shew of hands.'
14 Dec 1832: 'Assisting Mr F. F. in levelling a road through the Broom Grove Estate.'
15 Dec 1832: 'The town in such a state of excitement that it was quite impossible to proceed with business.' (with sketch [of Tontine Inn]) [Election of representatives for the Borough of Sheffield]
15 Apr 1833: 'Running about the town about R. Rodgers' chimney in order to see him and Flocton.'
27 Jan 1834: 'Drawing a part of the aorta of a man who died of appoplexy in the Infirmary for Dr Thompson. Drawn a copy of the two houses to be built by Thos. Staniforth for the Burgesses.'
26 Jan 1835: 'Medical Hall burnt' (with sketch).
25 Mar 1835: 'Drawing a plan of glass house in Darnall shewing the part proposed to be taken by Sanderson & Brothers...'
26 Mar 1835: 'Set off for Liverpool via Manchester. Saw Doctor Carbull. NB. all of the Manchester Gentlemen have long noses - or try to have. Got to Liverpool 1/2 past 6 o'clock.'
30 Mar 1835: 'Henry went off... in the SL Andrero...' (with sketch of vessel).
31 Mar 1835: 'Left Liverpool about 10 o'clock in the morning and came back by way of Glossop and got wet through, arrived safe here at 6 o'clock in the evening.'
11 Jun 1835: 'Church struck by lightning twice in less than two minutes' (with sketch).
24 Jun 1835: 'Mr Fairbank got married!!!!!!!'
31 Jul 1835: 'Drawing plan of houses to be built for Cockayne. That neer do well Mr Culshaw returned as easy as can be.'

Here is a link to a guide to the Fairbanks Collection - includes references to JTF:


You may already have found this thread on the Fairbanks:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...