Brassey, Thomas, railway contractor, was born in 1805 at Buerton, Cheshire. Apprenticed to a surveyor at 16, he acquired his master's business on the latter's death, and his first engagement as a railway contractor came in 1835, when he undertook the execution of the Penkridge Viaduct on the Grand Junction Railway. He next had the completion of the London and Southampton Railway. His subsequent operations extended to most European countries, to India, Australia, and America. He laid down the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada with its remarkable bridge crossing the St. Lawrence at Montreal. He died in 1870 at St. Leonards, leaving a large fortune. His son, Thomas, now Lord, Brassey was born in 1836, and from 1880 to 1884 was a lord of the Admiralty. His wife, who died in 1888, wrote The Voyage of the Sunbeam.