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Family History

Sir Charles Mark Palmer was born on November 3rd, 1822, in South Shields, South Tyneside, England. This town is located just a few miles northeast of Jarrow. Charles was born into a family of shipowners and timber merchants. He was one of eight siblings, including six brothers and one sister, to his father George Palmer, who was not only a successful shipowner but had previously been the captain of a whaler. In 1828, the family moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, where George owned a shipping business and acted as a shipbroker.

Charles received his education in South Shields, North East England for some years before attending Dr. Bruce’s Academy in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where he spent his teenage years training in the shipping industry. At around 21 or 22 years old he was sent to Marseille to represent his father’s business interests and returned to the Northeast shortly after. He was initially expected to join the family business but decided to become a managing partner at John Bowes’ firm in 1847. John Bowes is now primarily remembered as the founder of the Bowes Museum.

Charles Mark Palmer was a prominent figure in Jarrow’s history. As the owner of a shipyard and steel company, he made substantial contributions to the local economy by offering crucial employment opportunities, which extended to constructing an essential hospital facility in the area.

Throughout his life, Sir Charles Mark Palmer entered into three marriages. His first marriage was to Jane, the daughter of Ebenezer Robson from Newcastle Upon Tyne, on 29 July 1846.

Historical figures Charles Palmer with his first wife Jane

The Palmer family experienced immense tragedy as they lost two of their children. One child perished during infancy, while another named Charles lived into his late forties before an untimely demise. The remaining two sons, George Robson (1849-1910) and Alfred Molyneux Palmer (1853-1935), both achieved notable success and were honored with the title of Baronet – a hereditary honor passed down through generations within a family.

Following the passing of his first wife, Jane Palmer, on April 6th, 1865, Sir Charles Mark Palmer found love again and entered into a second marriage. On July 4th, 1867, he tied the knot with Augusta Mary, the daughter of Alfred Lambert from Paris. Their union resulted in two sons, Claude Bowes Palmer, and Lionel Hugo Palmer, expanding their family with joy and pride.

Despite their achievements, the family’s happiness was short-lived. Augusta Palmer, Sir Charles Mark Palmer’s second wife, passed away on December 2nd, 1875, leaving him devastated. To find solace, he later married Gertrude, the daughter of James Montgomery of Brentford, on 17 February 1877. Their union produced two children, Godfrey Mark Palmer and Hilda Gertrude Palmer. Lady Gertrude Montgomery Palmer passed away on 21 January 1918.

Historical figures Charles Palmer with his second wife Agusta Mary

Despite his grief, Sir Charles remained steadfast in his various business endeavors. He continued to leave a lasting impact on the community through his contributions to the shipyard industry and philanthropic efforts.

As of this post, I’m seeking further information and an image of his third marriage.

Sir Charles Palmer passed away on June 4th, 1907, not long after a statue of himself was erected on the grounds of the hospital Charles had contributed significantly to. Despite his departure, the company continued to invest more resources in the town’s hospital and other ventures, ensuring his legacy lived on.

Hospital Closure

“Sadly it is rumored that Palmer Memorial Hospital has been earmarked for closure once again” (Shahd).

Some may argue that given the present government’s history of privatization, and cuts made to the health service over their reign in office they would like to see our health service Privatised. Again an attitude of “I’m alright I have private health care to hell with those who need the Health Service” (NHS).