14. Alderman Thomas Avery J.P.

Buried at Birmingham General Cemetery (Key Hill)  

K : 1004 - 1005

Rev'd E. H. Manning Wrote in his book :-

He did much valuable municipal work for many years, and was much respected by his fellow citizens. He was a magistrate for three counties and was three times chosen as Mayor of Birmingham. Mr Avery married Mr Thomas Beilby’s only Daughter.


The memorial reads:-

Sacred to the memory of Thomas BEILBY for many years a Magistrate of this borough and a Deacon of the church in Carrs Lane in the time of his good friend John Angell JAMES. He was born at Sheffield April 26th 1781 and died at Camp Hill January 1st 1860. "The memory of the just is blessed." Also of Mary Ann the dearly beloved wife of Thomas AVERY Esq. J.P. and daughter of Thomas BEILBY Esq. J.P. who died September 10th 1893 in the 82 year of her age. Also of Thomas AVERY who died February 17th 1894 aged 80 years. For 25 years Alderman of this city also Justice of the Peace for Birmingham and Warwickshire and Worcestershire.




Thomas Avery is best known of course for Avery's scales but it was thanks to his efforts that Birmingham's sewage problem was solved and the city gained the Saltley Sewage plant. He believed it was the duty of the better off to help provide and educate the less well off. He was known as a generous, kindly man and his portrait, by Munns may be seen in the Birmingham Art Gallery.

Thomas Beilby J.P. was for many years a Magistrate of the Borough of Birmingham and was much respected and revered for his strictly honourable conduct. He read the Riot Act in the High Street at the time of the Chartist riots in 1839.

About the firm of W and T Avery.

In 1731 James Ford established a business in Digbeth making Stilliards scales. On his death the business was transferred to William Avery who was soon joined by his brother Thomas. They traded under the name W & T Avery. In 1876, the company produced their first Weighbridge. In 1895, the company acquired James Watt & Co and moved to the 25 acre Soho Foundry site in Smethwick.  At the time of the death of the last Avery family member in 1918, it employed over 3,000 people and had businesses all over the world. Following the highly successful introduction of the first digital retail scale in 1971, the company was acquired by the GEC Group in 1979.