Edward Packard (businessman, born 1843)

(Sir) Edward Packard, junior (1843-1932), was an English businessman who developed a major artificial fertilizer industry near Ipswich, Suffolk.


Edward Packard was born in 1843 at Saxmundham in Suffolk, the son of Edward Packard senior. He was educated at King's College, London and the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester.[1] He joined his father in business as a dispensing chemist at Bramford in 1866,[2] and was an active member of Dr. John Taylor's Ipswich Science-Gossip Society from the late 1860s.[3] He received, accompanied and led the Society's inspection of the works in 1872. In that year, when the Packards patented a new type of highly concentrated superphosphate,[4] the works covered four acres of land with a surrounding village of houses for employees, and 800 tons of superphosphates and other manures were being produced every week. He stated before the Ipswich Dock Commissioners that of 882 vessels clearing outwards of the Port of Ipswich in 1871, 425 were loaded by this firm.[5]

He was influential in attempts to rationalize the fertiliser industry in the 1880s, and in attempts to impose higher quality standards. In 1919 he oversaw negotiations leading to the merger of his business with James Fison (Thetford) Ltd ultimately leading to the formation of Packard and James Fison (Thetford) Ltd ('Fisons') of which he became Chairman.[6]

In 1867 Packard married Ellen Turner, the daughter of Walton Turner. Their daughter, Edith Celia (later Mrs Alfred Farrar) was born in 1871, and lived until 1962.[7] An enthusiast for fine art, Packard founded the Ipswich Arts Society in 1874, and in time became Chairman of the Ipswich School of Arts. He maintained and continued his father's strong interest in and support for the Ipswich Museum, and served as Chairman of its Committee from 1894 to 1926.[8] He was active in negotiating arrangements for Nina Layard to conduct extensive excavations and to have curatorship of her collections at Christchurch Mansion in 1906-07, under very trying circumstances.[9]

He served as High Steward of Ipswich, 1916-1932; Chairman of the Harwich Harbour Board; President of the Suffolk Chamber of Agriculture; Chairman of the Ipswich Museum & Free Library Committee, and Chairman of the Ipswich School of Arts.[10] He was knighted in 1922 and died at his home in Bramford in 1932.[11]


  1. Oxford D.N.B.
  2. Oxford D.N.B.
  3. Minute-Books of the Ipswich Science-Gossip Society 1869-75 (Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich) ref. GC 444/1/1-3.
  4. Oxford D.N.B.
  5. 'Messrs Packard's works at Bramford. Visit of the Science Gossip Society (16 May 1872)', Suffolk Chronicle, May 1872.
  6. Oxford D.N.B.
  7. "Rt. Rev. Walter Farrar, DD". The Clergy of the Parish of Bognor. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2021-05-08.
  8. Packard (ed.), Sir Edward Packard. Portrait photograph, in S.J. Plunkett, Guardians of the Gipping. Anglo-Saxon Treasures from Hadleigh Road, Ipswich (Ipswich Borough Council 1994), p. 55.
  9. S.J. Plunkett, 'Nina Layard, Hadleigh Road and Ipswich Museum, 1905-1908', Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History XXXVIII Part 2 (1994), 38, 164–192 (Incomplete scan, first pages missing), at pp. 167, 175-76, 183, 185-86.
  10. B. Burke and A.P. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, and Knightage, 86th Edition (1928).
  11. Oxford D.N.B.