Topics > People in History > George Burton Hunter (1845 - 1937)

George Burton Hunter (1845 - 1937)

George Burton Hunter is best known for being a partner and manager of Swan Hunter, which had become the largest shipbuilder on Tyneside by 1893. Hunter was originally born in Sunderland in 1845. He worked in the shipbuilding industry in Clydeside and Wearside before forming the C. S. Swan & Hunter company on Tyneside in 1879. Later he became Mayor of Wallsend in 1901. He acquired Wallsend Hall in 1914 and donated the hall and its grounds to the Wallsend Corporation in 1919. He made The Willows in Jesmond his family home. Hunter died on the 21st of January 1937.

Sir George Burton Hunter, KBE, DSC (19 December 1845 – 21 January 1937) was a British shipbuilder based on Tyneside.


Born in Sunderland, Hunter was a pupil under Thomas Meek before being apprenticed to William Pile, his cousin. In 1869 he moved to Clydeside where he worked for R. Napier & Sons. He returned to Wearside in 1873 and formed a partnership with S. P. Austin; this partnership was dissolved in 1879 and instead Burton became Manager of a new firm known as C. S. Swan & Hunter on Tyneside. By 1893 the firm was the largest shipbuilder on Tyneside. The business was incorporated in 1895 with Hunter as Chairman.

He became Mayor of Wallsend in 1901 and was knighted in 1918.

Burton acquired Wallsend Hall in 1914 and then presented the hall and its grounds to Wallsend Corporation in 1919: the facility evolved to become the Sir G B Hunter Memorial Hospital.


In 1873 he married Annie Hudson: they went on to have four daughters and two sons. He lived at The Willows in Jesmond in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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People in History 1845 Swan Hunter Wallsend Hall Notable People from Wallsend's History
Sir George Burton Hunter
- Photograph by Walter Stoneman, 1920. Image from the National Portrait Gallery, licenced under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence.

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