James Braidwood

Deceased Person

James Braidwood (1800–1861) founded the world's first municipal fire service in Edinburgh in 1824, and was the first director of the London Fire Engine Establishment (the brigade which was eventually to become the London Fire Brigade). He is credited with the development of the modern municipal fire service. He was born in Edinburgh the tenth child of Francis James Braidwood a cabinetmaker, and Janet Mitchell. He was educated at the Royal High School. He learned about the construction of buildings after joining his father's building firm as an apprentice, knowledge he was later to put to good use. Appointed Master of Fire Engines in 1824, at the age of twenty-four, Braidwood established principles of fire-fighting that are still applied today. His training as a surveyor gave him exceptional knowledge of the behaviour of building materials and housing conditions in the Old Town of Edinburgh. He recruited to the service expert tradesmen - slaters, carpenters, masons and plumbers - who could apply their various fields of expertise to fire fighting. He also recruited experienced mariners for an occupation that required heavy manual work in hauling engines and trundling wheeled escape  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth


Date of death
Place of burial
Abney Park Cemetery

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