Obituary notices: John Tapley Harvey.

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1884, Vol XVI, pp. 56-57.


Rev. W. Harpley

Prepared by Michael Steer

John Tapley Harvey is remembered as one of the architects who initially planned and built Torquay. His obituary was presented at the Association’s July 1884, Newton Abbot meeting. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

John Tapley Harvey was the son of Mr. Jacob T. Harvey, who came to Torquay early in the present century. Mr. Jacob Harvey was an enterprising man, and he heartily entered into the scheme of the late Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk for developing what at that time was the germ of the town. There was a row of houses on the Strand, and a view of Torquay, as it then existed, shows that there was not a single shop among them. Mr. Jacob Harvey and his sons built Vaughan Parade, Beacon Terrace, Higher Terrace, Park Crescent, and a portion of Park Place. Mr. J. T. Harvey and his brother William afterwards built Hesketh Crescent, Upton Church, the Torbay Hotel, and several of the finest villa residences in the town.

Mr. Harvey was elected a Town Commissioner in 1839, and continued in that capacity until the adoption of the Public Health Act in 1850, when he was elected a member of the Local Board of Health, on which he served up to the year 1872, when he retired on the expiration of his term of office. He also represented the parish as Guardian of the Poor for a great many years, and was for a long time architect to the Torwood Manor. He had a great aptitude for business, and on all questions appertaining to matters of local interest his opinion carried great weight. In politics he was a Conservative, and worked actively for his party.

He became a member of the Torquay Natural History Society in 1872. He joined this Association in 1873, when he at once became a life member; and he was one of the Vice-Presidents at his decease. He rarely was absent from the annual meetings, and his pleasant smile and hearty shake of the hand will be missed by many who knew him well.

For some years past his health had greatly failed; and although he rallied for a time, he finally succumbed, and died at his residence, Aberfeldie, Torquay, on Wednesday, the 16th January, 1884, at the age of 69.