Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Alexander Henry

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Alexander Henry (c1819-1894), gun maker of Edinburgh. See Alexander Henry Ltd for successor company

See Alexander Henry: Biography by Richard Brown

c.1819 Born in Leith[1]

1842 Married Isabella Ronaldson in South Leith[2]

1851 Journeyman gunmaker, living in Edinburgh with Isabella Henry 29, Elisa M Henry 7, Jemima Henry 6, James A Henry 2[3]

Set up a gun-making business with branches in Edinburgh and London - Alexander Henry Ltd

1860 Letters Patent granted to Alexander Henry, of Edinburgh, in the county of Mid-Lothian, North Britain, Gun Maker, for the invention of "improvements in rifled fire arms," bearing this date at Westminster, the 15th day of November, 1860, No. 2802.

1861 Gun manufacturer, living in Edinburgh with Isabella Henry 39, Eliza M Henry 17, Jemima I Henry 16, Alexander Henry 1[4]

1871 Alexander Henry developed an improved breech loading rifle; one of his earlier rifle designs had been considered by a Select Committee as a possible armament for the British Army. Eventually the choice was made to combine Martini's breech with Henry's rifled barrel as the Martini-Henry Rifle.[5]

1873 Received 2 medals at the 1873 Vienna Exhibition[6] in respect of small arms.

1874 "In the Matter of Letters Patent ... the 15th day of November, 1860, No. 2802. NOTICE is hereby given, that it is the intention of ... Alexander Henry and the Henry Rifled Barrel Company Limited to present a petition to Her Majesty in Council praying Her Majesty to grant a prolongation of the term of the said Letters Patent."[7]

1881 Living at 12 Dublin St, Edinburgh: Alexander Henry (age 62 born Leith), Gun Maker. With his wife Isabella Henry (age 59 born Greenock) and their two children Isabella Henry (age 24 born Edinburgh) and John C. T. Henry (age 17 born Edinburgh), Gun Maker. One servant[8]

1894 Gun and rifle manufacturer, died in Edinburgh[9]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 census
  2. Scotland, Select Marriages
  3. 1851 census
  4. 1861 census
  5. The Engineer 1871
  6. The London Gazette 26 August 1873
  7. London Gazette 1 May 1874
  8. 1881 census
  9. National Probate calendar