Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,489 pages of information and 233,926 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1790 Francis Beresford, solicitor to the Cromford Canal company, bought the freehold of Butterley Hall and its estate. He leased it on a moiety to the young Benjamin Outram until the latter had acquired enough capital for a fifty percent holding. This provided access to minerals and Outram built an ironworks.
1792 Beresford and Outram were joined by John Wright, the grandson of Ichabod Wright, a wealthy Nottingham banker, who married Beresford's eldest daughter, and William Jessop (1745–1814), principal engineer of the Cromford Canal, of which Outram was resident engineer; the four men together established Benjamin Outram and Co., with a nominal capital of £6000. Outram took up residence at Butterley Hall and was the only partner active in the management of the company, in which he was assisted by a younger brother, Joseph.
1793 the French Revolutionary Wars broke out and, by 1796, the blast furnace was producing nearly a thousand tons of pig iron a year.
1805 Benjamin Outram died; one of Jessop's sons, also William, took over. The company finally paid a dividend, having paid off its debts.