Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Benjamin Outram and Co

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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.

In the process of digging the Butterley Tunnel, quantities of coal and iron were discovered by William Jessop, with the assistance of Benjamin Outram, who were constructing the Cromford Canal.

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.[1]

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.

1807 After the deaths of Beresford and Outram, the company was carried on by John Wright, Margaret Outram and William Jessop and was renamed Butterley Co.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of Benjamin Outram, ODNB
  2. London Gazette 14 March 1807