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Henry Woolcock

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Henry Woolcock (1842-1892)


1892 Obituary [1]

HENRY WOOLCOCK, son of the late Mr. Henry Woolcock, mining engineer, was born at Illogan, in Cornwall, on the 28th of February, 1842.

At the age of thirteen he became a pupil and assistant to his father, part of his duties being to assist in taking down and in erecting large pumping-engines and other machinery.

From 1859 to 1861 he superintended, under the late William Richards, of Redruth, the erection of pumping and other machinery, and the laying out of the works at the New Wheal Hender Mines.

He then left Cornwall, and for the next two years was Assistant Manager of the Greenside Lead Mines and Smelting Works, in Westmoreland, owned by G. Head and Partners. There he had the supervision of all the surface and underground hydraulic machinery for pumping, winding, crushing and cleaning the lead-ore, of the reservoirs and watercourses, and of the smelting works and tramways.

In 1863 he was promoted to the post of Engineer and General Manager, and for the next three years was occupied in designing and in laying out the reservoir, watercourses, hydraulic machinery and plant for working the Hartsop Hall Mines and the Myres Head Mines.

Mr. Woolcock’s next appointment, which he held from 1866 to 1873, was that of Engineer and General Manager to Hannay and Co, at their mines and collieries in Lancashire, Cumberland and Scotland. During that time he designed and laid out all the machinery and works connected with the mines and collieries owned by the firm, and also advised as to the machinery and plant for their ironworks at Blochairn.

In 1873 Mr. Woolcock started in business on his own account at Whitehaven as a Civil and Mining Engineer. He rapidly acquired an extensive practice, in addition to which he acted as Consulting Engineer to the Dalmellington Iron Co, the Eskett Iron Ore Co, Fletcher and Hodgetts, the Asby and Wythemoor Colliery Cos, the Wyndham Mining Co, and to the Earl of Dundonald in connection with mineral properties in Scotland.

For the Wyndham Mining Company he sank a pit through beds of quicksand, gravel and boulders, varying from 4 feet to l5 feet in thickness, to a depth of nearly 100 feet. At a depth of about 90 feet the machinery was overpowered, and, as there was no room to increase the pumping capacity, Mr. Woolcock was obliged to suspend work for a time.

He then sank a second larger pit at a little distance, and this was successfully completed to a depth of nearly 360 feet. The quantity of water pumped from this shaft during the sinking was over 1,200 gallons per minute. Mr. Woolcock was also Consulting Mining Engineer to the London and North Western and to the Furness Joint Railways, in the North Lancashire and Cumberland districts, to the Falcon Mining Co at Egremont, and to the Askam and Mouzell, and the Millom and Askam Companies for their hematite mines. He had, too, considerable experience in Parliamentary work, and in arbitration cases.

In May, 1889, Mr. Woolcock went to South America to report on the mineral deposits on the lower reaches of the Orinoco. There he suffered great hardships, which, added to his neglect of the usual precautions necessary to be taken by Europeans in the tropics against malarial fever, considerably impaired his naturally strong constitution. He died suddenly on the 16th of February, 1892, from failure of the heart’s action induced by influenza, at the age of fifty. Mr. Woolcock was kind and genial in manner, and was much esteemed in the district in which he was so well known. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 13th of January, 1880.


1893 Obituary [2]

HENRY WOODCOCK was born in Cornwall in 1842, and in 1861 proceeded to Westmoreland, where he occupied the position of assistant-manager at the Greenside lead mines. From 1863 to 1866 he was engaged at the Hartsop Hall and Myres Head mines.

In 1866 he undertook, for the late Mr. Hannay, the management of his haematite mines and collieries.

In 1873 Mr. Woolcock started in business on his own amount in Whitehaven as a mining engineer. From that time to the day of his death in 1892 he had a very good local practice. He had the management of the Asby Colliery, of High Houses iron mines, and of Falcon iron mines. He was also consulting mining engineer to the Whicham Mining Company, the London and North-Western and Furness joint railways, and the Millom and Askam Haematite Company.

He was elected a Member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889.


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