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British Industrial History

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Hibernian Foundry

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of John's Street, and subsequently of Cornwallis Street, Limerick

Letter from Mr. Thomas Ahern, secretary of the guild of smiths, Limerick: '.... At the death of my father I was apprenticed in 1817 Mr. Philip Doyle, proprietor of the then Hibernian Foundry, who had in his employment 43 men and boys working the various branches connected with our trade, many of which are totally annihilated, as also this concern, by the repeal, not of the act of Union, but of the duty on English and Scotch hardware. About the year 1821 Mr. John James Doyle kept the Limerick Foundry, where 40 men and boys got employment; but now I regret, he is not able to employ four......' [1]

1823 Proprietor: Philip Doyle.

1828 Advertisement: 'PHILIP DOYLE, IRON FOUNDER AND GENERAL MECHANIST. Respectfully informs the Public that he, as usual, manufactures the undermentioned articles, with every other in his line
PROPRIETORS OF MILLS, Wishing to improve their machinery, will find considerable advantage in applying to him, as he has numerous patterns, on the newest principles, which he will give the use of without any additional charge.
Hydraulic works of every description, on the most approved principles. Kitchen Boilers. Hot Plates, Ovens, &c. Hot Air Church Stoves, with descending or upright flues. Garden and Field Rollers, Cast Iron Piers for Gates. Steam Boilers for every purpose. Plough Mounting from Wilkie's, Kippie's, and all other improved patterns. Wrought and Cast Iron Salt Pans, Money Chests, and Book Safes. Chandlers' Pans and Curers of every size. Dyers’ Pans. Presses and Plates. Tobacco and Chandlers' Screws. Improved Bark Mills. Window Sashes of every description. Eave Shoots and Pipes, Gutter and Ridge Plates. Corn Kilns on the newest construction. Scale and Sash Weights. Wrought and Cast Iron Bedsteads. Pans, Ovens, Griddles, and Cast Boxes. BELLS, &c. &c. THRASHING MACHINES on the most improved principles. Hibernian Foundry, John's-Street, 14th March, 1828.'[2]

1831 Death announcement: 'On Saturday night, universally regretted, Philip Doyle, Esq., Proprietor of the Hibernian foundry, Limerick—a Gentleman of first-rate abilities, and whose early death has deprived a young family of a kind and affectionate father.'[3]

1837 Occupied by William Watt and Sons [4]

1840 Advertisement: 'HIBERNIAN FOUNDRY CORNWALLIS-STREET, LIMERICK. WILLIAM & JOHN WATT MILLWRIGHT, ENGINEERS. FOUNDERS, Return their sincere thanks to the public for the kindness shown to their Father and Brother in their line of business, and hope by unremitting attention to business to gain a share of that patronage which was so kindly shown to their father.
WILLIAM WATT is desirous of stating to Gentlemen, Merchants, Proprietors of Mills, &c., that he has, in connection with his Brother, succeeded their Father and Brother in the same line of business; that he has been brought up to the Trade, and has been for Twenty years in the most extensive Establishment in Manchester, and is fully competent, from his extensive practice, to construct Mills of any kind on the same principle practiced in those splendid Establishments in Manchester. Gentlemen will find a great advantage by trading with this Establishment, as the Millwright department will be conducted by Wm. Watt on the best and newest principle, and also with strict economy as to prices. As this is the only Establishment in Limerick that the Proprietors have been brought up to the business and superintend it on mechanical principles, it will be found to be one of cheapness and economy.
WILIAM & JOHN WATT manufacture the following Articles, which will be warranted to be of the best materials:
Iron Water Wheels, Flour Mills, Oil Mills, Paper Mills, Wood Mills, Iron Mills, Cotton Mills, Thrashing and Winnowing Machines; Agricultural Implements of every description; Crab and Jib Cranes; Hoisting Machines for Stores or Warehouses, on a new principle, whereby two men can raise five hundred weight ten feet high in one minute with ease. All kinds of Metal and Brass Castings; Smith Work; Patent Axles, Turning and Boring. All kinds of Screws cut to any diameter or pitch, Single, Double, or Triple Threads; Square or V Threads: Screw Jacks, Turning Lathes, Boring Machines ; Screwing Machines, Drilling Machines, Planing Machines; Steam Engines, high or low pressure; every Article in the Mechanical line, made of the best materials and on the lowest terms. All persons indebted to the late William Watt, or to Alexander Watt, are particularly requested to pay their respective debts to William & John Watt without delay.'[5]

1842 Advertisement: 'Hibernian foundry,CORNWALLIS-STREET, LIMERICK
WILLIAM WATT Millwright and Engineer, Proprietor; Son and Successor of the the late Wiliiam Watt,
Respectfully informs the Friends and Connections of his respected Father, and the Public generally, that he has commenced business at the above Establishment, where he hopes by unremitting assiduity and moderate charges to afford general satisfaction.
WILLIAM WATT had several years experience in England in the construction and of Machinery for various Manufacturing purposes, and obtained the approbation of many highly respectable persons for practical improvements in Mechanical science. He now solicits public support, on terms of advantage, and offers his services in the erection, on the most approved principles, of Flour Mills, Paper Mills, Oil Mills, Iron Mills, Wood Mills, Horse Mills, and Mills of all descriptions; Steam Engines, Water Wheels, and Mashing Machines for Breweries and Distilleries; Pumps of all descriptions, Steam Pipes, Water Pipes, Pipes, and Retorts for Gas Houses ; Columns, Beams, Scewbacks, and Stays ; Crab and Jib Cranes, single or double power ; Hoisting Machines for Corn Stores ; Wrought Iron Blocks, and portable Crab Cranes, of various construction and strength, for an useful purposes; Flour Machines, Winnowing Machines, Threshing Machines, Malt Rollers, Machines of all descriptions, for Mercantile and Agricultural Purposes, on Modern and Improved principles; Lathes. Boring Lathes, Screw Cutting Machines, Drilling Machines, by hand or power ; Upright, or Horizontal Improved Hand Fly Wheels by friction ; Oat Bruisers, Bean Splitters, Turnip Cutters, Hay Machines. Castings of all kinds both in Metal and Brass ; Smith Work of all descriptions ; Patent Axles; Iron Ploughs. Field Gates, Garden Chairs, Hot Houses, heated by Steam or Water, Shoots, and Drop Pipes; Palisading and Ornamental Gates of various kinds ; Turning and Boring of all kinds, and every description of work either Metal, Iron, or Brass, on reasonable terms, and good workmanship. Plough Mounting of all descriptions ; Plans and Drawings for Buildings, and Fire Proof Stores; Estimates for Civil Engineering of Mills and Machinery ; Drawings and Specimens for inspection at the Foundry.'[6]

1846 Advertisement: 'HIBERNIAN FOUNDRY, Cornwallis-Street, Limerick (Between the Upper End of Roche's-Street and of William-street.)
F. Ryding, Jun., & Co.
Beg to advertise to their Friends and the Public, that they are now ready to execute All Orders they may be favoured with.
They apprise Proprietors of Mills, Distilleries, Breweries, and Contractors of Public Works, that everything in their Line shall be furnished with the least possible delay, and with the greatest care.
They inform Men of Business the Country Towns, that they have a large Assortment of Watt's celebrated Plough Mounting, which shall be disposed of on the most Reasonable Terms; and Agriculturalists, that they have a large Supply of Threshing Machines, Turnip Cutters, Turnip Sowers, Ploughs, Harrows, and every Implement of Agriculture, which they warrant to be of the latest and best construction, and comprising every improvement of the present day.'[7]

1847 Advertisement: 'HIBERNIAN FOUNDRY, CORNWALLIS-STREET. THE PROPRIETORS of this Establishment beg to inform their Friends and the Public that to execute the more satisfactorily and punctually the press of Orders which they have been favoured with, as well as to evince their gratitude for this decided and universal patronage; they have procured the services of a highly talented Engineer, Mr. JAMES of London. whose long practical experience in the Messrs. MAUDSLEY’S, the HORSLEY IRON WORKS,and other principal Engineering Establishments, gives a sure guarantee of his abilities in the economy of Steam Engines, Mills, and all kinds of Machinery, as well as in the entire routine of a Foundry.
The Proprietors take this opportunity to refer to the now proved utility of the Stone Hand Mills, which they have lately offered to Public favour, as they have ever since been tested in several of the Institutions in the vicinity. Having (from his nearness) obtained the permission of Mr. Jackson, Governor of the Lunatic Asylum, to refer to him for account of them—they need not add more on this subject.'[8]

1853 Advertisement: 'Auction AT HIBERNIAN FOUNDRY, Cornwallis-street.
James Marshall has been instructed by the Proprietor, who is obliged to relinquish business in consequence of ill health, to Sell by UNRESERVED AUCTION. at the Foundry, ON MONDAY, THE 28th OF NOVEMBER INST., The entire of the Machinery, Engines, Materials, &c., of the above truly valuable Establishment, which only requires a working person of reasonable capital, to realise an independent fortune in a short time; none such having offered for the Concerns, &c., in bulk, all will be sold in lots to suit those in attendance on the above named day.
The following is amongst the Stock :—A 12-horse Engine, an 8-horse Engine complete, with flue-boiler ; Pumps, 2 of them. 9-inch bore ; Boilers. Ploughs, of all sizes. Clod Crushers. Scufflers and other Farming Implements. Forge Tools, Iron Gates, Bells, Beams, Scales and Weights. Crab Winch, Three Legs, Triangles, Trucks, Lathes. Grind Stones, &c. Catalogues can be had on application to JAMES MARSHALL. Auctioneer, 96. George-street, Limerick.'[9]

1854 Advertisement: 'Hibernian Foundry. CAST AND WROUGHT IRON WORKS, Cornwallis-street, Limerick, JOHN GLEES0N , PROPRIETOR.
FARMING Implements of every sort. Plain and Ornamental Gates, Railings, and Pailings, made to Order. Improved Plough Mounting, Winnowing Machines, and Threshing Machines of all sizes, and of the most improved description, &c. J. Gleeson trusts to merit the confidence and support of the Public, by constant attention and strictly moderate charges.'[10]

See Also

  • Limerick Iron Foundries 1806-1989 (Unpublished article) by Patrick McDonnell Nov 2008 – May 2010

Sources of Information

  1. Dublin Weekly Register, 24 October 1840
  2. Limerick Evening Post, 1 April 1828
  3. Limerick Evening Post, Tuesday 4 January 1831
  4. Irish Historic Towns Atlas No 21 Limerick: Royal Irish Academy, Dublin 2010
  5. Limerick Reporter, 7 April 1840
  6. Limerick Reporter, 15 July 1842
  7. Kerry Examiner and Munster General Observer, 3 July 1846
  8. Limerick Reporter, 16 February 1847
  9. Limerick and Clare Examiner, 16 November 1853
  10. Limerick Reporter, 21 November 1854