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British Industrial History

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James Ianson Cudworth

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1891. Engine for the South Eastern Railway.

James I'Anson Cudworth (1817-1899) was Locomotive Superintendent of the South Eastern Railway (SER). He served in this capacity from 1845–76. He is notable for designing a successful method for burning coal in steam locomotives without significant emission of smoke, and for introducing the 0-4-4T wheel arrangement to English railways.

1817 January 12th. Born in Darlington, Co. Durham on 12 January 1817, the second of three children born to William Cudworth and Mary I'Anson (born 18 November 1785, Darlington). His parents were Quakers, and had married in 1810; William Cudworth was a grocer and druggist, whilst Mary I'Anson's family name was of Scandinavian origin.

James Cudworth's elder brother William Cudworth was a civil engineer, and worked for the Stockton and Darlington Railway; William's son William John Cudworth, also a civil engineer, worked for the North Eastern Railway.

1848 May 15th. Married Priscilla Poulter at the Friends Meeting House, Dover, Kent. They had no children.

Cudworth was apprenticed to Robert Stephenson and Co from March 1831. After completing his apprenticeship, he became a charge-hand at Stephenson's, before being appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the Great North of England Railway in February 1840.

On 22 May 1845, Cudworth was appointed Locomotive Superintendent to the South Eastern Railway, which was in the process of leaving the Brighton, Croydon and Dover Joint Committee; this committee (and its predecessor the Croydon and Dover Joint Committee) had handled all SER locomotive affairs since March 1842, as well as those of the London & Croydon Railway, and, since March 1844, the London & Brighton Railway.

1879 After Cudworth's retirement, the couple moved to Reigate, Surrey

1899 October 22nd. Died


Obituary 1899[1]

"..., James I. Cudworth, which took place at Reigate on the 22nd of October, another of the pioneers of railways passes away. He was born at Darlington in 1817. After a pupilage with Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Co., he was put in charge of the Great North of England Railway Company's Locomotive Works at Darlington, whence he proceeded in 1845 to the then recently opened South Eastern Railway, and took charge of the works at Bricklayer's Arms.

These soon proving to be too small, he designed the company's locomotive works at Ashford, in Kent, in 1847, and so well did they answer that Mr. Cudworth's advice was sought when the Stockton and Darlington......"




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