Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,104 pages of information and 235,416 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Smith and Sons (Chard)

From Graces Guide

of Chard

Also John Smith and Co.

See John Smith

1860 Advert: 'TO GOOD SMITHS. — WANTED, immediately, Three Good WORKMEN, who understand making gas holders, and fitting up gas works. Also one good workman as GENERAL SMITH, and who understanns making horse rakes, &c.— Apply Mr. John Smith, Ironfounder, Chard.'[1]

1874 Advert: 'JOHN SMITH AND SONS, Agricultural Engineers and Ironfounders, PHOENIX IRON WORKS, CHARD, BEGS to inform the Agriculturists, that MR. JOHN CHEEK, Drill Maker, late of Taunton, is in their employ, and all orders for Drills, and repairs will be under his care. Price list on application.
N.B.— Orders by Post promptly attended to.'[2]

1879 John Smith and Co, ironfounders and machinists: partnership dissolved between Robert Smith and John Smith. Business to be carried on by John Smith. [3]

1881 Bankruptcy of John Smith, of John Smith and Co, agricultural implement makers, of Chard[4]

1883 'County Court, Saturday.— Before Mr. Serjt. Petersdorff, Judge.—
Henry Elston, general smith, Fore Street, Chard, v. John Smith, ironfounders, Chard. Plaintiff claimed £3 for the detention of a lathe pattern. His case was that in December last he engaged defendant to cast a lathe for him. He (plaintiff) was to supply the pattern for the bed of the lathe, which he did. He called and sent for the castings a great many times, but defendant had not done the work, and as he could neither get the castings nor the pattern, he brought this action to recover the loss he had sustained by the detention of the pattern.—
The defendant said he had to prepare a "flask" to mould the casting in, and which took more time than the casting itself. After he had prepared the "flask," and had commenced moulding the bed, the defendant sent to say he would not have the casting. He (defendant) did not think a reasonable time had passed. He had to pull his lathe to pieces to cast portions from it, and he could not do that while he was doing work for which the use of the lathe was required. He did not see that he should return the pattern of the bed until plaintiff had paid him for the work he had done. Defendant put in a counter-claim of about £4. Of this plaintiff did not dispute the charge for some break-blocks, but he said he had not received the bill, probably because he had lent defendant half-a-soveveign, and defendant knew that he would have to pay him something.—
His Honour said the rule of law was that if a contract was not fulfilled within a reasonable time it was rescinded; if it was fulfilled within a reasonable time it was binding. The burden of proof was with the defendant.—
Mr. Smith : I could not stop my regular work to oblige any man. I do not think a reasonable time had passed.—
His Honour : A reasonable time cannot depend upon the magnitude of a man's business.—
Defendant : Mr. Elston can have the bed as soon as he likes.—
Plaintiff said it was no use for defendant to talk like that. He had been a great loser because the lathe was not in use, and he claimed £1 damages for that. —
His Honour said plaintiff could not set up that now. He had not given defendant notice of it. The case must be adjourned until the next Court for defendant to call evidence that his work was done in a reasonable time.'[5]

1892 'PHOENIX ENGINEERING CO., LTD. HAVING MADE EXTENSIVE ALTERATIONS and RE-ARRANGED the PHOENIX WORKS, CHARD (which up to AUGUST last were carried on by JOHN SMITH & CO.), ARE NOW IN A POSITION to EXECUTE ORDERS for Engineering Work, General Castings, Implements, REPAIRS, &c.—CAST-IRON TANKS A SPECIALITY. First-class Work and Promptness in Delivery will be the main object of the PHOENIX ENGINEERING CO., LTD., COMBE ST., CHARD; AND 9, QUEEN STREET PLACE, LONDON, E.C.'[6]

1908 'CORPORATION CANNON. Since the publication of our sheet almanack, which gives an illustration of the Municipal Buildings,together with the two cannon which were brought out to the front of the building and specially photographed for this purpose, we have been asked to give some particulars of the history of these pieces of ordinance. It is surprising how little the inhabitants of a town seem to know of their own history, and in endeavouring to satisfy our querists' thirst for information we have come across many interesting thirgs. The inscription on the cannon states that : "These two pieces of cannon were presented to Augustine Wheadon, of Crimchard, by his faithful servant, Mr. William Berridge, who by his own industry became an eminent merchant of Portsmouth, and were recast by his grandson George Wheedon in the year of our Lord 1842. John Smith, Founder, Chard, 1842." The William Burridge, who is mentioned as having given the cannon to Mr. Wheadon, does not seem to have left any trace in Chard of himself so far as we can find. Augustine Wheadon was a gentleman of independent means, who occupied the house where the present Mayor of Chard, Alderman S. H. Dening, now resides. It was the Manor House and where Mr. Dening's works are situated was formerly the site of a large orchard. Any further information concerning Augustine seems to be lost in the " mists of antiquity." In the churchyard of the Parish Church of Si. Mary is what is apparently the family vault. It is situated on the left side of the path leading to the tower from Holyrood Street, and one of the two tombs bears the following inscription : "In the vault underneath this tomb are deposited the mortal remains of Augustine Wheadon, second son of John and Hannah Wheadon, of Crimchard, who departed this life April 21st, 1838, aged 55." His brother, Dr. John Wheadon, is perhaps better known than Augustine. "Dr. John" provided allotments for poor people where the cemetery is now situated. A number of seats were placed around, many of them bearing quaint inscriptions, one of them reading thus: "Turn not thy face from any poor man, and the face of the Lord will never be turned from thee." Every year he used to give a " feed " to the people who occupied the allotments in the coachhouse attached to Mrs. Cook's house at Crimchard, and where he lived, and the men used to march in procession around the town, carrying their vegetables, etc., and dragging the two cannon. Wheadon's charity is another, and a better, reminder of " Dr. John." But how the cannon came to be presented to the town remains a mystery, which may possibly be cleared up should these lines catch the eye of some enorgetic reader. They were relics of some war, and, as the inscription states, were recast by "John Smith, founder, 1842." It is suggested that they are of Spanish origin. Smith at one time kept the White Hart Inn, Combe Street, and behind these premises he had his works, now carried on on a much more extended scale by the Phoenix Engineering Co., Ltd.' [7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 9 June 1860
  2. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 18 February 1874
  3. Chard and Ilminster News, 8 February 1879
  4. London Gazette 25 Feb 1881
  5. Western Gazette - Friday 25 May 1883
  6. Chard and Ilminster News, 20 February 1892
  7. Chard and Ilminster News - Saturday 26 December 1908