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British Industrial History

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Joshua Walker and Co

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of Rotherham

Iron Manufacturers and Masters

1792 On the death of his brother Samuel, Joshua Walker (1750–1815), second son of Samuel Walker (1715–1782), took on the leadership of the company Samuel Walker and Co which became known as Joshua Walker and Co[1].

1794 One of several large iron bridges that were cast at Rotherham was Staines Bridge (started in 1794)[2]

c.1800 Samuel Walker (1779-1851) purchased a two-eighteenths interest in Joshua Walker & Co. for £33,820.

About 80 of the 105 guns aboard HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar were cast by the Walker Company.

c.1813 the foundry turned out annually some 3,000 tons weight of guns.

1813 Southwark Bridge in London was started; it was to be built with castings from these foundries[3].

1815 Cannon manufacture at Rotherham ended with the finish of the Peninsular War; the Walkers concentrated on other activities, especially banking. The firm also built a bridge at Sunderland. But, for some reason, after that date the business declined. Competition from Sheffield increased and their ore supplies were depleted. The firm also suffered through the failure of the Southwark Bridge Co, for which they had supplied the iron.

By 1819 Samuel III's share in the business was two-thirteenths and he was a partner in the London lead works and the Islington white lead factory in which the family had, by that time, invested most of its capital.

1821 the firm ceased operations and the capital, valued in 1797 at £214,000, was distributed.

1821 The Conisbrough foundry closed.

1822 Transfer of the ironworks to Gospel Oak in Staffordshire, producing cannon.

Other members of the firm carried on the the blast furnaces, another took over the rolling-mills, a third set up a steel plant at Parkgate, whilst the general foundry work was relegated to a fourth.

1832 Samuel Taylor and William Parker withdrew from the various partnerships as lead merchants: Walkers, Parker and Co in London; Joshua Walker and Co in Derby; Walkers, Parker, Walker and Co in Elswick; Joshua Walker, Parker and Co in Newcastle under Lyne, Chester and Liverpool[4]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Walker biography [1]
  2. Staines Bridge[2]
  3. White's 1833
  4. London Gazette [3]
  • Samuel Walker MP (1779-1851) [4]