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Nathaniel Clayton

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Nathaniel Clayton (1811–1890) of Clayton and Shuttleworth, engineer and manufacturer of steam engines

1811 Born on 25 August 1811 at Lincoln, the second son of Nathaniel Clayton (d. 1827), of Lincoln. His father was the proprietor of a horse-drawn packet boat that plied the River Witham between Boston and Lincoln.

Clayton junior went to work at the Butterley Co but after his father died in 1827 he returned to Lincoln to be packet captain for his mother, who continued with the business.

Clayton had not lost touch with the world of engineering, one of his contacts being William Howden, of Boston, who was one of the pioneers in the manufacture of portable steam engines.

Clayton started a small iron foundry in Lincoln, next to the boat-building yard of Shuttleworth and Godwin, in which his brother-in-law, Joseph Shuttleworth, was a partner.

In 1837 Clayton married Hannah Shortcliffe, and they had three daughters, one of whom married Alfred Shuttleworth, the son of his partner.

In 1842 Joseph Shuttleworth formed a partnership with Clayton as Clayton and Shuttleworth

1851 Listed as a visitor in South Mimms (age 39 born Lincoln), Engineer and Ironfounder. With wife Hannah (age 41 born Sudbrooke). (age [1]

1861 Staying at the Great Northern Railway Hotel, St. Pancras (age 49 born Lincoln), Engineer. with wife Hannah (age 50) and children Lucy (age 18), Fanny (age 17) and Mary A. (age 15). [2]

1871 Living at Newlands House, Lincoln (age 59 born Lincoln), Magistrate for City. With daughter M. A. Shuttleworth (age 25 born Lincoln). Four servants. [3]

1881 Living at Eastcliffe house, Lindum Terrace, Lincoln (age 69 born Lincoln), J.P. D.L. High Sheriff of County, Agricultural Engineer employing 1,295 people. With wife Hannah (age 51). Five servants. [4]

1890 Clayton died from heart disease, at the church of St Peter in Eastgate, Lincoln, on 21 December 1890.


1890 Obituary [5]

NATHANIEL CLAYTON was born in Lincoln on 25th August 1811, his father being a packet-boat proprietor.

He served his apprenticeship at the Butterley Iron Works.

Before he was twenty-one years of age, he ventured upon hiring a vessel of some size to convey a cargo of goods from Lincoln to London. Losing his father early in life, he became manager and subsequently proprietor of two packet-boats plying between Lincoln and Boston; these were originally drawn by horses, until steam power was substituted.

In 1842, in conjunction with his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Joseph Shuttleworth, he commenced in a small way a general engineering and iron-founding business at Stamp End, where the first large contract undertaken was to supply pipes for the Boston Water Works at Miningsby. Iron girders for roofs and bridges were also turned out.

In 1845 the manufacture of portable engines engaged the firm's attention, and in September of that year they produced their first engine of this class; it was rated as of 8 horse-power, and had a pair of 6-inch cylinders fixed horizontally on the top of the boiler.

By 1851 the number of engines made by them in the year had risen to 126, of 611 aggregate horse-power. The result of the Great Exhibition in that year was a material advance in the application of machinery to agriculture.

In 1852 they took for the first time the Royal Agricultural Society's first prize for portable engines at the Gloucester show.

During 1874 the number of engines delivered was 960; and at the end of 1890 the total number turned out from the commencement, forty-five years ago, amounted to more than 26,200. During the same period also more than 24,150 thrashing machines were turned out, besides corn mills, circular-saw benches, straw-elevators, and other machines.

In 1857 a branch establishment was started in Vienna, employing now 700 hands in the manufacture and repair of agricultural machinery suitable to the requirements of Austria, Hungary, and the Danubian principalities.

Subsequently other branches were also established in those countries.

After the death of Mr. Shuttleworth in 1883 (Proceedings 1884, page 69), the business of the firm was carried on by Mr. Clayton in conjunction with his two nephews; and at the present time the Stamp End Works find employment for between 1,400 and 1,500 hands.

On his invitation the works were visited by the Members of this Institution in an excursion from Nottingham on 6th August 1870; and again on 4th August 1885, on the occasion of the Lincoln Meeting of the Institution (Proceedings 1885, pages 434 and 437-440).

He was a Justice of the Peace for the city of Lincoln, and also for the Lindsey division of the county, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire; and in 1881 he filled the office of High Sheriff of the county.

His death took place while attending morning service in St. Peter-at-Arches church in Lincoln on Sunday, 21st December 1890, in the eightieth year of his age.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1870.


1891 Obituary The Engineer 1891/01/02



1891 Obituary [6]



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