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Peter Duckworth Bennett

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Peter Duckworth Bennett (1825-1885) of P. D. Bennett and Co, later of Horseley Ironworks

1854 of Spon Lane Foundry, West Bromwich


1886 Obituary [1]

PETER DUCKWORTH BENNETT, the fourth child of William Bennett, was born at the village of Hawarden, near Chester, on the 5th of May, 1825.

He was educated at the Hawarden Grammar school.

In 1839 he was articled to the Oak-Farm Iron Company, near Dudley, for seven years, and at the termination of his articles in 1846 became Manager of the Constructive Department of that Company.

In 1847 he entered the service of Messrs. Cochrane and Co., Woodside near Dudley, and in 1850 attained the position of chief of the drawing, estimating, and constructing offices.

He left Woodside in 1852, and was appointed Chief Engineer at the works of Messrs. Fox, Henderson and Co., where he remained until 1853, when he commenced business on his own account at Spon Lane, as a mechanical engineer, being, until 1878, principally engaged with works for railways and gas companies.

In 1878 his business was amalgamated with the Horsley Company Limited, Tipton, for which company Mr. Bennett acted as Managing Director and Engineer.

He was Chairman of the Sandwell Park Colliery for some years, and was one of the chief promotors of the trial-sinking in 1869, which he carried out perseveringly until ultimately success was realized by the proving of coal at a depth of 400 yards.

Mr. Bennett was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and of the Iron and Steel Institute. He was a Director of the Birmingham Joint Stock Bank, a Justice of the Peace for the county of Stafford, a Member of the Council of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, and formerly for many years Chairman of the West Bromwich Commissioners. He took a lively interest in the building of the new Art Gallery in Birmingham, and lent a collection of ivory carvings and damascene work, which is on view at the present time.

His death occurred from a deplorable accident on the 28th of November, 1885, during the visit of the Prince of Wales to Birmingham. He was elected a Member of this Institution on the 13th of January, 1885.


1885 Obituary [2]

PETER DUCKWORTH BENNETT was born at Hawarden, near Chester, on 5th May 1825, and died on 28th November 1885, at the age of sixty, from an accident met with on that day.

From 1839 to 1846 he was articled at the Oak Farm Iron Works, near Dudley, where he went through the fitting shops and the drawing office, and on the termination of his articles took the management of the constructive department.

From 1847 to 1852 he was in the service of Messrs. Cochrane and Co., Woodside Iron Works, near Dudley, where in 1850 he took the position of chief of the drawing, estimating, and constructing offices.

In 1852 he became chief engineer at the works of Messrs. Fox, Henderson and Co., Smethwick.

In 1853 he commenced business on his own account as a mechanical engineer at Spon Lane Foundry, West Bromwich, being principally engaged with work for railways and gas works.

In 1878 this business was amalgamated with that of the Horseley Iron Works, Tipton, of which from that date he acted as managing director and engineer.

He was a Member of this Institution from 1854, and a Member of Council in 1885. As chairman of the Sandwell Colliery he was instrumental in starting the trial sinking in 1870, and in prosecuting it perseveringly to the success realised in 1874 by the proving of the Thick coal at a depth of 418 yards (see Proceedings 1876, page 330).

He was a justice of the peace for the county of Stafford, a member of the South Staffordshire Mines Drainage commission, and formerly for many years chairman of the West Bromwich commissioners.


1885 Obituary [3]

PETER D. BENNET, who was killed on Saturday the 29th day of November 1885, in consequence of falling through a glass roof while witnessing the departure of the Prince of Wales from the Council-House at Birmingham, was born in 1824, and received his early engineering training at the works of Messrs. Fox, Henderson, & Company of Smethwick, Staffordshire. At these works, Mr. Bennet assisted in preparing the iron-work employed at the Great International Exhibition of 1851.

On leaving this firm, Mr. Bennet commenced as a manufacturing engineer on his own account, and erected works for that purpose at West Bromwich. Some years ago, Mr. Bennet's works were transferred to a limited liability company, known as the Horsley Company (Limited), of which he became the chairman and managing director. Under Mr. Bennet's control, this Company has carried out many important public works, including the contract, still in course of execution, for the widening of the Charing Cross Railway Bridge.

Among other business appointments, Mr. Bennet held the position of director of the Birmingham Joint-Stock Bank, and he was concerned in the Sandwell Park Colliery Company. He was besides, a member of the South Staffordshire Mines Drainage Commission, and a member of council of the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

He had been a member of the Iron and Steel Institute since 1869.


1885 'THE LATE MR. P. D. BENNETT.
To the Editor of the DAILY POST.
Sir,-In your notice yesterday of the sad case of the late Mr. P. D. Bennett, there is a slight mistake with regard to his having been connected with the well-known firm of Fox, Henderson, and Co. It is well known to many persons living around Dudley and elsewhere that his introduction into and early training in the engineering world was due to an uncle of his, Mr. Glover, at that time head of the engineering department of an establishment known as the "Oak Farm Works," near Kingswinford, about 1848. Mr. Bennett then became connected with the eminent firm of Cochrane and Co., Woodside Works, near Dudley, who, as sub-contractors, had much to do with the Great Exhibition building in 1851, and possibly with New Street Station. He remained there until he commenced business on his own account-first at the Albion Foundry, near Oldbury, and afterwards at Spon Lane; so that, directly, his name was never identified with the firm of Fox, Henderson, and Co.
Birmingham, December 1. J. WOODWARD'[4]



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