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British Industrial History

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Richard Johnson (1809-1881)

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Richard Johnson (1809-1881) of Richard Johnson and Nephew and Richard Johnson, Clapham and Morris

1809 Born the son of John Johnson and his wife Betty Fildes

1836 Married in Manchester to Emma Bibby (1815-1894)

1838 John Johnson handed his business to his sons, Richard and William; the name was changed to Richard Johnson and Brother.

1861 Living at The Oaks, Rusholme, Lancs: Richard Johnson (age 51 born Manchester), Wire Drawer employing 300 men, Iron Master employing 250 men, Colliery Proprietor employing 300 men. With his wife Emma Johnson (age 46 born Manchester) and their three children; Maria Johnson (age 18 born Manchester); Elizth Johnson (age 16 born Manchester); and Richard Johnson (age 15 born Manchester). Four servants.[1]

1881 February. Died.


1881 Obituary.[2]

Mr. Richard Johnson, of this city and of Kemnal Manor, Chiselhurst, died on Wednesday after a brief illness.

The deceased gentleman was senior partner in tho firm of Richard Johnson, Clapham and Morris, metal merchants, and also of the firm of Richard Johnson and Nephew, of the Bradford (near Manchester) Iron and Wire Works and was also largely interested in the Bradford Colliery Company. His business as a wire manufacturer was at once the oldest in Manchester, and on the largest scale, the telegraph wire produced at tho Bradford establishment being known all over the world. The members of the International Telegraph Commission during their visit to this country six years ago were entertained at that establishment by Mr. Johnson.

The deceased about that period held the position of president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and distinguished himself in the office in a very marked degree. As an earnest Nonconformist, and a Liberal, he took deep interest at the time of the passing of Mr. Forester's Education Act in advocating the rights of Dissenters. Of both the Grammar School and Owens College had for many years been liberal supporter. He was a justice of peace for the city.'[3]


Notes on Kemnal Manor.[4]

Asser sold the new house, the remaining lands, and the north part of Kemnal Road, to Richard Johnson, a seventy-one year old retired metal-merchant from Manchester. (Johnson had been senior partner in at least two enterprises in Manchester, including the Bradford Wire Works, which had manufactured part of the Atlantic undersea cable. He had been President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce).

Johnson died in February 1881, so that at the time of the April 1881 census, his widow, Emma Johnson, is shown as the owner. Emma was born in Lancashire in 1815, and was aged 66 at this time. Her niece, Ramona Johnson, aged 38, and her grandson, Richard Johnson Walker, aged 12, were living with her. After Emma’s death in 1894 Kemnal Manor became the property of Richard, her grandson, “son of the High Master of St Paul’s School”. He was a clerk in holy orders, living at the time at Little Holland Park in London.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 Census
  2. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 18 February 1881
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 18 February 1881
  4. Kemnal Road