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British Industrial History

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Richard Ormerod and Sons

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Richard Ormerod and Son(s) of St. Georges Foundry, Minshull Street, Manchester

This entry also covers the work of the business in the earlier name: Richard Ormrod.

Richard Ormrod's father was Oliver Ormrod, of Brodie, McNiven and Ormrod, who had a foundry in Knott Mill, also called St. George's Foundry.

1815 Richard Ormrod (note earlier spelling) listed as an iron-founder at Minshull Street[1]

1818 Advert: 'On Sale, STEAM ENGINE, now at work, of the power of six horses. Apply to Richd Ormrod, iron-founder, Manchester.'[2]

1821 Listed as a brass and iron-founder at Minshull Street [3]

1822 Advert: 'TO DISPOSED OF, A Twenty four horse STEAM ENGINE, without Boilers, in good condition, and now at work; the only reason for disposing of it is, that a larger Engine is required in its place.—Apply to Richard Ormrod, St. George’s Foundry, Manchester. March 25, 1822.'[4]

1825 Makers of textile and milling machinery, boilers, stoves, weighing machines, rails, gas-generating plant [5]

1825 J. C. Fischer was taken to visit Ormerod's St. George's Foundry by Albert Escher. He saw a bridge crossing the Rochdale Canal branch to join the two sides of the works, which was hydraulically raised to allow the passage of boats. Ormerod showed Fischer his collection of wooden foundry patterns, and said 'I challenge the whole world to show me anything as good as this. These patterns have cost me £10,000 and, as you can see, I keep them in a completely fireproof building.' He also told Fischer that it was difficult to secure good workers.' [6]

1828 Listed as steam engine makers in Pigot’s National Commercial Directory, 1828-9.

1829 Advert: 'To CAPITALISTS, IRON-FOUNDERS, and OTHERS.
EARLY IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY NEXT.
ALL those Valuable BUILDINGS and YARDS situate in Minshull-street, London-Road, Manchester, at present occupied by Mr. Richard Ormrod, and used as Iron and Brass Foundries, and for the Manufacture , Steam Engines and Engine Boilers, with all the UTENSILS and MODELS for carrying on an extensive business.
The Buildings have all been erected within the last twenty years, and consist of one large Iron Foundry 42 yards long, by 14 yards wide; one ditto, 42 yards long by 7 yards wide, with every convenience, stoves, air, and blast furnaces &c. &c.- The Boring Mills are conveniently attached to the Foundry, and are commodious; and there are Fitting-up Shops for erecting Steam Engines, &c.; the Brass Foundry and Brass Fitting-up Rooms are so situated as to have no internal communication with the other part of the Works; the Turning and Fitting-up Shops are very large, lofty, and well-lighted; The Model Rooms are fire-proof; commodious Joiners and Millwrights' Shops are contiguous; there are excellent Smithy Shops, and an extensive Boiler Manufactory. The whole of the premises are lighted by Gas, from an apparatus on the ground.
The Land contains 7091 1/3 square yards, and is bounded on one side by the Rochdale Canal, from which a private branch runs through the centre of the premises, and it has one front to Chorlton-street, and another to Minshull-street. It is freehold of inheritance, and it will be sold either entire with the buildings, or in Lots, subject to certain perpetual yearly rents.
The Engine, of twenty horse power, Mill Geering, Machinery Models, Tools, Utensils, &c. will be either included in the sale with the Land and Buildings, or will be sold separately.
The whole will be found to be well worth the attention of Capitalists, being suitable either for the purposes of carrying on the Foundry Business, for Spinning, Power-Loom weaving, or Carriers' Establishments.
The Land and Buildings will be sold on a day hereafter to be fixed upon, and of which due notice will be given, and the several other articles and things in the course of a week afterwards. For particulars,apply Mr. Ormrod, on the premises; to Messrs. Taylor and Son, Solicitors, King-street' Manchester ; or Messrs. Cooke and Beever, Solicitors, Salford.'[7]

1830 A similar advert appeared, follwing Ormerod's bankruptcy: 'To CAPITALISTS, IRON-FOUNDERS, and OTHERS. By Mr. DREW, (By order of the assignees of Mr. Richard Ormrod, a bankrupt,) at the York Hotel, King-street, Manchester, on Thursday the 25th day of February, 1830, at five o'clock in the afternoon, subject to conditions of sale to be then and there produced ; ALL those Valuable BUILDINGS and YARDS, situate in Minshull-street, London-Road, Manchester, lately occupied by the said Richard Ormrod, and used as Iron and Brass Foundries, and for the Manufacture of Steam Engines and Engine Boilers, and calculated for carrying on an extensive business. The Buildings have all been erected within the last twenty years, and consist of one large Iron Foundry, 42 yards long, 14 yards wide ; one ditto, 42 yards long, 7 yards wide, with every convenience, stoves, air, and blast furnaces, &c. The Boring Mills are conveniently attached to the Foundry, and are commodious and lofty ; and there are Fitting-up Shops for erecting Steam Engines, &c.; the Brass Foundry and Brass Fitting-up Rooms are so situated as to have no internal communication with the other part of the Works; the Turning and Fitting-up Shops are very large, lofty, and well-lighted ; the Model Rooms are fire-proof; commodious Joiners' and Millwrights' Shops are contiguous; there are excellent Smithy Shops, and extensive Boiler Manufactory. The Land contains 7649 square yards, and is bounded on one side by the Rochdale Canal, from which a private branch runs through the centre of the premises, and the land has one front to Chorlton-street, and another to Minshull-street. It is freehold inheritance, subject to certain perpetual yearly rents. The Engine, of twenty horses' power, Mill Geering, Machinery Models, Tools, Utensils, &c. will be sold in about a week afterwards. The whole will be found to be well worth the attention of Capitalists, being suitable either for the purpose of carrying on the Foundry Business, or for Spinning, Power-Loom weaving, or Carriers' Establishments. For particulars, apply to Mr. Ormrod, on the premises; to Messrs. Taylor and Son, Solicitors, King-street, Manchester or to Messrs. Cooke and Beever, Solicitors, Salford.'[8]

Presumably Richard Ormerod (or his sons) subsequently recovered the business.

1839 Advert: 'STEAM ENGINE.- ON SALE, a STEAM ENGINE. of fully eight horses' power, without boiler; steam cylinder, 16 inches diameter, and a four-feet stroke, with hand geers, and other parts of the engine proportionate to the diameter of cylinder. The engine is about to be replaced with one of larger dimensions; and, at small expense in repairs, would be nearly as good as new. For further particulars, apply at RICHARD ORMEROD'S, St. George's Foundry, Manchester. St. George's Foundry, Nov. 26th, 1839.'[9]

1841 Advert: 'ON SALE, a STEAM CYLINDER, 23 inches diameter, 4 feet stroke, with polished top, metallic piston, air pump and condensor, each 16 inches diameter, complete with discharging and foot valves, with air pump bucket; a set of boxes and side pipes (polished,) fitted-up complete with brass D valves The whole in excellent order, and taken out only to be replaced with larger.— For further particulars, apply to RICH. ORMROD and SON, St. George's Foundry, Manchester.'[10]

1842 'The Manchester and Bolton Railway Junction Line.— We gave an account, last week, of the enormous weight of metal required for this junction line ; the design for the work is, we believe, by the engineer of the company, and, certainly, it does him, as well as Messrs. Ormerod and Son, of the St. George's Foundry, who are the contractors of this great undertaking, the highest credit.'[11]. Note: Ormerod's work included the Egyptian-themed iron bridges at Salford Station.

1853 Listed as Iron and Brass founders, engineers, millwrights, coppersmiths, machinists and gas fitters, and steam engine boiler and hydraulic press maker of St. Georges Foundry, Minshull Street, Manchester [12]

1853 'Fatal Accident at Foundry
On Monday, Mr. Herford, coroner for the borough, held an inquest at the Blue Ball public-house, Chester-road, Hulme, on the body of John Anderton, of Arthur's- court, Arthur-street, a wheelwright, employed at Mr. Ormerod's foundry, Minshull-street. On the previous Thursday he was engaged in sawing a piece of wood to be used as a stake in moulding, at a circular saw, when, in consequence of the wood not being level at the bottom, it was driven back by the saw with great violence against the deceased. Unfortunately it struck him on a vital portion of the lower part of the abdomen, and caused such injuries that he expired on Saturday morning, about four o'clock.— Verdict, "Accidental death." [13]

1854 Advert: 'FOUNDRY PREMISES and Important WAREHOUSE SITES adjoining Minshull-street and the Rochdale Canal.—
TO BE SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT, the FREEHOLD PREMISES in Minshull-street, forming the Foundry and Works occupied by Messrs. Ormerod. The premises contain (inclusive of half the adjoining branch canal) 3,954 square yards, and afford, from their situation and their proximity to the Rochdale and Branch canals, advantages for the erection of warehouses of a first class. Possession , can be had at Christmas, 1855.— Applications to be made to Messrs. BREWER & DARWELL, solicitors. 36, Princess street, Manchester; or to Mr. Daniel Bradshaw, land agent, &c, Patricroft, or 16, Cooper-street, Manchester. [14]

1855 R. Ormerod and Son of St. Georges Foundry, Minshull Street[15]

c.1855 The business moved out of central Manchester to Hulme, becoming Ormerod, Grierson and Co, but retaining the name 'St George's Foundry'.

1855 Advert: 'IMPORTANT WHARFAGE FOUNDRY OR OTHER BUSINESS PREMISES.- TO BE LET (or SOLD by Private Contract), and may be entered upon at Christmas, 1855, the PREMISES in Minshull-street, known as St. George's Foundry, and at present in the occupation of Messrs. Ormerod. The premises, which have a frontage of 276 feet, or thereabouts, to Minshull-street; of 115 feet, or thereabouts, to the Rochdale Canal; and of 276 feet, or thereabouts, to a branch canal a leading out of the Rochdale Canal; and contain 3,954 square yards or thereabouts; are very eligible for foundry and other similar purposes, or for wharfs, or first-class warehouses.- Apply to Mr. Daniel Bradshaw, auctioneer, and agent, 16, Cooper-street, Manchester; or BEEVER & DARWELL, 36, Princess-street, Manchester.'[16]

The premises were still being advertised for sale in August 1856.

1856 Advert: 'St. George's Foundry, Bank Top.
By Mr. D. BRADSHIAW, on the premises, late in the occupation of Messrs Richard Ormerod and Son, Minshull-street, Manchester, on Tuesday, April 8,
ONE 20-Horse Power CONDENSING ENGINE, Cylinder 24 inches in diameter, 4ft. stroke, with Metallic Piston and working compound ; with Shepherd's Patent Double Engine, 23 inches diameter, and 2 foot stroke. The whole is in good working order, exclusive of foundation ; to be sold together or separate. Also, one 25 horse power Multitubular Boiler, W. B. Johnson's patent, nearly new, with fire bars, bearers, bridge plates, fire doors, and fired at both ends, with feed and blow-off valves, two safety valves, stop valve, two glass gauges, two smoke boxes; the whole in good working condition, and cased with wood. Also, three very strong Foundry Cranes, with blocks and chains, winding in and out gear, handles and foundation stones. Also an excellent Weighing Machine, that will weigh four tons. Sale to commence at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. Further particulars may be had by applying to the auctioneer, at his office, 16, Cooper-street, Mancheser.— The property may be viewed on Monday, the 7th day of April.'[17]

1860 Patent to William Beckett Johnson, Manager for Messrs. Richard Ormerod and Son, of Manchester, Engineers, in respect of the invention of "improvements in steam engines and boilers, and apparatus connected therewith."[18]

Location

The 1849 O.S. map and Adshead’s 1851 Manchester map show that the main part of the foundry was bounded by Minshull Street, by a coal wharf, by the Rochdale Canal, and by a branch of the canal which served the coal wharf. It was served by a narrow gauge railway system with small turntables. The map refers to a 'moveable crane', evidently on a set of rails on the N.E. side of the works.

A smaller part of the works was on the south side of the canal branch, and the two parts were connected by an overhead travelling crane and a footbridge crossing the canal branch. This smaller part of the works had a yard with a smithy on one side, and in the yard were two rows of columns supporting the travelling crane rails which crossed the canal basin and into the main part of the foundry. The yard was entered from Chorlton Street, apparently through an archway. This overhead crane presumably replaced the hydraulically operated bridge seen by J. C. Fischer in 1825. There was also a footbridge over the canal branch between the two parts of the works at its S.E. end. Bancks's 1831 map shows a bridge over the canal branch at about the mid-length of the works (as distinct from the crane and footbridge on the 1849 maps, which were near the S.E. end. Perhaps that was the hydraulic bridge?

The Chorlton Street entrance was opposite the works of Joseph Whitworth and Co.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1815 Pigot's Directory of Manchester
  2. Manchester Mercury, 25 August 1818
  3. Pigot & Dean's New Directory of Manchester and Salford, 1821-22
  4. Manchester Mercury, 26 March 1822
  5. 'British Industrial Capitalism Since the 1930s' by R Lloyd-Jones and M Lewis, UCL Press 1998
  6. J. C. Fischer and his Diary of Industrial England 1814 - 1851' by W O Henderson, Frank Cass & Co., 1966
  7. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 12 December 1829
  8. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 6th February 1830
  9. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 30 November 1839
  10. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 12 June 1841
  11. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 26 November 1842
  12. 1853 Directory of Manchester and Salford
  13. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 22 January 1853
  14. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 04 November 1854
  15. 1855 Slater's Directory of Manchester
  16. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 16 June 1855
  17. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 29 March 1856
  18. London Gazette 11 September 1860