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British Industrial History

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Robert Bewick Longridge

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Robert Bewick Longridge (1821-1914)

c.1821 Born, fourth son of Michael Longridge

1835 Robert Bewick Longridge (1821-1914) was indentured to his father Michael Longridge of the Bedlington Ironworks, Northumberland, as an apprentice millwright for a period of seven years. Indenture signed and sealed by Michael and R. B. Longridge, witnessed by William Blenkinsop and Charles John Longridge (1822-1859), brother of R.B.Longridge[1]

c.1838 Michael Longridge established R. B. Longridge and Co at Bedlington, Northumberland, "under the direction of" Robert Bewick Longridge, his fourth son.

1851 Living at Bedlington (age 30 born Bedlington), an Engine Builder. With his wife Elizabeth Selby (age 26 born Mauritius, Africa) and their son Robert Charles (age 1 born Bedlington). Also his unmarried sister-in-law Eleanor Stirling Begbie (age 33 born Maryborough, Ireland). Three servants. [2]

c.1854 Appointed chief inspector of the Manchester Boiler Association [3].

1855 Longridge became connected with the original association for the prevention of steam boiler explosion, of which he was appointed chief inspector.

1856 Engineer of 11 Winfield Terrace, Manchester

1858 Resigned from the Manchester Steam Users Association[4].

1859 Longridge became chief engineer of the first company formed for insuring against explosions (the Steam Boiler Insurance Company).

1861 Living at Richmond Grand, Chorlton upon Medlock, Lancs (age 40 born Bedlington), an Engineer and Widower. With his son R. C. (age 11 born Bedlington). One servant. [5]

1871 Living at Hill Top, Bollin Fee, Cheshire (age 50 born Bedlington), Engineer Mechanical and a Widower. With his daughters Mary (age 19) and Catherine (age 17). Two servants. [6]

1878 Recognised the need of users of steam plant to have regular inspections and insurance against loss from breakdowns, he promoted the Engine and Boiler Insurance Company. The company then extended its operations to all kinds of power plant, including gas and oil engines, electrical appliances and lifts.

1911 Living at Tabley, Knutsford (age 90 born Bedlington), a Retired Mechanical Engineer and a Widower. With his daughter Katharina Elizabeth (age 57 born Bedlington). Three servants. [7]

1914 Died at age 93


1914 Obituary [8]

ROBERT BEWICK LONGRIDGE was born at Bedlington, Northumberland, on 2nd January 1821.

He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and afterwards became head of the locomotive department at the Bedlington Ironworks.

In 1854 he was appointed Chief Inspector of a new Association subsequently named the Manchester Steam Users' Association, and he started in 1859 the Steam Boiler Assurance Co., now the Vulcan Boiler Insurance Co.

He left this Company in 1878 and took control of the Engine and Boiler Insurance Co., now the British Engine, Boiler and Electrical Insurance Co., Ltd., of which he remained Chairman for many years.

Mr. Longridge was the pioneer of boiler insurance, and one of the oldest members of this Institution, his membership dating from 1856.

He wrote a Paper in 1859 on "The Relative Economy and Durability of Various Classes of Stationary Steam Boilers."

His death took place at Over Tabley, Cheshire, on 31st July 1914, in his ninety-fourth year.


1914 Obituary [9]

R. B. LONGRIDGE died at his residence, Yew Tree House, Tabley, near Knutsford, at the age of ninety-four. He commenced his engineering career in the locomotive department at the Bedlington Ironworks.

He was appointed chief inspector of the Manchester Steam Users' Association in 1854, and in 1859 he started the Boiler Insurance and Steam Power Company (now the Vulcan Company).

In 1878 he became head of the Engine, Boiler, and Employers' Liability Company (now the British Engine, Boiler, and Electrical Insurance Company, Limited), of which Company he subsequently became chairman.

He had for many years been a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and in 1871 became a member of the Iron and Steel Institute.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. National Archives [1]
  2. 1851 Census
  3. National Archives [2]
  4. National Archives
  5. 1861 Census
  6. 1871 Census
  7. 1911 Census
  8. 1914 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  9. 1914 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries