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British Industrial History

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Robert Hutton

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Robert Hutton (c1826-1899)

Founder of Batts Foundry.

1871 Living at 50 Baxtergate, Whitby: Robert Hutton (age 43 born Stockton-on-Tees), Iron Founder. With his wife Jane (age 45 born Ugthorpe) and their five children; James Hutton (age 18 born Middlesbro), Engine Fitter; Sarah Hutton (age 15 born Middlesbro); Jane Hutton (age 12 born Whitby); Robert Hutton (age 9 born Whitby); and Anne Hutton (age 2 born Whitby).[1]

He remained in control of the foundry business for over forty years, until his death, aged about 73 years, in 1899. At that time it would seem that his substantial house at 3 Esk Terrace passed to his daughter, Jane (known as Jenny). Robert's sons James and Robert took over the foundry business, which was renamed Robert Hutton and Sons. The firm's administration was located at James's considerably more modest house at 5 George Street, Whitby.[2]


1899 Obituary.[3]

Another worthy representative of the town has passed away in the person of Mr. Robert Hutton, whose death took place at his residence, 3, Esk Terrace, about noon on Wednesday, at the age of seventy-one.

A little within a year ago Mr. Hutton had the misfortune to lose by death the partner in his joys and sorrows, and since that time his friends have noticed that his health failed perceptibly, but he was a man of indomitable courage, and faced his illness bravely, going about his business as long as he possibly could. About a month ago got much worse, although ten days before his death he attended service at St. Hilda’s Catholic Church.

About 18 months ago Mr. and Mrs. Hatton celebrated their golden wedding. Mr. Hatton was a Tees-side man, and after working as a foundryman in his native district, and also on the Tyne-side, he came to Whitbv over forty years ago to act as foreman of Mr. Nicholson’s iron foundry. He subsequently commenced business for himself and established the Batt’s Foundry, near Whitby. He was a member of the Iron and Steel Institute, to which was elected on the nomination of the late Mr. Charles Bagnall.

At one period of his life, Mr. Hutton took a very great interest in local affairs, and was elected to the Local Board by large majorities. Ho showed great solicitude for the improvement of the harbour, and was largely instrumental in bringing about the introduction of the dredger. He occupied a seat on the Harbour Board for some years, and was one of the local reformers of his age and generation.

Many years ago, he purchased the steam tug Emu, and did good service to the port by making her valuable for towage, passenger, and other local services. The need of such a craft in the herring season has always been very apparent, and the presence of one even now might do something to re-animate the herring fishery trade. Had a little encouragement been given by the Harbour Trustees at the time, perhaps the Emu would have been with us yet.

Mr. Hutton throughout his life was an active and energetic member of the Liberal party; and was also warmly attached to the Catholic Church, of which he was a devoted and generous member. He always evinced the greatest interest in all philanthropic work, and was ever ready with word of encouragement to those who were struggling to get on in life. His genial presence was always welcome and familiar the numerous gatherings promoted by the Catholic body.


1899 Obituary.[4]

ROBERT HUTTON died on January 25, 1899. He was connected with the Batts Foundry at Whitby. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1876.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1871 Census
  2. An Overview of The Batts (Hutton) Foundry, Whitby by Peter Kain
  3. Whitby Gazette - Friday 27 January 1899
  4. 1899 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries