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British Industrial History

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Robert Taylor and Sons

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R Taylor & Sons of Marsden, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Ironfounders and makers of steam engines, boilers, water wheels and weaving looms.

1853 Robert Taylor listed as 'engineer, &c.'. There was also a listing for Taylor and Hirst, ironfounders, engineers, millwrights & machine makers [1]

1853 Sale of Bottoms Lodge Mill, situate Tintwistle, near Mottram, included a 'water wheel of 50 horses' power, nearly new, by Taylor, Marsden' [2]

1865 'THE FIRM heretofore known under the name of TAYLOR and HIRST, Marsden Iron Works, Marsden, near Huddersfield, was CHANGED this 1st day of September 1865, to ROBERT TAYLOR and SONS.
ROBERT TAYLOR, GEO. TAYLOR, E. O. TAYLOR. [3]

1868 'Fatal Accident at a Foundry.— On Tuesday afternoon an accident happened at the foundry of Messrs. R. Taylor and Sons, Marsden, by which Wm. Edwin France, a foreman mechanic, lost his life. It seems that Messrs. Taylor had been casting a heavy shaft for a water-wheel, and on the above afternoon a number of workmen had suspended this shaft in the progress of their work, by means of a hook and blocks and chain. While suspended France passed under it. At this instant the hook attached to the chain broke, and the ponderous mass fell upon France killing him instantly. It was nearly five minutes before he could be extricated. Mr. Hesslegrave, surgeon, was sent for, but life was extinct. One leg and arm of the poor fellow were broken, and the body frightfully crushed. The remains were removed to his home to await an inquest. The deceased was 27 years of age and leaves a wife and child. An inquest was held on Thursday afternoon, before Mr. Ingram, deputy coroner, at the New Inn, and a verdict of "Accidental death" recorded.' [4]

1869 'Christening a Steam-engine.— On Monday evening about 20 workmen, employed by Messrs. Brierley and Hirst, at the Old Corn Mill, [Slaithwaite] partook of supper at the Commercial Inn. Heretofore the machinery in the mill had been turned by water power only, and in dry seasons the works had frequently to stand for want of water. The proprietors, however, determined to erect a steam engine, and this being completed on the above day, the new motive power was christened by the name of "Progress." The engine was made by Messrs. Taylors, of Marsden.'[5]

1871 'A Break Down on the Turnpike Road
— During the whole of Tuesday and the following night, the centre of the turnpike road, at Longroyd Bridge, was obstructed by the breaking down of a large and strong boiler waggon belonging to Messrs. Taylor and Sons, iron founders and boiler makers, of Marsden.
It seems the accident was the result of carelessness or inattention of the men in charge of the machine, and however serious the loss may be to Messrs. Taylor, it is fortunate no personal injury or damage to property was sustained.
The facts appear to be these. About two o'clock on Tuesday morning a tremendous heavy casting, weighing about ten tons, and drawn by ten or twelve horses, and intended to form one side of the bed for a powerful horizontal engine (similar to the one at Messrs. Starkey Brothers,) about to be erected at a large new mill near Dewsbury station, was despatched from the above works, in the care of a number of men.
Everything went well until Longroyd Bridge was reached, shortly before five o'clock in the morning. Here the men stopped to "bait," and drawing the waggon with its heavy load to the front of the Electricians Hotel, they called up the landlord, Mr. John Garner, who supplied them with refreshments. After partaking of a quantity of beer, &c, the horses were supplied with water, and again left to themselves.
Probably being tired of remaining inactive, and no one being in charge of them, the leading team turned round with their noses towards home. Each successive pair of animals followed in the same direction, and before the drivers were aware of it the waggon and its load was turned completely round when, from some sudden check, the connecting pole between the front and hind part of the waggon suddenly snapped, and brought it to a complete standstill. The noise caused by the mishap soon brought out the drivers, who were astonished at finding their teams turned in the direction of Marsden, and the waggon so disabled as not to be moved. In this state it remained throughout the day, and at ten o'clock at night the broken vehicle had not been repaired, although several mechanics had been preparing articles to piece together the front and rear parts of the waggon.' [6]

1890 'Alarming Accident at Marsden. — On Tuesday afternoon, a steam boiler was being conveyed from Mr. E. O. Taylor's foundry, at Marsden, to the Marsden Station by means of a traction engine. All went right till the engine had got opposite the parsonage, when suddenly, the wire chain attached to the boiler waggon snapped, and the waggon and boiler commenced to back. The waggon was smashed, and the boiler was sent nearly on one end, only just clearing the houses on the road side by a few inches. The garden wall belonging to Mr. James Schofield, was smashed in, and the fence wall of the Pinfold. Happily, and fortunately, no one was hurt. Had the boiler come off a yard or two sooner, it would have knocked in the front of the four houses belonging to the parsonage.' [7]

1902 'Mr. Enoch Openshaw Taylor, of the firm of Robert Taylor and Sons, ironfounders, Marsden, near Huddersfield, has died at the age of 67 years. He has left a widow, three sons, and two daughters.' [8]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. White's 1853 Leeds and the Clothing Districts of Yorkshire
  2. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 25th June 1853
  3. Huddersfield Chronicle, 2 September 1865
  4. Huddersfield Chronicle, 8th February 1868
  5. Huddersfield Chronicle, 4th September 1869
  6. Huddersfield Chronicle, 30th December 1871
  7. Huddersfield Chronicle, Thursday 13th November 1890
  8. Yorkshire Evening Post, 6th March 1902