Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Melling

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Thomas Melling (1817-1896) of Rainhill Iron Works

1817 Born the son of John Melling

1839 First Locomotive Superintendent of the Grand Junction Railway workshops in Liverpool.

1840 He was succeeded by William Buddicom.

1851 Living at St. Helens Road, Rainhill: John Melling (age 69 born Haigh Park, Lancs), Engineer, Iron and Brass Founder employing 20 hands. With his wife Alice Melling (age 73 born Kirkham in Hyde, Lancs) and their son Thomas Melling (age 32 born Smethellshell, Lancs), Engineer, Iron and Brass Founder.[1]

1870 Thomas Melling states 'I am an ironfounder in Rainhill and have been so for many years. In 1840 I acquired the property which I have there now and established my iron works. In 1856 I commenced the manufacture of gas....I supplied the railway company and the church and schools...I now supply nearly all the house in Rainhill...I have laid down three miles of water pipes...[2]

1871 Living in Garston, Lancs; Thomas Melling (age 55 born Bolton), an Engineer. With his wife Mary E. Melling (age 35 born St. Helens) and their daughter Gertrude (age 10 months born Prescot). Also his sister-in-law. Three servants.[3]

1881 Living at 2 Grassendale Park, Garston: [[Thomas Melling (age 64 born Bolton Le Moor), a Gas and Water Engineer. With his wife Mary E. Melling (age 45 born St Helens) and their five children. Also his sister-in-law and four servants and a visitor.[4]

1891 Living in Birkdale, Lancs., age 73 and a Retired Steam Engine Maker. With his wife Mary and their five children.[5]

Possibly another Thomas Melling


1896 Obituary

The death is announced of Thomas Melling, the famous engine-driver who drove the engine of the first express train between London and Birmingham. In 1858 he drove the first train across the desert from Cairo to Suez. On a special occasion accomplished the journey, 131 miles, in two hours and 20 minutes, without a stoppage, for which he was presented to the mother of Mahomed Said Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, with a handsome and richly-chased gold watch. In 1859 Melling brought Livingstone across the desert.[6]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. Liverpool Courier and Commercial Advertiser - Friday 11 March 1870
  3. 1871 Census
  4. 1881 Census
  5. 1891 Census
  6. Market Rasen Weekly Mail, and Lincolnshire Advertiser - Saturday 12 December 1896