Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,950 pages of information and 233,606 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas William Cowan

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1861 Yarrow and Hilditch steam carriage.
1861. Steam Road Carriage.

c.1840 Thomas William Cowan was born in Russia, where his father was temporarily resident

1860 The occupier of Kent Iron Works is J. Todd and Co

1861 Civil engineer, living in Deptford with his father, John, and mother, Ann[1]

1861 Patent. '...809. To John Grieve Winton, and Thomas William Cowan, both of 42, Bridge-street, Blackfriars, in the city of London, Engineers, for the invention of "improvements in the means for actuating machine hammers, which said improvements are also applicable to pile-driving, and other such-like machines and purposes."'[2]

c1862 Yarrow and Hilditch designed a steam-driven road carriage which was taken up by T. W. Cowan, of Greenwich, who agreed to pay a royalty on the vehicles constructed. Cowan built one carriage which plied between Greenwich and Bromley - a distance of 10 miles - once a week late in the evening for a short time. This steam carriage was shown at the International Exhibition of 1862, where it attracted a good deal of attention.[3]

1863 Patent on a design of pump[4]

1864 Married Fanny Matilda Mitchell in Horsham[5]

1865 of Kent Iron Works, Bridge Street, Greenwich (founder)[6]

1866 Bankruptcy. '...Name and description of the Debtor; as in the Deed - Thomas William Cowan, of Beckenham, Kent, Engineer (debtor), first part....'[7]

1866 The premises of Kent Iron Works and the contents offered for auction.[8]

1868 Registered elector at Brackley Road, Beckenham[9]

1869 Christening of son Alexander Henry Cowan in Beckenham[10]

1871 Dr Thomas W. Cowan M.A., civil engineer, was living in Horsham with his wife Fanny (born Horsham c.1840) and his son Alexander (age 1, born Beckenham)[11]

1881 Thomas W. Cowan was a farmer in Horsham[12]

1891 Thomas William Cowan was living with his wife Fanny in Hampstead; living on his own means[13]

1911 Thomas William Cowan, retired, was living in Somerset with his wife Fanny and several of his children[14]

1926 Died in Long Ashton, Somerset[15]

Is this the same person?

1865 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership existing between ourselves, Isaac Mark Evans, Edward Halsey, and Thomas William Cowan, carried on by us at the Trefynant Coal and Iron Works, in the parish of Euabon and county of Denbigh, and at the Garth Quarries, in the parish of Llangollen, in the said county of Denbigh, under the style and designation of Evans, Halsey, Cowan, and Company, is dissolved by mutual consent...'[16]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1861 census
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:12 April 1861 Issue:22501 Page:1549
  3. Alfred Yarrow: Obituary
  4. The Engineer 1863/04/24
  5. BMD
  6. 1865 Directory
  7. The London Gazette Publication date:11 December 1866 Issue:23196 Page:6917
  8. London Evening Standard - Thursday 02 August 1866
  9. London Electoral Register
  10. Parish records
  11. 1871 census
  12. 1881 census
  13. 1891 census
  14. 1911 census
  15. BMD
  16. The London Gazette Publication date:27 October 1865 Issue:23029 Page:5050