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British Industrial History

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William Charles and Co

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William Charles and Co of Millsands, Sheffield.

1870 'Shocking Fatality at the Millsands Works. —An inquest was held yesterday at the General Infirmary, before the Deputy-Coroner, Mr. W. Woodhead, on the body of John William Bragg, son of John Bragg, of Corby-street, who met with an accident at the works of Mr. William Charles, Millsands, on the previous day, sustaining injuries which resulted in his death a few hours after the occurrence took place. The jury having viewed the body, Charles Thacker was called, who said that the deceased was a hammerman, and worked for him. He had been employed at the works for six months.—John Wright, of 70, Duke-street, Park, said he was the driver of the hammer at the works of Mr. Charles, weighing upwards of seven tons. On Tuesday evening the deceased had an ingot under the hammer, when his tongs rebounded and caught him in the groin. If the deceased had been standing in the right place and minding his work the accident would in all probability not have happened. Immediately after the accident a cab was procured, and he was conveyed to the Infirmary.—Mr. Patton, the assistant house-surgeon at the Infirmary, deposed that the deceased died from the shock to the system caused by the injuries inflicted on the lower part of the body. From post-mortem examination he had ascertained that the femoral artery was ruptured. —The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."'[1]

1871 ' IMPORTANT MEETING OF CREDITORS AT SHEFFIELD - A meeting of the creditors of Messrs. Charles, steel manufacturers, Kelham Island and Millsand Rolling Mills, was held in the Assembly Rooms, Sheffield, yesterday afternoon. The meeting was largely attended by creditors from all parts, and great interest attached to the proceedings, Mr. Emerson Bainbridge, agent of the Duke of Norfolk, presided, Mr. Abrahams, solicitor, London, a represented Mr. William Charles; Mr. Arthur Thomas, solicitor, Sheffield, appeared for Mr. John Charles. Other creditors were also represented. Both the members of the firm. were present. Mr. Allott, accountant, Sheffield, manager and trustee, read the statement of affairs, as follows.....'[2]

1872 Bankruptcy List: 'William Taylor Charles and John Andrew Charles, both of Sheffield, Yorkshire, Steel roller merchants and manufacturers and co-partners in trade, trading Sheffield, the style of William Charles and Co., at Kelham Island, Sheffield-under-Eawle, John Charles and Son, and also as file manufacturers at Millsands aforesaid, under the style of John Wing and Co.; also carrying on business at Millsands in business with William Turtle, Cambridge Street and Snow Lane, both Sheffield, steel merchants and manufacturers, under the style of William Turtle and Co.'[3]


The 1903 O.S. map[4] shows 'Millsands Works (Forge and Rolling Mills)' as a cluster of irregularly shaped buildings bounded by the River Don and by Bridge Street, close to the Borough Bridge, and about 200 yards east of the present Kelham Island Museum. However, it is by no means certain that this was Wm. Charles's works, since Naylor, Vickers also had works at Millsands.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Thursday 19th May 1870
  2. Leeds Mercury, 21 December 1871
  3. Western Daily Press, 27 January 1872
  4. The Godfrey Edition map: Yorkshire Sheet 294.08: Sheffield 1903 [1]