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 142,989 pages of information and 229,205 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Marples and Sons

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Between 1830s - 1860s Small coin sized brass plate from the button handle of an Ultimatum Brace. The object dates earlier in the business as the 'Harp' Trademark is used.
ca.1920. Wood Chisel.
July 1907. Hibernia.
1938. "Shamrock" Brand.
Oil Can?

Hibernia Works of Sheffield

1821 William Marples Junior joined his father's joinery making business in Sheffield when he was 12 years old.

1828 Company founded. By the age of 19, William Junior was trading under his own name in Broomhall Street.

1837 William Junior moved his company to bigger premises in Broomspring Lane.

1848 John Cartwright took out a patent for a carpenters brace, the rights to which William bought.

1856 The company moved to a workshop in Westfield Terrace, the company remaining there for 116 years.

c1860 Edwin Henry Marples and William Kent Marples, the sons of William Marples, became partners in William Marples and Sons.

1892 Acquired the business of John Moseley and Son, plane makers, London.

1898 Private company.

1905 Purchased the business of Thomas Ibbotson and Co, edge tool makers, Sheffield.

1914 Manufacturers of tools for all trades including carpenters, engineers, masons and plumbers. Employees 400. [1]

1937 Tool manufacturers. "Shamrock" Small Tools. [2]

1961 Tool manufacturers. 400 employees. [3]

1962 The business was purchased by W. Ridgeway and Sons and C. and J. Hampton, after having been in the Marples family until that time.

1972 Production was moved to Dronfield.

2008 The company is now owned by Irwin Industrial Tool Co.


A contributor writes: - It appears that the company didn't do just tools for I have here in Paris a knife 33cms long including the handle that appears to be either bone or as I suspect an early form of bakelite clearly coming from the Hibernia works (marked as such) that is still in daily use as it keeps a good edge. Very good for cutting meat both raw and cooked. [4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5