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British Industrial History

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Fenton, Murray and Jackson

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1843 winch for operating lock gates at Victoria Lock, Meelick, on the Shannon Navigation. Photo by Brian J. Goggin

an important engineering company, of Round Foundry, Water Lane, Holbeck, Leeds.

formerly Fenton, Murray and Wood

1826 The company became Fenton, Murray and Jackson with the addition of Matthew Murray's son-in-law Richard Jackson.

Joseph Cubitt was apprenticed to the firm, where his uncle Benjamin Cubitt was managing engineer [1].

1831 Work began building engines to George Stephenson's designs, both 2-2-0 "Planets" and 2-2-2 "Patentees" many of them under subcontract. Some were exported, and they also made twenty of Daniel Gooch's Firefly class for the Great Western Railway.

1834 James Fenton died

1834 Listed as machine makers [2]

c.1834 Richard Peacock was apprenticed at Fenton, Murray and Jackson in Leeds.

1838 Beam engine for Castleton Mills, Armley Road, Leeds. It ran until c.1920, when it was replaced by a larger engine [3]

By 1840, they were turning out up to twenty engines a year.

1843 The boom was over and the company closed down. Nearly eighty locomotives had been built. Among the company's apprentices were some who went on to further success, David Joy, John Chester Craven, and Richard Peacock

1845 'FENTON, MURRAY, AND JACKSON'S FOUNDRY, MARSHALL STREET AND WATER LANE, LEEDS. MESSRS. T. & W. HARDWICK beg to announce that they have received Instructions from the Assignees of Richard Jackson and Richard Yale, lately in Business under the Firm of Fenton, Murray and Jackson, to SELL BY AUCTION, EARLY in the MONTH of MAY, upon the Premises in Water Lane and Marshall Street, Leeds, ALL THE EXTENSIVE and TRULY VALUABLE SMITH'S, FOUNDER'S, BOILER MAKER'S, and LOCOMOTIVE ENGINE MAKER'S TOOLS, MACHINES, and other EFFECTS, comprising 27 SLIDE LATHES various Dimensions ; FACE LATHES, 7 UPRIGHT DRILLING MACHINES, LARGE and SMALL PLANING MACHINES, LARGE BORING MILL with CHANGE WHEELS and BORING BARS, LARGE DITTO for BORING LOCOMOTIVE CYLINDERS, 2 SMALL BORING MACHINES, LARGE SLOTTING MACHINE, and DITTO SELF-ACTING; SCREWING MACHINES, NUT SCREWING MACHINE, SMALL DRILLING MACHINES, TILT HAMMER, and LARGE SHEARS, 2 LARGE SHEARS, with PUNCHING MACHINES, 4 PUDDLING FURNACES, PAIR ROLL FRAMES, and Iron Plates and Foundations; BENDINO MACHINE. PUNCHING ENGINE, FORCE PUMPS, FANS and SPEED PULLIES, LARGE HYDRAULIC PRESS, 8 Inch Ram and Pump; Large Weighing Machine, Large Cranes, Blocks, and Ropes, Beams and Scales, Smith's Hearth's and Slake Troughs, numerous Pairs of Vice, and Vice Benches, Joiner's Benches and Tools, Grindstones and Troughs, and other numerous and exceedingly valuable Working Tools, Machines, and other Effects. Further Particulars this extensive and valuable Machinery will appear in descriptive Catalogues now in preparation, and in future Advertisements. The Property will be on View 14 Days previous to the Sale, and any further Information may be had in the meantime by making Application to the Auctioneers; George Young, Esquire, Official Assignee; or to Mr. JOHN BLACKBURN, Albion Street, Leeds. Solicitor to the Fiat.[4]

1843 or a later date: The Round Foundry was taken over by Smith, Beacock and Tannett, renaming it the Victoria Foundry and they continued as machine tool manufacturers until 1894.

1846 A different James Fenton took over the Railway Foundry of Shepherd and Todd, and carried on building locomotives, then becoming Fenton, Craven and Co.


For the Liverpool and Manchester Railway

For the Leeds and Selby Railway

For the Sheffield and Rotherham Railway

For the Hull and Selby Railway

For the Great Western Railway

  • 1841 Hecla
  • 1841 Stromboli
  • 1841 Etna

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of Sir William Cubitt, ODNB
  2. General & Commercial Directory of Leeds, 1834
  3. The Engineer, 1st April 1927
  4. Leeds Intelligencer, 10th May 1845