Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Downing

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1820 James Watt (Junior) leased the French Wall's mill at Smethwick to Henry Downing, lending him the money necessary to convert it into an ironworks [1].

1821 - this may or may not concern the same Henry Downing - a court case concerned a bank at Dudley which had been involved in transactions that had been delayed by the postmaster; in November, Henry Downing drew a note for £200 on an iron master near Dudley named Hornblower which was paid into the bank; there was no suggestion that Downing was at fault [2].

1824 The partnership between Richard Hooton and Henry Downing of Birmingham, iron manufacturers, was dissolved [3].

1829 Henry Downing went bankrupt. Watt then leased the French Wall's property to the Bordesley Steel Co, which was still running it in the mid 1830s [4].

1836 Patent granted to Alexander Stocker of Bordesley Iron Works, Birmingham and Henry Downing of French Wall's iron works, Birmingham (gentlemen) for improvements in manufacturing rivets, screw blanks, and other articles [5].

Mid 1830s James Watt (Junior) took the French Wall's Works into his own hands and ran it in conjunction with the Soho Foundry, though as a separate concern, until old age forced him to give it up in 1842 [6].

1837 Henry Downing owned freehold houses at French Wall's[7]

1839 Henry Downing was acting director of Birmingham Tin Plate Co with offices at 21 Waterloo St [8]. Henry Downing was also manager of Bordesley Steel Co, French Wall's Iron and Steel Works, Smethwick, which also had offices at 21 Waterloo St, Birmingham.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Victoria County History, History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17: Offlow hundred (part)
  2. The Times, 14 April 1824
  3. The Morning Chronicle 14 January 1824
  4. Victoria County History, History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17: Offlow hundred (part)
  5. Manchester Times and Gazette January 7, 1837
  6. Victoria County History, History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17: Offlow hundred (part)
  7. Electoral Register
  8. 1839 Robson's Birmingham & Sheffield Directory