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British Industrial History

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Henry Wimshurst

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Henry Wimshurst (c1804-1884) of Wimshurst and Christian, Ratcliffe, London, Ship Builders.

c.1804 Born in Rotherhithe

1827 July 29th. Married Rebecca Fuller

Built the SS Archimedes

1840 Patent. 'Henry Wimshurst, of Limehouse, ship builder, for improvements of steam vessels, and shipping and unshipping propellors. Sealed 2nd November- 6 months for inrolment.'[1]

1841 Henry Wimshurst 37, ship builder, lived in Limehouse with Roberta (sic) Wimshurst 40, Henry Wimshurst 12, James Wimshurst 9, John Wimshurst 6, Everden Wimshurst 3, Rebecca Wimshurst 1[2]

1847 Creditors. '...whereby Henry Wimshurst, of Limehouse, and Millwall, Poplar, in the county of Middlesex, Byrom George Howies, of No. 5, Surrey-street, Strand, in the said county of Middlesex, and William Goodwin Crowder, of Nelson-street, Turner-street, Commercial-road, in the said county of Middlesex, Ship Owners, conveyed and assigned the steam ship Novelty, and all and singular (with certain exceptions) other their personal estate and effects whatsoever unto Christopher James Redpath, of Dean's-buildings, near the West India Docks, in the said county of Middlesex, Export Ironmonger, James Hall, of Saint Ann's-place, Limehouse, in the said county ot Middlesex, Plumber, Thomas Smith, of Rotherhithe, in the county of Surrey, Sailmaker, and William Everden, of Whitehorse-street, Stepney, in the said county of Middlesex, Ship Surveyor, as trustees, upon trust, for the benefit of all the creditors of them the said Henry Wimshurst, Byrom George Rowles, and William Goodwin Crowder...'[3]

1849 The partnership of Wimshurst and Christian, shipbuilders and shipwrights, was dissolved

1851 Living at 52 Broad Street, Stepney: Henry Wimshurst (age 47 born Rotherhithe), Ship Builder, with his wife Rebecca Wimshurst (age 49 born Woolwich) and their five children: Henry W. Wimshurst (age 22 born Poplar), Shipwright; James Wimshurst (age 18 born Poplar), Shipwright; John R. Wimshurst (age 14 born Limehouse); Everdan Wimshurst (age 13 born Limehouse); and Rebecca M. Wimshurst (age 10 born Limehouse).[4]

1861 Living at 52 Broad Street, Stepney: Henry Wimhurst (age 57 born Rotherhithe), Shipbuilder employing 36 men. With his wife Rebecca Wimhurst (age 59 born Woolwich) and their son Rob M Wimhurst (age 20 born Limehouse). One servant.[5]

1863 Death of his wife. 'On the 28th inst., at 5, Cambridge Lodge Villa 9, Hackney, Rebecca, wife of Henry Wimshurst, Esq., late of Ratcliff Dry Dock, aged sixty-three years.'[6]

1876 Claim for credit for screw-propeller. ' his account of the various efforts to bring the screw-propeller into practical use, the claims of Mr. Henry Wimshurst to have his name associated with those of Captain Everson and Mr. Pettit Smith in their first successful application of the screw-propeller on a large scale to a vessel called the Archimedes in 1838. Mr. Wimshurst has himself drawn up a statement of the part which he took in promoting the success of this experiment, which he has published in the Nautical Magazine of last May...'[7]

1881 James Wimshurst 48, widower, lived in Wandsworth with Henry Wimshurst 78, retired, James E. Wimshurst 16, Henry C. Wimshurst 14, Mary A. Wimshurst 11[8]

1884 August 26th. Died. Formerly of 17 Victoria Road, Clapham Common and late of 63 Warrior Square, St. Leonards-on-Sea, Engineer. Probate to his daughter Rebecca Mary the wife of Alexander Chaplin.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Kendal Mercury - Saturday 05 December 1840
  2. 1841 census
  3. The London Gazette Publication date:23 February 1847 Issue:20706 Page:770
  4. 1851 Census
  5. 1861 Census
  6. Morning Post - Saturday 31 October 1863
  7. The Star - Tuesday 15 August 1876
  8. 1881 census