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British Industrial History

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James Bray

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James Bray (c1802-1873) of Bray, Waddington and Co

c1802 Born at Bradford / Huddersfield

1821 November 18th. James Bray, Mason, and Elizabeth Golder were married at Tong, Bradford. Witnesses were George Spencer, John Patchett and John Pickles. [1]

1823 January 8th. Son Joseph Bray was christened at Bradford [2]

1824 September 26th. Son Edwin Bray was christened at Bradford [3].

1828 October 28th. His son, Thomas Bray, was christened at Bradford [4]

1846 November. A number of partnerships were dissolved between James Bray and James Fenton, as Engineers and Brass and Iron Founders, at the Railway Foundry, in Hunslet, Leeds, and elsewhere, under the respective styles or firms of Edward Brown Wilson and Company, Fenton, Craven, and Company, and Fenton and Company[5] [6]

1848 James bought the Moor Park Estate along with 227 acres and spent over £8,000 on renovating the house and grounds.

1851 Living at Beckwithshaw Moor Park (age 48 born Huddersfield), Contractor. With his wife Elizabeth (age 47 born Dover) and daughter Fanny H. (age 5 born Shipley). Also a visitor and four servants. [7]

1857 Death of Henry Leah Dyson, age 57, railway contractor of Bradford, many years cashier to James Bray. [8]

1861 Living at Beckwithshaw Moor Park (age 58 born Bradford), Railway Contractor, Farm 140 acres, employing 5 men / boys / Gardner. With his wife Elizabeth (age 57 born Dover) and their children Thomas (age 32 born Bradford), Elizabeth A. (age 19 born Shipley) and Fanny H. (age 16 born Shipley). Also six servants. [9]

1861 His daughter Elizabeth Ann marries William North, a solicitor from Leeds. [10]

1869 Moor Park was sold to Joseph Nussey, the local MP and a Leeds woollen manufacturer

1871 Living at Fulneck, Pudsey (age 69 born Bradford), Railway Contractor. With his wife Elizabeth (age 68 born Dover) and son Thomas (42 born Bradford), Colliery Agent and daughter Annie H. Dobson (age 25 born Shipley) and her four children. Also four servants. [11]

1873 Obituary [12]

The Late Mr James Bray. This gentleman died at Fulneck on the 17th instant, aged 72, and was on Wednesday interred at Pannal Church. He was a frequent visitor to Harrogate, and formerly resided at Moor Park.

He began life as a builder at Bradford and few men have been more extensively engaged as a contractor. He made parts of, and in several instances the entirety of, the following works, namely - The York and North Midland Railway, the first Leeds Waterworks, in 1840, the Crown Point Bridge, the Leeds New Docks, the Eastern Counties Railway, the York, Newcastle, and Darlington Railway, the Dover Harbour and Works, the Stanhope-on-Tyne Railway, the Leeds and Bradford Valley Line of Railway, the Leeds and Thirsk Railway, including the Bramhope Tunnel, the Bombay Waterworks, the Seinde Railway, India, The Methley Branch Railway, The Batley Branch Railway, the Ossett Branch Railway, and many other public works.

At his death he was the lessee of the Lumbwood and Doleswood Collieries at Drighlington


In the 1841 Census Thomas Bray (age 12) is a boarder at a school in Spofforth, Wetherby run by John and Mary Potter

In the 1841 Census Elizabeth Bray (age 35) is listed at Hunslet with Joseph (age 18), Edwin (age 16) and James (age 3).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. IGI
  2. IGI
  3. IGI
  4. IGI
  5. London Gazette 6 November 1846
  6. The Manchester Times and Gazette, Friday, November 13, 1846
  7. 1851 Census
  8. The Bradford Observer, Thursday, October 22, 1857
  9. 1861 Census
  10. The Bradford Observer, Thursday, July 04, 1861
  11. 1871 Census
  12. Harrogate Advertiser - 25th October 1873