Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Kitson

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James Kitson (1807-1885) of Todd, Kitson and Laird, then Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson, then Kitson and Hewitson and finally Kitson and Co

1807 October. Born in Leeds son of William Kitson

1828 Married Ann Newton [1] and had four sons and two daughters

1837 Founded Todd, Kitson and Laird

1839 December. His brother John age 23 dies in Jamaica [2]

1842 The business became Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson

1851 Living at 18 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds (age 43 born Leeds), Engineer. With wife Ann (age 44 born Leeds) and children F. William (age 21), James Kitson (age 15), Emily, (age 9) John H. (age 7) and Arthur (age 2). Three servants. [3]

1854 Established the Monk Bridge Iron Co

1858 Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson became Kitson and Hewitson

1861 Living at 1 Little Woodhouse, Leeds (age 55 born Leeds), Mayor. Engineer employing 1100 men and boys and Ironmaster employing 450 men and boys. With wife Ann (age 56 born Leeds) and children Mary Ann (age 23), Emily (age 19), John Hawthorn (age 17) and Arthur (age 12). Seven servants. [4]

1863 James Kitson became sole owner of Kitson and Co on the death of his partner William Watson Hewitson

1865 Daughter Mary marries Edwin Charles Clark of Lincoln's Inn. [5]

1868 Son John Hawthorn marries Jessie Ellershaw [6]

Ann dies and he marries Elizabeth

1871 Living at Elmeter Hall, Roundhay (age 63 born Leeds), Engineer employing 900 workmen. With wife Elizabeth (age 37 born East Stoke, Nottinghamshire) and children Francis R. (age 2) and Eva M. (age 1). Also a visitor and eight servants. [7]

1881 Not found in census

1885 Obituary. Attended Mechanic's Institute. Began business in partnership with Mr. Laird at the Airedale Foundry. Later Laird gave way to Thompson and Hewitson. Purchased Monk Bridge Ironworks and handed over to his sons Frederick and James to run. Chairman of the Leeds Northern Railway. Director of the North Eastern Railway. Mayor of Leeds in 1860 and 1861. He had six children by his first wife and four by the second. [8]


  • Francis R. 1869
  • Eva M. 1870

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Leeds Mercury, Saturday, September 20, 1828
  2. The Leeds Mercury, Saturday, June 20, 1840
  3. 1851 Census
  4. 1861 Census
  5. The Leeds Mercury, Saturday, June 10, 1865
  6. The Leeds Mercury, Saturday, September 5, 1868
  7. 1871 Census
  8. The Leeds Mercury, Wednesday, July 1, 1885