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British Industrial History

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John and William Dorning

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of Britannia Foundry, York Street, Manchester

1824 Partnership dissolved between John and William Dorning, and Alexander Grumbridge, of Manchester, Iron founders and ironmongers [1]

1825 Listed as ironmongers at 1 Oxford Street, and iron and brass founders, Britannia Foundry, York Street. John Dorning's house: 13 Clarendon Street, Chorlton Row[2]

1836 Advertisement: 'To Iron Founders and Engineers. ….ALL the STOCK and IMPLEMENTS of TRADE, at the Britannia Foundry, York-street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, near to Messrs. Bellhouse's timber yard, in Oxford-road, comprising an extensive stock of excellent moulding boxes for heavy and light work, and wood and iron patterns for steam engines and other purposes, with all other requisites for carrying on the foundry, smiths, and engine making business extensively, together with the manufactured stock of castings, ovens, grates, palisading, and other miscellaneous articles for builders. The premises would be let to an eligible tenant, for a term of years, with all the fixtures in complete working order, steam engine, fan blowing machine worked by the engine, three melting furnaces, smiths forges, cranes, lathes, boring and punching machines and engines, &c., &c……. The furnaces are computed to melt thirty and forty tons of pig iron per week, and the foundry will accommodate from twenty to thirty moulders. Mr. William Dorning will shew the premises and stock; for treaty, apply to Mr. JOHN DORNING, Wavertree, near Liverpool.'[3]

1836 Advertisement: 'Sale on the 16th, 17th. and 18th days of November at the Britannia Foundry, York-street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, (near Mr. Bellhouse's timber yard, Oxford-street, Manchester). The whole of the Stock in Trade, Tools, Implements, and Utensils, consisting of one steam engine of five horse's power, with ten horse boiler, with the whole of the mill work, three large cupolas, blowing fan, a variety of moulding boxes, drying stove, foundry crane, crane, shank and hand ladles, steam engine patterns from 2 to 20 horses power, a great variety of patterns for beams and pillars for fire-proof buildings, jobbing. geared, and slide lathe patterns, beautiful Gothic patterns for windows, palisade, and other purposes, cast-iron drum and pulley patterns, excellent assortment of fire-grate patterns, castings and grates fitted up, ovens, boilers, and kitchen ranges fitted up, a number of jobbing and geared turning lathes, two slide ditto, benches, vices, smiths', joiners', and turners' tools, two ten horses' high-pressure steam boilers, new and old wrought and cast iron, one four-wheeled boiler carriage, one excellent cart, one spring cart, counting-house fixtures, with every other article for conducting the iron foundry business on a respectable scale. …'[4]

1839 Advertisement: 'Locomotive Engine Makers, Iron Founders, Engineers, Coppersmiths, Gas Work Companies, Spinners, Brewers, Dyers, and Others. ….Lot 1. All those Capital WORKS, TURNING, FITTING-UP, and MACHINE SHOPS, FORGES, OFFICES, &c. known as the Britannia Foundry, with Steam Engine, Fan Blast, Three Furnaces, Foundry Crane, Mill Geering, Gas Piping, and Weighing .Machine, all in the most complete working condition; together with five newly erected Cottages adjoining thereto.—The plot of land upon which the said foundry and cottages are erected comprises in the whole 2,283 square yards, and is situate in York-street. Chorlton-upon-Medlock, opposite to Messrs. Belllhouse's timber-yard, having a frontage to the river of 60 yards 17 inches, and subject to the small yearly chief rent of £47 11s. 3d. The purchaser of this lot will have the option of taking the self-acting slide, and other lathes, boring-engine, valuable models, and other implements of trade and fixtures, at a valuation. Lot 2. All that substantially-erected FACTORY, opposite Lot 1, of seven storeys, having steam piping throughout, & mill geering, with iron driving pulleys thereon,of the most modern construction, by Fairbairn. with newly-erected engine-house, and steam engine of 20 horses' power, together with the four cottages, manager's house, lodges, cotton warehouse, and yard, comprising a site of about 1,036 square yards, now in the occupation of Messrs. Samuel and Henry Sharrocks, lessees thereof, ......—And also all that Smith's Shop and Foundry adjoining the said factory, now in the occupation of James Dorning, tenant from year to year, together with the land adjoining, comprising, with the site of the said smith's shop and foundry, about 1,200 square yards, and presenting a most eligible situation for factory, or weaving sheds. The total content the premises comprised in this lot 2,236 square yards, .....For inspection apply to Mr. JOHN DORNING, the owner, at the Britannia Foundry,....'[5]

It appears that the Britannia Foundry was subsequently occupied by John George Bodmer.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] The Law Advertiser, 1824, p.284
  2. History, Directory, and Gazetteer of the County Palatine of Lancaster, Volume 2, 1825
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 17th September 1836
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 12th November 1836
  5. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 23RD February 1839