Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,662 pages of information and 235,203 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Marshall, Sons and Co

From Graces Guide


1869. Vertical Engine and Boiler.
1869. Double Corn Mill at the Manchester Show.
1870. Horizontal Engines at the Oxford Show.
April 1870.
1872. Iron Framed Thrashing Machine at The 1872 Royal Agricultural Show.
January 1872.
June 1872.
1876. Agricultural Locomotive.
1877. 8 horse-power traction engine.


1881. At the Smithfield Show.
January 1888.
June 1888.
1892. Vertical Engine and Boiler.
1892. Single-Cylinder Portable Engine.
1892. Improved Traction Engine.
Although this steam engine at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has a brass plate proclaiming Thomas Bradford and Co, it was made by Marshall
1893. Horizontal Engine with Proell Valve Gear at the 1893 Smithfield Club Show.
1895. Portable and traction engines for the 1893 Smithfield Club Show.
February 1899.
c1900. Marshall boiler on route to a Ceylon Tea factory.
1900. Exhibit at the Hull Street Life Museum.
February 1901.
January 1902.
April 1903.
1904. Pumping engine at Ravensfleet.
January 1906.
1919. Road Scarifier.
1922.All Steel Thrashing Machine.
1922.Mechanical Flax Puller.
1922. Portable Steam Engine.
November 1923
1924. Road roller.
1925. 9 ton universal road roller.
1929. 'Manumit Motor Roller.
December 1929. Road rollers.
1931. Steam road roller.
1932. Oil Engine Driven Roller.
1933. 10 Ton Oil Engine. Driven Road Roller.
1933. Special Steam Roller for Consolidating Reservoir Embankments. For the County Durham Water Board.
Saw bench.
Exhibit at Armley Mill Museum.
Marshall barring engine on Hathorn, Davey pumping engine at Mill Meece Pumping Station
Saw Bench.
No 86085. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
No 86085. (Detail). Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
1952. Marshall boiler.
1961. Packaged boiler.
1961. Road Roller.
1966. Road-Marshall series "H"
No. 93953. Exhibit at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
No. 93953 (detail). Exhibit at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
Diesel roller (Type RT608) in the town of Ava in Myanmar (Burma) No: 93683 or 95683.
Marshall Lancashire style boiler seen in India.

Marshall, Sons and Co of Britannia Iron Works, Gainsborough, Lincs.

The company was a British machinery and Traction Engine manufacturer. Marshall's produced large numbers of steam traction engines, steam rollers and agricultural machinery of all types. Later production included diesel tractors such as the Field Marshall and Track Marshall.

See also -

1842 William Marshall originally an agent for William Fairbairn and Sons branched out on his own and purchased the defunct engineering works of William Garland and Son at Back Street Foundry in Gainsborough.

1848 Company established

1849 Renamed as Britannia Ironworks; commenced production of road steam engines.

1857 William's son, James Marshall, become a partner in the company; the name was changed to William Marshall and Son.

1861 His other son Henry Dickenson Marshall became a partner in the business.

1861 Employing 21 men and 10 boys. [1]

1861 William Marshall died; the 2 brothers took over the running of the business. Under their direction steam engineering became one of the major parts of the business and it remained so until at least the First World War: portable engines of all sizes, traction engines, stationary engines, and boilers were manufactured and exported to markets around the world.

1862 Incorporated as a Limited Company as Marshall, Sons & Co. Ltd

1871 Employing 521 men and 85 boys [2]

1876 First traction engine produced.

1877 Exhibitors at the 1877 Royal Agricultural Show at Liverpool [3].

1876 Exhibitor at the Royal Agricultural Show at Birmingham with a new expansion gear actuated by the governor. Details of their feeder for sheaves. [4]

1878 Built a railway locomotive and two more in 1898 and 1902.

1881 Employing 1,437 men and 137 boys [5]

1888 Issued catalogue of tea-preparing machinery with steam engines and boilers. Second catalogue on engines - portable, semi-portable, traction, fixed, horizontal and vertical, condensing; boilers, locomotives and vertical, and saw benches. Another section on road locomotives, portable and fixed engines, thrashing machinery, elevators and mills. [6]

1894 Catalogue of Tea preparing machinery. [7]

1895 Horizontal Engine with gear drive for Stockport Waterworks (Wilmslow Station).

1911 Smithfield Club Show. Exhibited a new steam tractor, a portable engine, a thrashing machine, a patented fire-box and various accessories.

1911 Horizontal Rotative Engine for Chatham and Rochester Waterworks (Luton Station). [8]

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Steam Motor Wagons, Tractors and Ploughs etc. see the 1917 Red Book

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Paraffin Commercial and Agricultural Motors, Tractors, Ploughs, Sprayers, etc. see the 1917 Red Book

1914 Agricultural and General Engineering for Home and Abroad. Specialities: "Marshall's Oil Tractors" and Jackson's Patent Tea Machinery. Employees 5000. [9]

1920 February. Issued catalogue on Cornish, Lancashire and water-tube boilers. [10]

1920 Royal Agricultural Show at Darlington. 16 bhp portable oil engine (illustrated). [11]

1922 In the show held by the Bedfordshire Agricultural Society at Ampthill, Beds. on the 20th, they were awarded a silver medal for the "Marshall" Class "SM" all-steel finishing thrashing machine.[12]

1925 Mr W. F. Weston became a county representative of the company.[13]

1925 The company secured a contract to supply the Greek Government with 100 compound steam road rollers of the "Marshall" latest Class "S" series.[14]

1926 - December. Awarded two gold medals and three bronze medals at the Presidency Agricultural Show, Poona, India in October last. One of the gold medals was given for the "Marshall" all-steel frame thrashing machinery.[15]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.

1929 The company purchased the goodwill, some debts and spare parts of Clayton and Shuttleworth which was in liquidation [16].

1934 As result of continued poor trade, the company was placed in receivership[17]

1935 October. Bought by Thomas W. Ward Ltd. Employed 930 men[18]. Business reorganised and costs reduced.

1936 Marshalls, Sons and Co (Successors) Ltd was formed as a private company to acquire from Thomas W. Ward Ltd the property undertaking and assets of the engineering business of Marshalls, Sons and Co Ltd est 1848. Converted into a public company[19]. 5 directors of Wards were on the board.

1936 1st AGM. Joseph Ward is Chairman [20]

1937 2nd AGM. Joseph Ward is Chairman and Ashley S. Ward is deputy-Chairman and Managing Director [21]

1937 Engineers and boiler manufacturers. [22]

WWII Made Diesel tractors and rollers, dumpers, concrete machinery, tea machinery, steam plant boilers, and work for the war effort[23]

1943 Name changed to Marshall, Sons and Co Ltd. Public company

1947 Marshall, Sons and Co merged with John Fowler and Co Ltd; the 2 companies had major interests in diesel tractors[24]. Ashley Skelton Ward, chairman of Wards, was also chairman of the Marshall company[25]. Subsidiary companies included:

By 1952 Thomas W. Ward were sole UK concessionaires for the tractors produced by the group[26]

1961 General engineers and machinery manufacturers, producing diesel crawler tractors, diesel road rollers, diesel wheeled tractors, distillation plant, tea preparing machinery, fire tube packaged boilers, earth moving equipment, heavy fabricated steel work, diesel shunting locomotives and wire drawing machinery. 3,048 employees. [27]

1967 Acquired by Thomas W. Ward[28]

1969 Acquired Bristol Tractor Taurus Machines from Mann Egerton to form a British group concentrating on the small crawler tractor market; production would be concentrated at Gainsborough; sales would be handled by Marshall-Fowler[29]

By 1973 Thomas W. Ward owned Marshall-Fowler, tractor manufacturer with a large factory in Leeds which was under consideration for closure[30]. The Marshall-Fowler tractor operations were transferred to Gainsborough.

1975 Thomas W. Ward decided to close the Marshall-Fowler operations at Gainsborough and Leeds[31]

1975 British Leyland acquired the Marshall-Fowler tractor factory at Gainsborough; the factory would be used to expand the Aveling-Barford business making earth moving and road construction equipment[32]

1970s The factory in Gainsborough was derelict. There is now a supermarket standing on (part of) the former Britannia Iron Works site.

Marshall, Sons and Co. built the boiler for the Fairbairn steam crane which stands on the dockside in Bristol. The maker's plate reads "Marshall Sons and Co. Ltd., Engineers, Gainsboro, England, No.92766".


  • There is a Marshall portable boiler currently restored and in use as the steam source for the Westonzoyland Museum

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1861 Census
  2. 1871 Census
  3. The Engineer 1877/07/13
  4. The Engineer of 21st July 1876 p40 & p43
  5. 1881 Census
  6. The Engineer of 27th April 1888 p338
  7. The Engineer of 27th April 1894 p360
  8. The Engineer of 8th December 1911 p593
  9. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  10. The Engineer of 27th Feb 1920 p208
  11. The Engineer of 25th June 1920 p650
  12. The Engineer 1922/08/04
  13. The Engineer 1925/03/20
  14. The Engineer 1925/10/02
  15. The Engineer 1926/12/17
  16. The Times, Feb 19, 1930
  17. The Times, May 05, 1934
  18. The Times, Monday, Oct 28, 1935
  19. The Times, Mar 27, 1947
  20. The Times, Thursday, Jun 11, 1936
  21. The Times, Thursday, Dec 16, 1937
  22. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  23. The Times, Dec 21, 1939
  24. The Times, Jan 02, 1947
  25. The Times Mar 27, 1947
  26. The Times Jul 25, 1952
  27. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  28. The Times Dec 30, 1967
  29. The Times, Dec 31, 1969
  30. The Times, Mar 03, 1973
  31. The Times, Jun 25, 1975
  32. The Times, Sep 01, 1975
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of Tractors by Mirco de Cet published in 2006 by Rebo International ISBN 978-90-366-1893-9
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  • Steam Engine Builders of Lincolnshire by Ronald H. Clark. Published 1955 by Goose and Son