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Michael Longridge (1785-1858)

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Michael Longridge (1785-1858)

Michael Longridge (1785-1858), was a nephew of Thomas Longridge (c.1751-1803), co-owner of Bedlington Ironworks from 1782. He was also a cousin of Daniel Gooch.

He caused the erection of new buildings to cater for the social and educational needs of his workmen. These buildings carried the arms of the Longridge family on the gable of a cottage.

Michael Longridge was the business brain behind the success of the company in railway development. Bedlington was a pioneer in the rolling of long malleable iron rails.

1785 September 5th. Born at Bishopwearmouth

1809 Gordon and Biddulph, a London based company, took over the Bedlington Ironworks and at some point they appointed Michael Longridge to manage it

1813 May 18th. Married Mary Atkinson at Bishop Wearmouth

1814 April 1st. Birth of his daughter Jane Elizabeth at Bishop Wearmouth

1816 February 29th. Baptism of his son George Michael at Bishop Wearmouth

Sometime after 1816 he was made a partner in the Bedlington Ironworks

1817 July 2nd. Baptism of his eldest surviving son, James Atkinson Longridge at Bishop Wearmouth

c1819 Son William Smith Longridge born

c1821 Son Robert Bewick Longridge born

c1823 Son Charles born

1823 Michael Longridge of Bedlington was a partner in the newly formed R. Stephenson and Co - other partners were Robert Stephenson and George Stephenson of Killingworth, Edward Pease of Darlington. The original capital was £4,000 divided into ten shares of £400 each. The Stephensons and Longridge held two shares each, Pease held four[1]. Another source says Edward Pease also held the shares of Thomas Richardson.

He also managed Robert Stephenson's works during the latter's absence abroad. During these periods, Michael Longridge managed both Bedlington and the Forth Banks firms[2]. But there were objections to this practice; Longridge responded to one such letter received by his friend Thomas Richardson, saying: "I will state my reasons for being concerned in engine building with George and Robert Stephenson. George has rendered me very considerable service in giving an opinion favourable to the Bedlington rails which his own interests led him to recompense the pecuniary loss he sustained, but I have since done what in me lay to forward his interest and Robert’s. It was against my will they commenced as engine builders but after they had begun, considering it beneficial to the Bedlington Ironworks and that George and Robert would benefit from my habits of business in which they were both deficient, I offered to take part with them. Most assuredly I never intended to have the slightest charge of the manufactory further than attending the monthly meeting of the partners. Circumstances have unfortunately places the responsibility on my shoulders, but I hope that Robert’s early return to England will relieve me. Meanwhile, if you or Mr. Pease can appoint a more suitable person, it will much oblige. Your truly, M. L."[3].

c1826 Daughter Mary F. born

c1828 Son Henry G. born

1835 Robert Bewick Longridge (1821-1914) was indentured to his father Michael Longridge of the Bedlington Ironworks, Northumberland, as an apprentice millwright for a period of seven years. Indenture signed and sealed by Michael and R. B. Longridge, witnessed by William Blenkinsop and Charles John Longridge (1822-1859), brother of R.B.Longridge[4]

c.1838 Established R. B. Longridge and Co at Bedlington, Northumberland, under the direction of Robert Bewick Longridge, his fourth son.

1840 His portrait was painted by James Ramsey [5]

1841 Living at Bedlington Ironworks (age 55). With his wife Mary (age 40) and their children James (age 24), William (age 22), Robert (age 20), Charles (age 18) and Mary (age 15). Three servants. [6]

1851 Living at 24 Westgate Street, Newcastle: Michael Longridge (age 65 born Durham), a Retired Iron Manufacturer. With his wife Mary Longridge (age 56 born Carlisle) and their daughter Mary F. Longridge (age 25 born Bedlington) and son Henry G. Longridge (age 23 born Bedlington). Four servants. [7]

1858 October 4th. Died [8]age 73.

Michael's sons James and Henry left the north east of England about this time.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. NRM [1]
  2. Bedlington Ironworks by Christopher Bergen [2]
  3. Bedlington Ironworks by Christopher Bergen [3]
  4. National Archives [4]
  5. National Railway Museum [5]
  6. 1841 Census
  7. 1851 Census
  8. Bedlington Ironworks [6]