Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Arkwright and Co

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Sir Richard Arkwright and Co. Ltd., of Cromford and Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, and Manchester, cotton manufacturers.

1768 Richard Arkwright, John Smalley and David Thornley formed a partnership in Nottingham, an established textile centre, to exploit Arkwright's machine; they set up a mill powered by horses.

1771 Jedediah Strutt and Samuel Need joined Arkwright in the building of a cotton mill at Cromford, using what was henceforth called Arkwright's water frame. This was the first of its kind in the world, marking the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

From the mid-1770s the company expanded rapidly.

1776 A new mill was opened at Cromford

1777 Arkwright, Need, and Strutt, in partnership with Thomas Walshman and Thomas Cross, started construction of an ill-fated mill at Birkacre, near Chorley.

Between 1777 and 1780 construction of mills began at Bakewell, Wirksworth, Alport, Litton, Rocester in Staffordshire, and Manchester, where Arkwright failed in an attempt to obtain rotary power from a Newcomen engine.

1897 Acquired by the English Sewing Cotton Co.[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, December 2, 1897
  • [1] Manchester Archives
  • Arkwright's Cromford Mill
  • 1786-1811 (1 microfilm; original documents are at Chesterfield Library) Cotton mill wages books.