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British Industrial History

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Seaward and Capel

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1837 model of cylinder and valve gear, to the 1834 patent of Samuel Seaward, at the London Science Museum. This arrangement was used on HMS Gorgon

Seaward & Capel were makers of engines for steamships, of Canal Iron Works, Millwall

John and Samuel Seaward and James Capel gained renown for introducing the direct-acting paddle-engine. They fitted warships as well as Thames steamers, and also made swing-bridges and cranes.

1842 After the death of Samuel Seaward, John Seward continued the business of Seaward and Co.

1838-42 See 1839-1842 Marine Engine Makers for details of engines made for the Admiralty

1841 Seaward and Capel supplied patented disconnection gear for the paddle steamer HMS Styx[1]

1843 The Penelope steam frigate (Seaward and Co of Poplar). Engines made for the steam frigate Firebrand (Seaward and Capel)[2]

1851 Seaward and Capel supplied engines for the Amazon for the West India Steam Packet Co built by R. and H. Green[3]

1852 The Amazon was lost at sea from fire, having earlier suffered from overheated bearings[4]

1854 Shear legs erected by the company at Southampton Docks c.1847 collapsed[5]

1855 Seaward and Capel exhibited machinery at the Paris Universal Exhibition[6]

1856 Subscribed £10 to the Smith Testimonial Fund, commemorating the work of F. P. Smith in promoting the screw propeller.

1856 The partnership of Seward and Capel at Canal Iron Works was dissolved; (James Durnford Capel left the business); John Seaward would be responsible for the business in future[7]

1858 John Seaward died. The yard was auctioned.

1860 the Canal Works were taken over by William Jackson and Richard Watkins.



1830 James Durnford Capel junior, an engineer of Limehouse, was bankrupt[8].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, May 08, 1841
  2. The Times, Feb 09, 1853
  3. The Times, Apr 11, 1851
  4. The Times, Jan 08, 1852
  5. The Times, Jan 04, 1854
  6. London Gazette 23 January 1855
  7. London Gazette, 12 August 1856
  8. The Law Advertiser, Volume 8 (1830)
  • A Short History of Naval and Marine Engineering by E. C. Smith. Published 1937
  • Mechanics Magazine Volume XXXIX (39) 1843 Pt2 p46