Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Astbury and Co

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of the London Works, Smethwick

The partnership of Thomas Astbury and his son, James, of Smethwick, Birmingham.

1856 London Works, Smethwick was vacated by Fox, Henderson and Co.

1858 London Works was partially occupied by Thomas Astbury and Sons[1].

c.1860 The partnership of Watkins and Keen also moved to London Works[2].

1862 Thomas Astbury of London Works gave a New Year's Day dinner for his managers and employees (about 160-170); Mr Arthur Keen was the vice-chairman of the dinner; James Astbury also made a speech[3].

1864 the growing enterprise of Watkins and Keen displaced Astbury and Sons from London Works; the Patent Nut and Bolt Co advertised for contractor to level earthworks; Thomas Astbury and Co advertised for levelling of the yard[4].

1865 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, James Astbury, Francis Watkins, and Arthur Keen, carrying on the business of Iron Founders, at The London Works, at Smethwick, in the county of Stafford, under the style or firm of Thomas Astbury and Co., was dissolved...'[5]

The London Works were then occupied by William Weaver Vaughan who traded as the London Works Iron Co

1866 Griffiths' patent oil gas retorts [6]

1873 Partnership of Thomas Astbury and James Astbury dissolved [7].

1874 The company name Thomas Astbury and Son was still in use when recruiting workers. Adverts mentioned "Smethwick Foundry".

1887 Supplier of shells to the British government[8].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of Arthur Keen, by Barbara M. D. Smith, ODNB
  2. Biography of Arthur Keen, by Barbara M. D. Smith, ODNB
  3. Birmingham Daily Post 6 January 1862
  4. Birmingham Daily Post 7 October 1864
  5. The London Gazette Publication date:27 June 1865 Issue:22984 Page:3218
  6. The Engineer of 18th May 1866 p356
  7. Birmingham Daily Post 17 November 1873
  8. The Times, 8 August 1887