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British Industrial History

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William Canute Bodley (1802-1858)

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William Canute Bodley (1802-1858) of A. and W. C. Bodley and W. C. and C. Bodley

1802 Born at St. Kerrian, Exeter, the son of George Bodley and his wife Ann Parkin

In 1838 William Canute Bodley, who had been working in partnership with his brother Alfred in A. and W. C. Bodley and set up the West of England Foundry which was situated opposite the cattle market on land now occupied by Renslade House. Not only did the new foundry manufacture waterwheels and undertake other general foundry work, but William Canute took with him the right to manufacture the famous Bodley stove.[1]

1840 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership which lately existed between the undersigned, Alfred Bodley and William Canute Bodley, of Exeter, Ironfounders, was dissolved, by mutual consent...'[2]

1846 Partnership dissolved. '...the partnership between William Canute Bodley and Charles Bodley, of the City of Exeter, Ironfounders, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent...'[3]

1847 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting and carried on, in the county of the city of Exeter, between us the undersigned, William Canute Bodley and Charles Hill, as Ironfounders, is this day dissolved, by mutual consent...'[4]

1847 Mention of his partner Mr. Huxtable.[5]

1847 Court adjudication. 'Mr. William Canute Bodley, iron-founder, was summoned by an apprentice named William Wakeham Martin, for the non payment of 4s 8d wages. Mr. Fryer appeared for the complainant. The boy had injured his hand with a hammer, and not being able to do his usual work for a fortnight, had been employed in running errands. Mr. Bodley, and his partner in business, Mr. Huxtable, maintained that the boy did no work all that time, and that he only came to the shop to play - he was never asked to work, being considered incapable. The mayor ordered the sum to be paid, as the boy had not, according to the indenture- "wilfully neglected his work." [6]

1848 Letter where he reassures the directors and shareholders of the South Devon Railway that he has now solved the longitudinal valve problem for the atmospheric railway.[7]

1851 Living at Bonhay, Exeter: William C. Bodley (age 49 born Exeter), Master Ironfounder employs 14 men and 6 boys. With his wife Jane Bodley (age 48 born Exeter) and their five children; Paul Bodley (age 16 born Exeter); Christopher Taylor (age 21 born Exeter), Ironfounder; Louisa Bodley (age 14 born Exeter); Bessy Bodley (age 12 born Exeter); and Marian Bodley (age 9 born Exeter). Also a visitor and one servant.[8]

1852 'Gigantic Casting. — Mr. W. C. Bodley, of the Bonhay, has recently cast a large shaft for Mr. Harris, of the Countess Weir Mills, which weighed nearly five tons.'[9]

1854 Death of his wife Jane, age 53.[10]

1855 Insolvent. 'William Canute Bodley, Bonhay, Exeter, iron and brass founder, to surrender 7th August, at 11, and 6th September, at 1, at the District Court of Bankruptcy...'[11]

1858 Died.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Exeter Memories website, Bodley & Co. webpage, Written by David Cornforth and Anne Speight
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:7 July 1840 Issue:19872 Page:1604
  3. Western Times - Saturday 16 May 1846
  4. The London Gazette Publication date:1 January 1847 Issue:20688 Page:21
  5. Western Times - Saturday 14 August 1847
  6. Western Times - Saturday 14 August 1847
  7. Western Times - Saturday 30 December 1848
  8. 1851 census
  9. Western Times, 3rd January 1852
  10. Western Times - Saturday 18 February 1854
  11. Morning Post - Wednesday 01 August 1855