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British Industrial History

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Benjamin Dobson (1786-1839)

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Benjamin Dobson (1786-1839), iron founder

1786 Probably the son of Isaac Dobson

c1816 Birth of son Thomas Wentworth Dobson

1823 Birth of son Benjamin Dobson

1828 One of the promoters of the Bolton and Leigh Railway

1836 Mention of a fire at the machine manufactory of Benjamin Dobson in Blackhorse street, Bolton.[1]

1839 February 15th. Died. At his residence, near Bolton, Benjamin Dobson, machine maker and iron founder.[2]

1841 Death of Helen Elizabeth, relict of the late Benjamin Dobson of Mere Hall, Bolton.[3]

1844 Death of his eldest son Thomas Wentworth (Dobson), at Mere Hall, near Bolton, age 23 years.[4]

1846 Sale of business and home. 'ALL those Established and well-known WORKS for MAKING MACHINERY, used in the Preparation and Spinning of Cotton, situate in Black Horse Street, Bolton, in the County of Lancaster, in the occupation of the Executors of the late Benjamin Dobson. The Works consist of several large Machine Shops, Iron and Brass Foundries, Smithies, Roller, Spindle and Fly Shops, large Grinding Shop, Saw Mill, Saw Pit, Stores, Iron Warehouses, Pattern Rooms, Store Rooms, Joiners’ Shop, Engine and Boiler Houses, Gas Works, Weighing Machine House, Counting Houses, and other Buildings, also two Reservoirs, and a spacious Timber Yard. The ground plot of whole contains 6198 superficial square yards, or thereabouts. And also TWO STEAM ENGINES of 65-horses’ power, and three Steam Boilers of 90-borses’ power, together with the Mill Geering, Lathes, Planeing Machines, Slotting Machines, Wheelcutting Machines, Slide Lathes, Drilling Engines, Boring Machines, and all other necessary Tools and Utensils, used in the Machine making business. And also the Stock of Patterns, Iron, Brass, Steel, Timber, etc., now on the premises. A portion of the Property above described is Freehold, and the remainder is held for the residue of a term exceeding 900 years, and is subject to the yearly ground rent of £1. 17s. 2d. And also all that FREEHOLD ESTATE, consisting of modern and elegant Mansion, situate in Little Bolton, in the said County, called “MERE HALL,” lately erected by the said Benjamin Dobson, containing Entrance Hall, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Library, Breakfast Room, Smoking Room, Servant’s Hall, Kitchen, Butler’s Pantry, Scullery, Washing-house and Brewhouse, the ground floor; eight good Bed Rooms, with Bath Room and Water Closet, on the first floor and excellent Servants Sleeping Rooms in the Attic. The whole is Cellared under, and fitted up with every convenience required gentleman's establishment, having been erected the late owner for his own residence. Also two excellent Stables, for eight horses, with Coach-house, Harness-room, Shippon, for six cows, Dutch Barn, and other Outbuildings. Also the Gardens, and Pleasure Grounds, and several Closes of Meadow and Pasture Land. Also five Cottages three Gate Houses. The site or Ground Plot of the whole contains 25a. 1r. 34p. of Land, Statute Measure, or thereabouts, and is subject to an annual ground rent of £250, with power of pre-emption.'[5]

1846 Advert: 'To Machine Makers, Millwrights, Cotton Spinners, and Others.
By J. DREW, (without reserve), by order of the executors, in compliance with the will of the late Benjamin Dobson, Esq., on Wednesday and Thursday, the 23rd and 24th, and on Wednesday, the days of September, and on Thursday, the 1st day of October, 1846, at the Works, situate in Black Horse-street, Bolton, in the county of Lancaster: being the sale of Whole of the MACHINES, TOOLS, IMPLEMENTS, and UTENSILS, of the first part of the property, consisting of 84 Turning Lathes, viz., five 7-inch single-speed turning lathes, thirteen 8-inch ditto, three 9-inch ditto, seven 10-inch ditto, and one 11-inch ditto, and one 12-inch ditto; eight 9 inch geared ditto; five 9-inch ditto; two face turning lathes, 18-inch single headstocks, large face plates, and compound slide rests; fifteen 10-inch geared ditto; eight 11-inch ditto; five 12-inch ditto; three 13-inch ditto; one 13-inch geared turning lathe, 13-inch headstocks, cast iron bearers, 9 feet long, with break to take in a wheel of 4 feet; one geared turning lathe, 14-inch headstocks; one 15-inch ditto; one 16-inch ditto; one 12-inch ditto, raised to 19 inches, by cast iron saddles, with compound slide rest; lathe for turning and grooving pullies, 4 feet on the bed, 9-inch headstocks, and compound slide rest: and ditto 4 feet on the bed, 15-inch headstocks, and compound slide rest; two self-acting slide lathes, 4 feet on the bed, 9-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; self-acting slide lathe, 4 1/2 feet on the bed, 7-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; self-acting lathe, for turning and grooving pullies, 5 1/2 feet on the bed, 18-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; facing turning lathe, 6 feet on the bed, 18-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; two self-acting slide lathes, 7 feet on the bed, 9-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; hand slide lathe, 9 feet on the bed, 11-inch headstocks; turning and screw-cutting lathe, 9 feet on the bed, 9-inch headstocks, raised by cast iron saddles to 12-inch, with train of change wheels; self acting slide lathe, 11 feet on the bed, 9-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; self-acting slide lathe, 34 feet on the bed, 12-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; self-acting slide lathe, 40 feet on the bed, 12-inch headstocks, compound slide rest; hand planing machine, 4 1/2 feet on the bed, 3 feet on the carriage, 20 inches within the uprights; planing machine, 30 feet on the bed, 21 1/2 feet on the carriage, 4 1/2 feet within the uprights; machine for planing, boring, and slotting shafts for scutchers, 12 feet on the carriage; machine for planing back bars for mules throstles, &c; hand, foot, and selfacting upright drilling machines; slotting machines; self-acting machine for drilling bolsters for throstles; two large parallel portable vices; seventy-eight bench ditto; about one hundred and eighty lots of tools, of every description; wrought and cast iron lathe bearers; grindstone in iron frames; the whole of the iron and brass patterns, tor making scutching machines, carding engines, grinding machines, mules, and throstles, purchased by the executors from Mr. Francis Sleddon, of Preston; and various other effects for conducting the business Sale to commence each day at eleven o'clock prompt.— Descriptive Catalogues ....'[6]

1849 Sale Notice: 'EXTENSIVE SALE OF MACHINE MAKERS' TOOLS, IMPLEMENTS, AND STOCK-IN-TRADE, Consisting of double and single Drilling Machines, Screwing Engine, Slide Lathes for spindle grinding, double Machine for drilling throstle rails, Ryder's patent Spindle Forge, Joy's patent Wheel-cutting Machine, Slide Lathes and Planning Machines, 42 single and back-geered Turning Lathes, 31 Bench Vices; .......WM. HAYHURST RESPECTFULLY announces that he has received instructions from the Exors. of the late Benjamin Dobson, Esquire, TO SELL the whole of the above Valuable Property BY PUBLIC AUCTION, witnout the least reservation, commencing the Second or Third Week in SEPTEMBER Next. The Place of Sale and the exact time will be given in future advertisements; and descriptive Catalogues will be ready One Week before the Sale, and may then be had by applying at the COUNTING-HOUSE of Messrs. DOBSON and METCALFE, Little Bolton; or to [7].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Blackburn Standard - Wednesday 03 August 1836
  2. Preston Chronicle - Saturday 23 February 1839
  3. Preston Chronicle - Friday 31 December 1841
  4. Preston Chronicle - Saturday 14 December 1844
  5. Blackburn Standard - Wednesday 10 June 1846
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 19 September 1846
  7. Preston Chronicle, 1 September 1849