Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,190 pages of information and 245,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer

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Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer (1834-1898)

Born Chobham, Surrey, 30 December, 1834, son of Sir Thomas Swinnerton Dyer and Mary Anne, his wife. His son, Leonard Whitworth Swinnerton Dyer, was born at Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire, 1875.[1]

For 7 years in the 1870s he worked for Joseph Whitworth and Co, becoming a director.

'Lieutenant-colonel Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer was born in the year 1834 of a military family. At 18 he entered the Royal Artillery, and during his Army career he saw a good deal of active service in conflicts, some of which have now become historical. He served in the Crimea, during which campaign he had his horse killed under him, and, not only took part in the siege but was present at the fall of Sebastopol. Throughout the Indian Mutiny he was also in active service, and took part in many important engagements. ...... Colonel Dyer's connection with the engineering industry commenced with his appointment as assistant superintendent of the Government Small Arms Factory, Enfield. Afterwards he spent some years at the works of Sir Joseph Whitworth and Company Limited, Manchester, whence he proceeded to Elswick, where for many years he had the sole direction of Sir William Armstrong's great steelworks.' Latterly he was President of the Engineering Trades Employers' Federation[2]


Obituary: '[3]

'SUDDEN DEATH OF COLONEL DYER. Colonel Dyer, president of the Employers' Federation Engineers, was found dead in bed at his residence, Appleby Lodge, Rusholme, Manchester, on Monday morning. On Saturday and Sunday he stayed at home quietly, being in need of rest, and he did not transact any business of anything more than a purely private nature. His health appeared to be perfectly good. On Sunday evening when he retired to rest the household observed nothing in the colonel's appearance to cause them any anxiety, and it came as a shock when his valet upon going to his bedroom in the morning found that his master was lifeless. Dr. Helme was immediately sent for, and when made an examination of the body, he gave it his opinion that death was due to heart disease. Henry Clement Swinnerton Dyer was born in 1834. He joined the Royal Artillery at the age of 18, and saw service in the Crimea and the Indian Mutiny, retiring from the army with the rank of Lieut. Col. He became assistant Superintendent at the Government Small Arms Factory, at Enfield, and then transferred his services to Sir Joseph Whitworth, at Manchester. Thence he went to Armstrong's engineering works at Elswick, and, later, he was largely instrumental in bringing about the amalgamation the two great engineering firms. It was as head of the employers during the recent engineering disputes that Colonel Dyer came prominently before the public. He was untiring in his exertions on behalf of the employers, travelling all over the country, and uniting the employers in their resistance to the men's demands, as they were never united in any previous industrial conflict. His labours during the many months, over which the dispute extended, doubtless accentuated the affection of the heart from which he had long suffered. The services which he rendered to his fellow employers were recognised a few weeks ago at a banquet in Manchester, which was attended by representatives of most of the great engineering firms throughout the country.


1898 Obituary [4]

HENRY CLEMENT SWINNERTON DYER died suddenly at his residence, Appleby Lodge, Rusholme, Manchester, on March 22, 1898. He was born in the year 1834, of a military family.

At the age of eighteen he entered the Royal Artillery, and during his army career he saw a good deal of active service. He served in the Crimea, had his horse killed under him, and not only took part in the siege, but was present at the fall of Sevastopol.

During the Indian Mutiny he took part in many important engagements. He was engaged in the relief of Lucknow and the battle of Cawnpore, in which he again had his horse killed under him. He took part in several other engagements, and retired from the army with a high reputation as a soldier. He was on several occasions mentioned in the official despatches, and he held a medal with two clasps. He was also a Knight-Commander of the Orders of the Crown of Italy, of Charles VII. of Spain, and of the Rose of Brazil, while he also held the military order of merit of Spain.

It was not, however, for his merits as a soldier, although these were beyond question, that the world knew him, but rather for his work as an engineer and as an organiser of engineering employers. Retiring from active service in the army with the rank of Colonel, he became for some time assistant-superintendent of the Small Arms Factory at Enfield. Thence he migrated to the establishment of Sir Joseph Whitworth at Manchester, where he remained for several years.

In 1883 he went to Elswick, where Sir William Armstrong entrusted him with the direction of his great steelworks. Lord Armstrong, indeed, would be the first to admit that his great success in life has been largely due to his good judgment of men and to his power of recognising and selecting the most able men as coadjutors.

On the amalgamation of the great concerns of Armstrong and Whitworth, Colonel Dyer became superintendent over the Manchester branch. His life's work, however, was the formation and organisation of the federation of engineering employers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1884, and in 1892 contributed to its proceedings an important paper on the production of pure iron and steel.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] History of the manor of Westhope, County Salop, by Evelyn H Martin 1909
  2. Manchester Times, 25 March 1898
  3. Dover Express, Friday 25 March 1898
  4. 1898 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries