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Frank Theodore Marshall

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Frank Theodore Marshall (1866-1905) of R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co

Son of Francis Carr Marshall


1905 Obituary [1]

FRANK THEODORE MARSHALL was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne on 8th July 1866, and was the only surviving son of the late Mr. Francis Carr Marshall, for many years head of the firm of Messrs. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

He was educated at Durham School, and, when sixteen years of age, entered as a premium pupil the above-mentioned works, of which he subsequently became engineering manager. After his practical training, he proceeded to London University, taking an engineering course under Professor Kennedy.

He ultimately returned to join his father's staff, and succeeded him in 1897, being appointed three years later to a seat on the board of directors, as managing director. During the time that he had complete control of the works many successful designs were evolved, and many satisfactory warships and merchant vessels were engined.

Amongst recent British ships for which he designed and constructed the machinery may be noted the battleship "Bulwark," four of the cruisers of the County class, and the cruiser "Duke of Edinburgh," as well as several foreign warships.

In the construction of machinery for torpedo-boat destroyers he was particularly successful, and since 1899 the firm have constructed engines for about a dozen of these vessels, all of which have given satisfactory results.

Although in his earlier years he was of robust constitution, for some time his health was failing, so that his death was not unexpected when it took place at his residence in Gosforth, Northumberland, on 10th February 1905, at the age of thirty-eight.

He was elected a Graduate of this Institution in 1889, and was transferred to full membership in 1902. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Naval Architects, and of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders.


1905 Obituary [2]

FRANK THEODORE MARSHALL was the only surviving son of Francis Carr Marshall, M. Inst. C.E., for many years the principal Managing Director of Hawthorn, Leslie, and Co., Limited, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and one of the most progressive British marine engineers.

He was educated at Durham School, and, when sixteen years of age, entered as a premium pupil the works of which he subsequently became engineering manager.

Those were times of great activity and originality at the works, as his father was then engaged on the machinery of some of the earlier high-speed war-vessels in which forced draught was introduced in the boiler-rooms, a high rate of revolution adopted for the engines, and other new departures made in order to reduce the weight of propelling-apparatus and to attain high speeds in vessels of &mall size.

After a period of practical training Mr. Marshall became a pupil at University College under Professor Kennedy, and passed through the full course of engineering study. He then rejoined his father’s staff at St. Peter’s Works and served in various capacities, taking an active part in shop-management and the conduct of steam-trials of important ships engined by his firm.

In 1897 when his father retired in consequence of ill-health he became the technical head of the business, and 3 years later he was appointed to a seat on the board as managing director of the engineering works at St. Peters, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

While he had control of them many successful designs were evolved, and many important warships and merchant vessels were engined. In the nineties he was intimately associated with the machinery for many of the Elswick cruisers, which, because of their speed, created considerable interest. His firm took a leading part in the introduction of water-tube boilers, which were used at an early date in vessels built by them for the Russian Volunteer fleet.

It is characteristic of Mr. Marshall’s broad-mindedness that he regarded the boiler question as 'one which must be dealt with in its relation not only to each individual class of ship, but to each individual service.' He considered that 'the adoption of any type will depend upon what particular qualities are most desirable for the boilers to possess to meet the special work which the vessel is designed to do. The general naval policy of any Power will thus have a direct bearing upon the question of what type of boiler is preferable for a given ship.'

Among recent British ships for which Mr. Marshall designed and constructed the machinery may be noted the battleship Bulwark, four of the cruisers of the County class, each indicating 22,000 HP., and the cruiser Duke of Edinburgh, launched in 1904, as well as several foreign warships.

In the construction of machinery for torpedo-boat destroyers he was particularly successful, and since 1899 the firm have engined about a dozen of these vessels, all of which have given satisfactory results. For the two British scouts built at Elswick he also designed machinery, and, in view of the success of the destroyers’ engines, he preferred to adopt in those scouts two sets of such machinery on each shaft, in order to develop the full power of 18,000 I.H.P. rather than to have a twin set of heavier units. By means of specially designed valve-gear, this was done without increasing the engine room length, and a considerable saving in the weight of machinery was effected.

Although he was deeply interested in the Institution his state of health prevented any active participation in its work. Under circumstances of increasing difficulty he continued to perform his professional work to the end, and his death at the early age of 38 years terminated a career that promised still greater performance and advance.

Mr. Marshall was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, of the Institution of Naval Architects, of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, and was one of the founders and chairman of the committee of the Northern Scientific Club.

He was elected a Member of this Institution on the 2nd February, 1904.


1905 Obituary [3]



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