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British Industrial History

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George Benton

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George Benton (1825-1887) of Benton and Woodiwiss, contractor


The death look place on Friday at his residence, Clyne House, Stretford, of Mr. George Benton, the well-known railway contractor. Mr. Benton has been in an indifferent state of health for several months past —Sir Wm. Roberts having been almost in constant attendance on him since last December.

Like most of his predecessors and contemporaries in the same calling, Mr. Benton was an entirely self-made man.

He was born at Dore, on the Sheffield side of Derbyshire, on November 4, 1825. His parents were in comparatively humble circumstances, his father being a journeyman stonemason. After receiving an ordinary education he was apprenticed a file cutter in Sheffield. Before the term of his apprenticeship expired he got his indentures cancelled preferring to follow his father's trade. For some few years he worked as a journeyman mason in tho construction of various railways, ultimately settling down at Glossop as a master builder and contractor.

His first important railway contract was the construction the Oldham, Ashton, and Guide Bridge line. In 1861 he took into partnership the late Sir Abraham Woodiwiss, in connection with whom he carried out several important undertakings, including the Marple Viaduct, the Chesterfield and Sheffield Railway, the lines between Tinsley and Rotherham, West Riding and Grimsby, Settle and Carlisle, Newark and Bottesford, Bottesford, Melton, and Tilton ; Tilton and Leighton, and the Sutton Bridge Dock, near Peterborough.

In 1860 he went to reside at Manchester. His last most important work was the Audenshaw reservoirs for the Manchester Corporation, on which he was occupied from 1877 until 1884.

As a contractor Mr. Benton bore the highest character for the excellence and thorough honesty of his work. In politics Mr. Benton was a staunch Conservative. He had been for some years churchwarden of Stretford for the ancient parish of Manchester. In this capacity be had taken considerable interest in the restorations now going on in the Manchester Cathedral, and had been a liberal donor to the work now completed on the north side of the nave. In private life Mr. Benton was an exceedingly warm hearted friend, and most munificent in his gifts to any charitable object which enlisted his sympathies.'

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 18 June 1887