George Bower (1808-1883)
1808 May 24th. Born in Brampton, Derbyshire, the son of Matthew Bower and his wife Elizabeth (Betty). He was the third of four sons of the family.
1829 Married in Chesterfield to Elizabeth Forrest
1841 Moved to Stockport to work as an Ironfounder
By 1851 he had moved to Dukinfield
By 1860, George Bower was living in Droylsden. On May 1st he applied for a patent for his invention of improvements on certain metallic pistons.
1861 Death of his wife Elizabeth
1862 Patent 940. "And George Bower, of Ashton-under-Lyne, in the county of Lancaster, Ironmoulder, and John Qualter, of Dukinfield, in the county of Chester, Blacksmith, have given the like notice in respect of the invention of "certain improvements in metallic pistons."
1864 Birth of his son Joseph Mellor Bower. The mother's name was Mary Mellor and they may not have been formerly married.
1865 Birth of son Henry Bower
1869 Birth of son George Bower.
1871 Listed in Ashton-under-Lyne as a foreman iron founder.
1872 Bower and Qualter's pistons were being used in iron foundries in Derbyshire, and were replacing others.
1872 The New York State Agricultural Society awarded George Bower and John Qualter for their improvements in metallic pistons with a Bronze medal.
1872 Birth of daughter Sarah
1874 Birth of daughter Elizabeth Ann
1876 Patent 940. 'In the Matter of Letters Patent granted to George Bower, of Ashton-under-Lyne, in the county of Lancaster, Ironmoulder, and John Qualter, of Dukinfield, in the county of Chester, Blacksmith, for the invention of "certain improvements in metallic pistons," bearing date the 3rd day of April, 1862, No. 940'
ca.1876 Moved to Barnsley
1878 Birth of daughter Mary
1881 Birth of daughter Jane
1883 February 17th. Died age 74.
In the 19th century, Brampton was hit by the industrial revolution. George's father, Matthew was from Holmfirth. But, he must have moved to Chesterfield prior the industrial revolution took off in Chesterfield (Matthew was born in 1774). Therefore, I deduce that Matthew did not move to Chesterfield as an iron founder, as there was no such industry there in the 18th century. Brampton became a place of metalwork. This is probably where George picked up the trade that would define his life's career, and it was probably not from his father.
Even though I don't know the exact date Ann Bower was born, I can assume that she was conceived out of wedlock. Either she was born prior to her parents' marriage, or not long after. This may have been the reason George married Elizabeth, as it was shameful in those days to have children outside of marriage. Interestingly, George's father is not a witness of the marriage, but his brother is. This could suggest that his father disapproved of the whole affair. But that is mere speculation. It more strongly suggests that he had a strong relationship with his brother, James, who was a witness to the marriage.
Sources of Information
- The London Gazette Publication date:12 August 1862 Issue:22652 Page:3998
- 1871 Census
- Mechanics Magazine from August 17th, 1872
- The London Gazette Publication date:4 February 1876 Issue:24290 Page:475
- JB 2019/04/21