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British Industrial History

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Hadley and Simpkin

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Hadley and Simpkin, of Long Acre, London

1790 Started by Nathaniel Hadley

1790s Maker of fire-engines.[1]

1804 Hadley and Simpkin delivered a fire engine to Preston (see below)

1807 Moses Merryweather joined the company as an apprentice

1816 Dissolution of the Copartnership trade and business lately subsisting and carried on by and between Nathaniel Hadley, Charles Simpkin, and Edward Hadley, of Long Acre, in the County of Middlesex, Engine-Makers and Copartners, under the firm of Hadley, Simpkin, and Hadley; the business will in future be carried on by and in the names of the said Edward Hadley and Charles Simpkin, under the firm of Hadley and Simpkin[2]

1824 Charles Simpkin died.

At some later stage Henry Lott, son of a wealthy landowner, must have joined the partnership. His daughter Sarah later married Moses Merryweather in 1836.

1836 Moses Merryweather took over the business which later became Merryweather and Sons

'THE PRESTON FIRE ENGINES....In July, 1804, the first engine, a fifth size, made by Hadley and Simpkin, Long Acre, London, arrived in the town. The cost of the engine and the requisite articles belonging thereto, was £110 3s. A fire having occurred in the town during the year, and the engine not having answered the expectations of the Committee, the following directions were given the makers for its future use:-
"The day before you intend to have it played let the engine be filled with water. Let the working frame be put level, in order that each piston may be some way down in the cylinders ; then let each cylinder be filled with water in order that the pistons may swell and fit tight, as we apprehend they are dry from standing so long without using. The day you play it, let the water be sponged out of the cylinders ; then pour some oil into them, and oil the working parts; then fill the engine, and let not less than twenty men work with all their strength, when we hope you will be pleased at the performance. Take care that the cap at the suction end is screwed close up, and that the handle of the cock be turned so that it draws water only out of the cistern at the time required.
"The engine now ordered will finished in the best manner, and well tried before sent you. We hope no complaint can possibly arise at its performance.
"We remain, sir, your obedient servants,
"Daniel Lyon, Esq., Hadley and Simpkin."
'In April, 1805, the second engine — a sixth size made by the same firm — arrived in the town, the cost of which, together with all the requisites, was £116 5s. Two other engines were purchased some years afterwards, from Messrs. Hadley, Simpkin, and Lott. In the year 1837, the Police Commissioners (whose act was obtained as far back as May, 1813,) purchased the large Victoria engine. The old engines were then disposed of. The Commissioners have since purchased a hose-reel. In 1842, the Fire Brigade was reduced from twenty to fourteen men, and in the month of February was increased to twenty-eight firemen and twenty-four special ditto, with one superintendent and one sergeant. There were two old-fashioned engines kept in Church-weind prior to 1803, and superintended by Thomas Newsham, a flagger and slater. In 1801, Messrs. Horrocks and Co. had one made for their establishment, by Bramah, of London.'[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Joseph Bramah by Ian McNeil. 1968
  2. London Gazette 1 October 1816
  3. Preston Herald - Saturday 22 April 1871