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British Industrial History

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Henry Beare and Sons

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H. Beare and Sons, foundry of Newton Abbot Manhole Cover.

Henry Beare and Sons, of Newton Abbot.

Engineers and iron founders.

See Henry Beare

1855 TO MECHANICS AND OTHERS.—Wanted, Immediately, a MACHINE MAKER and a WHEELWRIGHT. Constant employment and liberal wages will be given to steady workmen. Apply to Mr. H. BEARE, Levaton Manufactory, Ilsington, near Newton Abbot.[1]

1859 Improvements.— Within the last few years we have had in this locality many an old farm homestead levelled to the ground, which had stood some 200 years', and farm buildings erected after the newest designs. At Baddagord, [sic - Baddaford] in the parish of Staverton a model farm is now being erected by the proprietor, Edward Bovey, Esq. On Wednesday a powerful thrashing machine, made by Mr. H. Beare, of Ilsington, was set to work by water power, and answered admirably.[2]

1861 Henry Beare established an iron and brass foundry at Liverton [in Ilsington parish] in 1861, together with a powerful steam engine, following ‘rapidly increasing trade’.[3]

1870 H. Beare, agricultural implement maker, iron founder and commission agent. Liverton Works and Queen

Street, Newton Abbot .. steam engines, thrashing and winnowing machines sold and manufactured any size any principle ..[4]

1871 Manure Distributor. —Mr. Henry Beare, agricultural implement maker of Liverton, near Newton Abbot, has at last overcome the difficulty hitherto experienced in manure drills—that of being unable to sow guano without crushing and preventing the distributing parts from clogging. In this new machine, for which Mr. Beare has obtained a patent, the manure is carried round a barrel, which is provided with a series of zig-zag grooves, cleansed by a number of scrapers driven by a crane-wheel on the barrel axle. The machine is guaranteed to sow guano without crushing from one to six cwt. per acre. There is no cleaning required, and no sheet iron to rust.[5]

1871 Bath and West of England Exhibition. Mr Henry Beare, of Liverton Works, Newton Abbot, exhibits a large variety of implements of various kinds, prominent being his patent manure distributors and pulverizers, suited for distributing manure of all kinds in all states. The combined distributor, pulverizer, turnip, mangold, and seed drill, is a novel and ingenious contrivance, and came in for considerable attention at the Bath and West of England Exhibition the other day. It sows three rows, and from one to four pints of turnip seed and three to eight pints of mangold seed per acre by simply sliding the gear wheels. It is constructed, too, as not to sow faster uphill than down. Balance draught grass mowers, and other machines of first-rate workmanship are also exhibited here.[6]

1871 To be LET, with immediate possession, a good convenient HOUSE, consisting of six Bedrooms, and Sitting Rooms, Kitchen, Dairy, and other necessary offices, with a very productive Orchard and walled garden, well stocked with choice trees, situated in pleasant and healthy village of Liverton, in the parish Ilsington and only two miles from the Bovey Station. A few acres of rich Meadow Land can be taken with the house if desired.—Apply to Mr. Henry Beare, Newton Abbot.[7]

1878 Devon County Show. Among our local manufacturers very few throw more enthusiasm into their work than does the head of the firm of Henry Beare and Sons, of Newton Abbot, and any production of theirs is sure to deserve attention both for its ingenuity and the good workmanship put into the implement. The Eclipse haymaker is a machine that Messrs. Beare have been gradually improving, and its simplicity, light draught, and freedom from clogging, makes it a valuable addition to the great amount harvesting machinery now offered to the public. At the same stand there are a large number of implements of use in all branches of agriculture.[8]

c1880 Bran reed comber (agricultural)[9]

1882 Ironfounders. Messrs. BEARE, SON A CO., Iron Founders, and Agricultural Implement Agents, Ac.—Works: St. Paul's Road.[10]

1896 Ironfounders. H. BEARE & SONS, Iron Founders, Agricultural and General Engineers. Works: St. Paul’s Road. [Newton Abbot].[11]

1922 J. H. Beare [ b circa 1850]. Probate has been granted of the will of Mr. John Henry Beare, of Newton Abbot, senior partner in the firm of H. Beare and Sons, iron founders, of Newton Abbot, who died on 12th June last, aged 71 years, leaving estate of the gross value of £12,052 17s, which £9,692 7s 7d is net personalty.[12] [He lived at Courtlands, Newton Abbot. His wife Lucy died 21-8-1930. They had two sons: Henry Lawrence Beare, an engineer of Sandhurst, Newton Abbot, and John Thomas Beare, an inspector of Taxes, living in Southampton]. [13]

1932 T. L. Beare [b 1861, Ilsington] Mr. Thomas Lawrence Beare, of St. Helens, St. Pauls-road, Newton Abbot, director Henry Beare and Sons, Ltd., agricultural general engineers and [iron]founders, Newton Abbot, who died on November 4, aged 71, left property of the gross value £8,991.[14]

1935 Willcocks. Devon Iron Founder's Will. Mr. John Willcocks, J.P., of Sandhurst, 8, Courtenay Park, Newton Abbot, head of Willcocks and Sons, Ltd., engineers and iron founders, Dial Foundry, Buckfastleigh, interested in Henry Beare and Sons, Ltd., agricultural and general engineers, founders and millwrights, Newton Abbot, and at one time member of the Devon County Council, who died October 19th last, aged 65 years, left £12,008 19s 7d, with net personalty £5,341 3s 4d.[15]

[Henry Lawrence Beare, engineer of Henry Beare and Sons, lived at Sandhurst, Newton Abbot until his death in 1932. Why did Willcocks move here from Buckfastleigh?]

Surviving waterwheels:

  • Bagtor Mill, Ilsington. SX 769 755. 16ft by 2ft 9in external overshot of 1875 by BEARE AND SONS & CO. Shrouds are 9½” deep.
  • Cockington Mill, near Torquay. SX 894638. 16ft by 3ft overshot waterwheel dated 1878 behind Mill Cafe.
  • Colmer, Loddiswell. SX 708531. 18ft by 3ft, internal overshot farm wheel with ring gear. ‘H. BEARE & SON NEWTON ABBOT 1878’ cast on shroud. This may survive as a feature in a holiday flats complex. [Details from Martin Watts].
  • Coombe Farm, Moretonhampstead. SX 7547 8702. 16ft by 3ft, say, waterwheel with cast iron shrouds and wooden arms. ‘H BEARE & SONS, 1893 NEWTON ABBOT’.
  • Hedge Barton, Manaton. SX 733789. Henry Beare the millwright. Cast by Martin and Parkin of Exeter. So date at latest 1858. Waterwheel overshot, say 22ft by 2ft.
  • Lower Mill, Kingsteignton. SX 8716 7281. ‘Said to be by Beare of Newton Abbot.’
  • Lower Torr Barn, Kingston. SX 637486. 12ft by 4ft overshot with ring gear. ‘H BEARE & SON NEWTON ABBOT 1878’. This waterwheel has since been saved from dereliction and is now installed at Town Mill, Lyme Regis, Dorset.
  • Morwellham Quay, near Tavistock. SX 446697. 28ft external overshot; shrouds cast 1902. Brought from china clay mine at Headon, Cornwood, Dartmoor. Donated by Watts, Blake and Bearne. New segments cast by Irons Bros of Wadebridge; the wheel was rebuilt by Ron Hobley of Broadclyst in 1975. Shrouds are 12in by 1in; buckets are 14in deep. The 16 iron arms are 534in wide.
  • Rattery Mill, Rattery. SX 7322 6065. 12ft by 5ft, say, overshot, with wrought iron axle. Wooden arms and buckets gone. Cast on shroud: ‘H BEARE LEVETON’. Mill sold by auction May 2004.
  • Wrangaton Manor, Ugborough. SX 677579. Remains of a 14ft overshot; shrouds smashed off, but maker’s name survives: ‘BEARE ILSINGTON’, so the wheel was cast before the move to Newton Abbot. [details from Martin Watts].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Western Times 6 January 1855 p 4 col 1
  2. Western Times 12 February 1859 p 6
  3. Western Times 12-10-1861 p 4
  4. Morris’s Directory, 1870, 129
  5. Western Times 14 January 1871 p 2
  6. Western Times 14 June 1871 p 2 last col
  7. Western Times 14 July 1871 p 1 col 1
  8. Western Times 24 May 1878 p 2
  9. Museum of Country Life at Exmouth
  10. East & South Devon Advertiser 25 March 1882 p 4
  11. East & South Devon Advertiser 17 October 1896 p 4
  12. Western Times 29 September 1922 p 9 last col
  13. Western Times 12-12-1930 p 14
  14. Western Morning News 15 January 1932 p 4
  15. Western Times 15 February 1935 p 3