Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,480 pages of information and 245,913 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Hague

From Graces Guide

John Hague (c1781-1857) of Cable Street, Shadwell, London

Born c1781

1816 Patent. John Hague, of Great Pearl Street. Spitalfields, Middlesex; for improvements in the method of expelling the molasses or syrup from sugar. [1]

1819 Assignment of Lease. John Hague of Grey Eagle Street, Spitalfields, engineer. [2]

1820 Patent for improvements to steam engines. Address is Great Pearl Street, Spitalfields, Mddx. [3]

1824 On the exportation of machinery [4]

1826 Advertising for sale the contents and lease of a saw mill. John Hague, Engineer of 36 Cable Street, Wellclose Square, London [5] [6]

1827 Edward Bell was articled to John Hague for seven years, during which time he was employed in the drainage of fens in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, the Shadwell entrance to the London Docks, the St. Kathrine’s Docks, the drainage and water supply of the city of Amsterdam, the mints at Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro, etc.

1827 'HAGUE'S CRANE.— Mr. Hague has invented a crane, which is likely to supersede the use of cranes worked by hand. From the air-pump of a steam-engine employed to do the work of his factory, he has carried a small pipe to his counting-house, a distance, we suppose, of at least 120 yards; and there it is connected with a small cylinder, placed at the foot of a model crane. On turning a cock, a communication is opened between the air-pump and this cylinder, and the piston within it immediately falls to the bottom. In its descent it closes and opens certain valves, which cut off the communication with the atmosphere from above the piston, and allow the atmosphere to enter below it, while the communication with the vacuum is transferred from beneath to above the piston, which, of course, immediately ascends. Thus, on turning a single cock, a motion is given, which never ceases till the communication with the air vessel of the engine is interrupted. The action can be regulated in power and velocity to a fraction, and it can be made to raise great weights. Two of the machines are now erecting at St. Catherine's Docks, each able to raise thirty tons.'[7]

1831 Thomas Russell Crampton was apprenticed to John Hague of Cable Street

1833 Selling a Soda Water Machine for £40. Of 36 Cable Street, Wellclose Square, London [8]

1834 John Hague, of Great Pearl Street, Spitalfields, Middlesex, Engineer, Patent for an improvement in preparing the materials for making pottery-ware, tiles etc.

1834 The first compression expansion heat pump was built by John Hague and Jacob Perkins in London in 1834.

1834 Frederick Joseph Bramwell was apprenticed to John Hague, a mechanical engineer, whose works were in Cable Street, Wellclose Square

1836 Patent Hydraulic machine. Address is Cable Street, Wellclose Square, London [9]

c.1836 The works were bought by the Blackwall Rope Railway.

1837 Legal declaration about Railway Carriage Wheels designed and patented by John Hague [10]

1838 John Hague, Engineer, of the City of London, has been employed in the Embankments of Holland and drainage in England, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[11]

1838 Newspaper article, presumably written by the Editor: 'THE WEST CUMBERLAND RAILROAD.
We are at length in possession of one letter from a Lincolnshire friend, and though it does not add much to our previous knowledge of Mr. Hague, inasmuch as his name is not even known in that part of the county where our correspondent resides, it serves to show that in Lincolnshire, as in London, Mr. Hague is, comparatively speaking, an obscure individual.
Though we have been unable to obtain such information on this subject as we could have desired, it is not much to be regretted, as Sir Fleming Senhouse, who appears to have been labouring in the same cause, has elicited from Col. Moody all that the best wishers of the grand scheme could have desired. We, in all events, are perfectly satisfied with it, because we have on record from the Colonel’s own pen a verification of every syllable we have uttered relative to Sir Fleming Senhouse’s choice of an engineer, and an establishment, even the very letter, the accuracy of the statements of our London friends the subject. Sir Fleming Senhouse, we are told by our contemporary, addressed a letter Col. Moody on the 3d May last, to which the Col. replies.... The Colonel says "I hope the book I send you will answer all your purposes respecting Mr. Hague, whom I have only known as an officer under government having been occasionally employed under me for the four or five years. Before we employed him under government I visited his establishment for civil engineering, at Cable Street, near Wellclose Square, and fully satisfied myself of his talents and respectability. The best school for making a civil engineer is that of millwright, and Mr. Hague regularly served his time in Yorkshire to that trade and that of civil engineer, and for some time afterwards was foreman to Mr. Adam Parkinson, of Manchester, in the same line. • • • He has been the inventor of several patents which he now holds in this and and foreign countries. One these patent inventions he has shewn to me, and how he will apply it, to save at least 10,000l. in executing work for the railroad over Moracambe Bay.
Respecting the charge of his being little known on 'Change, this I believe to be true, as few if any engineers go there; and you must observe, that he is a remarkably modest and retiring man, and only likely to be known to persons in search of a good practical man, who is capable of thinking and acting with efficiency, when the powers of mechanism are required to be put in action, rather than to be merely exhibited on paper in beautiful plans or fine descriptions. To sucb men Mr Hague is well known in London, and, if required, many names could be obtained to certify to his practical skill. I have often met with such scientific men as Lord Dundonald consulting Mr. Hague, like myself, on subjects connected with his occupation as a civil engineer. I also mentioned to you that Mr. Hague does not speak fluently, and for carrying your bill through a house of Commons, some person more accustomed to the duty would be desirable. Any one of the engineers you mention would better in that respect than Mr Hague, though for contrivances for work I should he perfectly satisfied with Mr. Hague, I don’t know the gentlemen you mention, but I do know Mr. Rastrick, the civil engineer, whose talents no person can doubt, and he, a consulting engineer, would gladly act with Mr. Hague, and take charge of all the parliamentary business, and give your line a good name upon the Stock Exchange, without whose countenance nothing can be done.
Such is the testimony adduced by Col. Moody in favour of Mr. Hague, though most persons we imagine will view it in a very different light.'

The author of the article continues to express doubt about Hague's suitability for the role. ...'In what way then, let us ask, is Mr. Hague suited to the task ? He may be a man of talent, that we never denied, but let that be what it may, his total obscurity in quarters where character is every thing totally unfits him for the office to which Sir Fleming Senhouse has appointed him. The book alluded to in Col. Moody’s letter is the British and Foreign Quarterly Review for April, 1838, from which we learn that Mr. Hague is the inventor of some machinery for making gunpowder, the constructor of the mint-work at Utrecht, &c. And what in the name of common sense has all this to do with the survey and embankment of Morecambe Bay? Nothing whatever. It shows that Mr. Hague is a good mechanic, and who ever doubted it? but that is not what we want in West Cumberland, and we again repeat our firm conviction that to employ Mr. Hague would be to expend the money uselessly. Had the question of employing an engineer been kept open, as it ought to have been, until the subscriptions were closed, a public meeting called, and gentlemen interested allowed an opportunity of expressing their opinion, all would have gone on well. As it is, the reverse is the case: the appointment was improper, it was premature, and most offensively made. ......'[12]

1839 (or 1843) One locomotive London (0-4-0) was built for the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

1839 Letter to The Times regarding Steam Vessel accidents. [13]

1841 Bramwell became the manager of Hague’s works.

1843 Under Bramwell's supervision a locomotive was built for the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The engine was taken north as deck cargo by the paddle-boat Emerald Isle, at that time the only steamer trading between London and Middlesbrough. Bramwell drove the locomotive on the line before returning to London.[14]

1843 Advert: 'To Engineers and others — Spacious Waterside Premises, Bull-head Dock, Rotherhithe.
By Mr. FULLER, on WEDNESDAY, July 12, at Twelve, the Auction Mart, by direction of the assignees of John Hague, a Bankrupt, and with concurrence of the Mortgagee (unless an acceptable offer is previously made by Private Contract), THAMES IRON WORKS, BULL-HEAD DOCK, Rotherhithe, near the Grand Surrey Canal, comprising two ranges of brick-built manufactories of commanding elevation, erected within the last four years, in the most substantial manner, at AN OUTLAY of £12,000, adapted for carrying on the business of an engineer in all its branches on a scale of magnitude.
A SPACIOUS DRY DOCK, capable of containing vessels of 300 tons burden, runs through the centre the premises, affording great facility for fitting marine engines, or for the repairs of vessels, the partial occupation of which has already produced 100l. per annum.
A WHARF, with a frontage of 202 feet next the river, and extending 203 feet in depth, the workshops comprise a light engineer's shop, 134 feet by 33 feet, an erecting shop 60 feet by 41 feet, smith’s shop, 134 feet by 35 feet; a lofty foundry, 77 feet by 47 feet; turning and pattern makers' shops, each 82 feet by 29 feet, two main chimney shafts, each 95 feet high ; two wells, affording a plentiful supply of water; and a large yard occupying
five newly-erected dwelling-houses for workmen, held on a lease for a term of 60 years, at a ground rent of 200l. per annum. This property offers peculiar advantages for the business of an engineer, and the certain income arising from the dock and the convenience of carriage by land or water render the property superior to most other similar establishments in the neighbourhood of London.
May be viewed ......

Continues: 'To Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Ironfounders, Railway Contractors, Smiths, Builders, and others.
By Mr. FULLER, on the Premises, the Thames Iron Works, Bull-head Dock, Rotherhithe, on MONDAY, July 17, and following days, at Eleven each day, by direction of the Assignees of John Hague, Bankrupt,
The valuable MACHINERY, PLANT, and TOOLS of an Engineer, nearly new and of the best manufacture: comprising
FOUR SELF-ACTING ENGINE-TURNING LATHES, from 10 feet to 17 feet long, three engine-turning lathes from 4 feet to 13 feet long, two feet lathes, four lathes for turning and boring railway wheels, powerful boring mill for cylinders to four feet two diameter,
TWO SELF-ACTING VERTICAL SLOTTING and SHAPING MACHINES, two self-acting nut-shaping machines, one screw-cutting machine, two drilling machines,
PORTABLE EIGHT-HORSE POWER CONDENSING STEAM-ENGINE, pair of six-horse high-pressure oscillating engines, one two-horse ditto, 16-horse marine engine, two steam-boilers of 10 and 20 horse power, four powerful bolt compressing machines, wrought iron cupola furnace, two octagon cast iron ditto, 100 pair flasks, two blowing machines, foundry crane, five tons flask weights, four crab cranes, three boiler plate and tyre furnaces, eight portable iron forges, two forge cranes, 14 anvils, two tons smiths’ tools,
with powerful blocks, wharf crane, wrought iron gasometer, strong town cart, and large quantity of wood patterns,
HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, and numerous other effects. To be viewed on Friday and Saturday previous to the sale, when catalogues (at 6d. each) may be had on the premises; and of Mr. Fuller, 13, Billiter-street, City.'[15]

1844 John Hague, Engineer of Rotherhithe bankruptcy proceedings [16]

1845 Sale of machine tools of John Hague, a bankrupt, at Rotherhithe. [17]

1853 Listed as a shareholder in the Unity Fire Insurance Association. Listed as John Hague, Sen. of Chamberlayne Place, Southampton, Engineer. [18]

1857 Death. 'On the 20th inst. at Southampton, in his 77th year, John Hague Esq. Civil Engineer, formerly of London and for several years Chief Engineer to His Highness the Sultan of Constantinople' [19]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The European magazine, and London review, Volume 70 p284
  2. National Archives[1]
  3. The New monthly magazine, Volume 14
  4. Mechanics Magazine 1824/03/13
  5. The Times, Friday, Feb 24, 1826
  6. The Times, Wednesday, Feb 22, 1826
  7. Englishman - Sunday 4 November 1827
  8. The Times, Wednesday, Jun 26, 1833
  9. Civil engineer and architects' journal. Volume 1 p189
  10. The Times, Wednesday, Aug 16, 1837
  11. 1838 Institution of Civil Engineers
  12. Cumberland Pacquet, and Ware's Whitehaven Advertiser - Tuesday 22 May 1838
  13. The Times, Saturday, Oct 19, 1839
  14. Obituary of Frederick Bramwell
  15. Globe - Wednesday 14 June 1843
  16. The Times, Tuesday, Jun 04, 1844
  17. The Times, Thursday, Jul 24, 1845
  18. The Times, Saturday, Sep 24, 1853
  19. The Times, Saturday, Jan 24, 1857
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive by Robert Young. Published 1923.