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British Industrial History

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John Palmer (Shrewsbury)

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John Palmer (Shrewsbury) (c1768-1823), of Enon Cottage, Shrewsbury

1807 Patent granted on 26 June for a new method of erecting and constructing bridges. Specification here[1]

1811 Chain bridge: 'A patent chain bridge, invented Mr. J. Palmer, Shewsbury, has been erected at the factory of Messrs. Marshall, Flutton, and Co. the width 5 feet, height 30 feet, span in the clear 37 feet.— The chains are of wrought iron, and five in number, on these are laid 19 cast iron plates, forming the path. The balustrades are wrought iron, 3 feet 3 inches high. The materials have been prepared and brought to the spot, the bridge was erected by two men in 14 days; the total expence was 80l. 80/.'[2]

Note: The account of the bridge appeared in numerous newspapers, repeating the name 'Marshall, Flutton, and Co.' In fact the firm was surely Marshall, Hutton and Co of Shrewsbury, who owned linen mills. Other evidence indicates that the bridge was at Ditherington Flax Mill. A Building assessment of Ditherington Flax Mill, by English Heritage and Shropshire Industrial Enterprises Ltd in 1988 reported that the Warehouse was completed by June 1805. In 1810 'it was linked to the cross mill by a chain bridge, erected according to the patent of a Mr Palmer by a Mr William Hazledine'. The bridge would provide a fire escape from the cross building, and also provide access for firefighters. [3]. The source also describes the warehouse designed by Charles Bage, constructed in two major phases of 1796-7 and after a fire in 1809, whose top storey was linked to the upper floor of the Cross Building by a chain suspension bridge (removed) whose access doorway, though blocked off, is still visible.

1823. Died. 'At Enon Cottage, the Rev. John Palmer, aged 55, who, upwards of 26 years, was Pastor of the Baptist Church, Shrewsbury.'[4]

1824 Will. Wife Susannah.[5]

To be sold by auction.
BY MR. WILLIAM HALL, at the Crown Inn, on Monday, the 18th day of August, 1845, at six o’clock in the evening, subject to conditions to be then produced,
ALL that Messuage or Dwelling House and Garden, called ENON COTTAGE, situate the banks of the Severn, adjacent to the Castle, the residence of the late Reverend John Palmer, Baptist Minister.
The house contains a large sitting room, 4 good bed rooms (one of them hung with ancient tapestry), store room and attics, 2 kitchens, with capital pump, kitchen, and pleasure garden, with a summerhouse and other conveniences. The house, &c. may be viewed, on application to Miss Turner, on the premises. Further particulars may had by applying to Messrs, Hedges and Sons, Solicitors, Solicitors, Wallingford, Berkshire, or at the office of Mr. William Hall, Auctioneer, High Street, Shrewsbury.' [6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] The Repertory of Arts, Manufactures, and Agriculture... Volume 11, 1807, pp.329-330
  2. Kentish Gazette, 7 January 1812
  3. [2] Flax Warehouse At Former Ditherington Flax Mill, Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury
  4. Oxford Journal - Saturday 24 May 1823
  5. PCC Wills
  6. Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales - Wednesday 13 August 1845