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British Industrial History

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Joshua Wrigley

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of Manchester

  • 1782 Advertisement: 'To be sold - TWO exceeding good CALENDERS, with hollow Center Bowls, proper either for Hotting or Dutching; also a very large Copper Pan. For Particulars enquire of Joshua Wrigley, Long Mill-gate, Manchester.' [1]
  • 1793 Advert: 'To be Sold, upon Chief Rent, (Building Land upon the Canal, Castle Quay)
    TWO large Plots of LAND, with the Buildings thereupon, at a Chief Rent, and with or without a large Steam Engine, two Boilers and large Water Wheel included.
    This land lies on the Duke of Bridgewater’s Canal, and on the East Side joins his Wharfs at Castle Quay, Manchester. Boats may be unloaded at the Engine Fires, or any Part of the Premises. The fixed Line for the Sowerby and Rochdale intended Canal to Cornbrooke, runs close to the South Eaft Side of these Premises, and at that Place (called Knot Mill) crosses his Grace the Duke of Bridgewater’s Canal.
    From the Situation of this Land, being almost the whole that lies at this Place, upon or betwixt these two Canals, that will have a Communication with the Navigations, Sea Ports, and principal Parts of this Kingdom, it is peculiarly adapted for Wharfs of any kind, very extensive Store Warehouses, Founderies, Factories, &c. &c. as the whole Expence of Carriage to or from either Canal will saved.
    The Steam Engine of 50 Inch Cylinder, two suitable sheet Iron Boilers, and Water Wheel of about 16 Feet by 17 Feet, all very good and new will be sold separately or together, at a fair Valuation.
    Mr. Joshua Wrigley, Engineer, will shew the same.
    Under all the Land unbuilt upon, from the Surface down to the Rock, is a valuable Bed of good Sand, Gravel, and Paving Stones, which will be fold together, or in Plots, by the cubical Yard, to any Person or Persons inclined to get the same, either till the premises are disposed of or till any fixed Time.'[2]. It is not known how Wrigley was involved, but it is possible that he was supplied the waterwheel and the engine.
  • 1794 Listed as a Wheelwright, 75 Long-mill-gate [3]
  • 1797 Listed as a millwright and logwood grinder, 75 Long-mill-gate, with a mill at Knot Mill. [4]
  • Made a number of hybrid steam/water engines for driving cotton mills. These featured a Savery-type steam engine to raise water from a sump to a header tank, the water then being used to drive a water wheel to power the mill machinery. One was supplied to the Holbeck Mill of John Marshall[5]
  • Wrigley installed two 'hybrid' engines at Joseph Thackery’s Garratt Mill. The larger one raised the water 19 ft. Wrigley formed a partnerships with Rev. John Derbyshire for erecting such engines, and with millwright Joseph Young, who built one for Marshall and Reynolds of Manchester. Wrigley’s engines were self-acting, and usually raised the water to a height of between 16 and 20 ft. The Manchester firm of Nightingale Harris and Co were still using one in 1796. [6]
  • 1800 Advertisement: 'To be Sold by AUCTION On Wednesday the 18th of June, 1800, between the hours of four and six o'clock in the afternoon, at the house of Henry Woodhouse, the Bull's Head Inn, Market place, Manchester, subject to such conditions as will be then and there produced; ALL that capital MILL, commonly called or known by the name of Knot Mill, in Manchester aforefaid, with a four-stalled stable, and cart house, nearly adjoining the same, together with the machinery for grinding logwood, fustic, &c. provided with a powerful steam engine, of a cylinder of thirty six inches diameter. The land upon which the above buildings are erected with the vacant land adjoining, contains 3363 square yards, are subject to a small chief or ground rent of 28l 6s. per annum, payable to Sir Oswald Mosley, baronet. Lot. 2. A Leasehold of 40 years, adjacent to the above, whereof the extent is, by common estimation, one acre and one rood, of Lancashire measure, be the same more or less, and subject to a small yearly rent of 15l per annum, payable to Sir Oswald Mosley, baronet, of which, from the 24th day of June next ensuing, twenty-four years and a half are yet unexpired. The above premises were lately occupied by Messrs. Joshua Wrigley and Company. For further particulars, and a view of the premises, apply to Mr. W. Jordan, jun. No. 38, Gartside-street, Manchester N.B., A sufficient Title will be given.' [7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 1th March 1782
  2. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 15 January 1793
  3. Scholes’s Manchester & Salford Directory, 1794
  4. Scholes’s Manchester & Salford Directory, 1797
  5. 'Matthew Murray 1765-1826 and the firm of Fenton Murray and Co 1795-1844' by Paul Murray Thompson, published by Paul Murray Thompson, 2015
  6. 'A Steam Chimera: A Review of the History of the Savery Engine' by R L Hills, read at the Science Museum, 8th October 1986: The Newcomen Society, Volume 58 (1986)
  7. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 10th June 1800