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British Industrial History

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Marshall and Co

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Flax spinners of Keighley, of Leeds and Shrewsbury and elsewhere.

Company established by John Marshall

Marshall's Mill, Leeds and Temple Mill, Leeds

1788 John Marshall went into partnership with Samuel Fenton, a Unitarian draper, and Ralph Dearlove, a linen merchant; they leased Scotland Mill at Adel, near Leeds and Marshall, Fenton and Co began spinning flax yarns

1790 Marshall bought the freehold of an acre of land on Water Lane in Holbeck near Leeds. This was an ideal location for a mill because of its proximity to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Between 1791 and 1792, he constructed Marshall's Mill, Leeds

The short-lived partnership with Samuel Fenton and Ralph Dearlove ended; they were subsequently replaced by Thomas Benyon and Benjamin Benyon, Shrewsbury woollen merchants.

By 1795, the Benyons had a controlling interest, and built Ditherington Flax Mill at Shrewsbury for making thread.

1804 Marshall had grown dissatisfied with his minority holding; he bought out the other two partners. He appointed two men from the works as junior partners, John Hives and William Hutton, who were later joined by a third, Moses Atkinson.


1866 '... at Holbeck are the largest flax mills in Europe, belonging to Messrs. Marshall and Co., who employ upwards of 2,500 hands, and have one room covering two acres of ground.'[1]

1876 Members of the Iron and Steel Institute visited their flax manufactory [2]

1883 See Marshall and Co: 1883 Works description

1886 Business closed


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1866 Directory of Leeds p14
  2. The Engineer of 15th August 1876 p180