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British Industrial History

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R. Masefield and Co

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Bridge over Regents Canal

of Manor Iron Works, Manor Road, Chelsea

Iron founders and art bronze founders. Examples of statues cast by them are given below.

See also Robert Masefield.

1870 Partnership dissolved: 'J. Hudson Holbrook and George Masefield — trading as ironfounders and merchants, at the Manor iron works, Manor street, Chelsea, under the style or firm of Holbrook and Co. Sept. 20,1870.'[1]

1871 Thomas Hudson Holbrook was "out of business"[2]

1876 'Messrs. Masefield, of Chelsea, have just successfully cast a statue of Dr. Livingstone, to be erected in Edinburgh. The statue holds a Bible in one hand and in the other an axe, and is by Miss D. O. Hill.'[3]

1876 'By a destructive fire which occurred late on Tuesday night in the foundry of Messrs Masefield & Co., Chelsea, the cast of Mrs D. O. Hill's statue of Dr Livingstone was destroyed. Mr Brodie's cast for the statue of Sir J. Simpson was also on Messrs Masefield's premises, but the report does not mention that it was damaged.'[4]

1876 'BATHGATE. The Simpson Statue. — Mr Brodie has now given the finishing touches to his bronze statue of the late Sir James Y. Simpson, and the work stands ready to be removed to its destined place on the south side of Princes’ Street as soon as the pedestal for its reception shall have been erected. The casting produced by Messrs Masefield & Co., Chelsea, turns out to be one of remarkable excellence, reproducing the artist’s design with the utmost fidelity to every detail of modelling and texture. It is sufficient recall the short, rotund figure of the distinguished physician to realise the difficulty of the task which the sculptor had to grapple with, and to understand why he determined to place his subject in the sitting posture.....'[5]

1878 'The final casting of Mr. Foley's equestrian statue of the late Lord Gough, which is to be erected on Carlisle Bridge, Dublin, was successfully accomplished on Saturday afternoon at the foundry of Messrs. Masefield and Co., Chelsea. It is expected that the work will be completed and in readiness for the formal ceremony of unveiling within six months.'[6]

Early 1890s Robert Masefield seems to have left the business.


A succinct account of the business and examples of sculptures is available online[7]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Marylebone Mercury - Saturday 29 October 1870
  2. 1871 census
  3. Grantham Journal - Saturday 19 February 1876
  4. Berwickshire News and General Advertiser - Tuesday 25 July 1876
  5. Falkirk Herald - Thursday 26 October 1876
  6. Pall Mall Gazette - Monday 14 October 1878
  7. [1] National Portrait Gallery: British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980 - M