Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,834 pages of information and 228,772 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Railway Foundry

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Railway Foundry of Hunslet, Leeds

1838-1846 Shepherd and Todd

1846-1847 Fenton, Craven and Co

1847-1858 E. B. Wilson and Co

Hudswell, Clarke and Co

A History of The Foundry

Ahrons mistakenly believed that the same James Fenton was involved in both Fenton, Murray and Jackson and Shepherd and Todd.

The Railway Foundry, Leeds, (E. B. Wilson and Co)[1]


In the early days of railways, about 1840, when Wishaw published his well-known book on the subject, there were two firms of locomotive builders in Leeds, Messrs Fenton, Murray and Jackson, and Messrs Shepherd and Todd. The former was the earlier and perhaps at that time the better-known firm. The founder, Matthew Murray, one of the pioneers of locomotive engineering, had constructed Blenkinsop’s rack-rail engines as early as 1812. At some time subsequently to 1830, the firm had become Fenton, Murray and Jackson, and although in no way connected with the Railway Foundry, it is mentioned here because of the connection with both firms of James Fenton (sic). During Mr. Fenton’s partnership twenty of Gooch’s broad-gauge express engines with 7ft driving wheels were built in 1840-42 for the Great Western Railway, one of which, the Ixion, was selected by Sir Daniel Gooch for the experimental runs in connection with the “Gauge Commissioners” inquiries. These engines were the last built by Fenton, Murray and Jackson, for the firm closed down in 1843 owing to lack of further orders.

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Sources of Information

  1. 'Short Histories of Famous Firms' by Ernest Leopold Ahrons, The Engineer 1920/10/15