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British Industrial History

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Richard Clyburn

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"The Original Clyburn No. 2 British Made" adjustable wrench.
"The Original Clyburn No. 2 British Made" adjustable wrench.
1964.
Clyburn spanner.

Richard Clyburn (c1797-1852) of Richard Clyburn and Co

1828 Richard Clyburn is first recorded working as a Consulting Engineer in the Agricultural and Textile industries in Gloucester and Somerset in 1828. He made precision tools with replaceable parts from both wrought and cast iron.

1834 October 1st. Married at St. Mary de Lode, Gloucester, to Sarah Knight

1836 Patent. 'To John Ferrabee, of the Thrup, in the parish of Stroud, in the county of Gloucester, engineer, and Richard Clyburn, of the same place, engineer, for their invention of certain improvements in power-looms; sealed Jan. 21—six months for inrolment.'[1]

1840 Patent. 'Henry George Francis, Earl of Ducie, of Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, Richard Clyburn, of Uley, engineer, and Edwin Budding, of Dursley, engineer, Gloucestershire, for improvements in machinery for cutting vegetable and other substances.'[2]

1842 Report. 'Earl Ducie’s show also displayed some most ingenious and generally admired specimens, amongst which, particularly attracting notice, were two chaff-cutters and a portable smith's forge. The former, we believe it was slated, was capable (the single one) of cutting 30 bushels of chaff the hour by the labour of a single man: its motion was rotatory, the knives being set in a groove round the cylinder at about angle of 80, and was the invention of his Lordship and Messrs. R. Clyburn and E. Budding. The portable smith’s forge was worked by wheel acting upon fan, and its merits consist in first, its perfect portability; second, it takes but little room and can be placed in almost any situation. It will enable the smith work the premises, or for shoeing horses; the invention of Mr. Richard Clyburn, of Uley - for competition, as a new instrument.'[3]

1842 He is credited with inventing the first adjustable spanner and registering the design in 1843 whilst working as the Engineering Manager at the Uley Iron Works in Gloucester, which was owned by the Earl of Ducie. His design remained in production mainly by other Birmingham factories, and appeared in tool catalogues up until about 1964.

1842 Listed under Steam Engines and Agricultural Implement Makers: Uley Iron Works, Uley. Richard Clyburn, engineer and manager. [4]

1843 Awards. '...a sub-pulverizer, invented by the Hon. M. W. B. Nugent, of Higham Grange, Hinckley, manufactured by Richard Clyburn, of Uley, near Dursley; with additions by John Morton, of Chester Hill; a corn-crusher, invented and manufactured by Richard Clyburn, of Uley, near Dursley; a corn-meter, invented by John Norton, of Chester Hill, manufactured by Richard Clyburn, of Uley, near Dursley; an improved drain level, invented by Andrew Notman, of Painswick, manufactured Richard Clyburn, of Uley, near Dursley...'[5]

1843 Patent. 'George Parsons, of West Lambrook, Somersetshire, Gent., and Richard Clyburn, of Uley, Gloucestershire, engineer, for certain improvements in machinery for beating, cleansing, and crushing various animal and vegetable materials substances'[6]

1843 Patent. 'Richard Clyburn, of Uley Iron Works, Gloucestershire, for a screw-wrench or spanner.'[7]

1844 Report from Agricultural Show. 'Lord Ducie had so many applications for his ingenious improved screw spanners or wrenches, that he was under the necessity of declining to accept further orders. I have called them Lord Ducie's because they were in his Lordship's stand, but they were really invented by Mr Richard Clyburn.'[8]

1845 Report from Agricultural Show. 'A prize of 10l. was awarded to Earl Ducie, for a wrought-iron cultivator or scarifier with five tines covering a space of 40 inches; invented by John Norton, of Whitfield Example Farm; improved and manufactured by Richard Clyburn, of Uley, near Dursley'[9]

1847 Premises for sale. '...ALL that valuable FREEHOLD ESTATE, MILL, and PREMISES, as they now stand, formerly in the occupation of the Messrs. Sheppard. but since as Uley Iron Works, and now occupied by Mr. Richard Clyburn, Engineer and Agricultural Implement Manufacturer. It comprises a capital Mill, formerly used as Clothing Mill, and is well adapted for Silk, Grist, or Saw Mill, being roomy and lofty, driven a water wheel 20 feet diameter, eight to ten-horse power, with a constant stream of water, and a large pen or reservoir for holding the same; a comfortable Residence, with a good Garden. and several Cottages for workmen, workshops, and other outbuildings: together with about Seventeen Acres of rich pasture and Arabic Land, high stale of cultivation, the whole in a ring fence, and desirable for occupation or investment...'[10]

1849 Listed under Engineer and Machinist: Clyburn, Richard (late Earl Dulcie's) agricultural, Uley Iron works. [11]

1849 Show report. '...Patent universal crusher, or "V" mill; invented by Parsons and Clyburn, of Uley; improved and manufactured by the exhibiter. Can worked by hand.— Universal roller mill; improved and manufactured by the exhibitor. The simplicity of its construction consists a large smooth roller, working in near contact with a small smooth roller, which easily adjusted, by regulating a set screw, to work liner or coarser required....Drag barrow, or Uley cultivator and scarifier; invented by Mr. John Morton, of Whitfield; improved by Mr. Richard Clyburn, of Uley; manufactured by the exhibiter.— Drag harrow or Uley this implement is constructed upon precisely the same principle the last article, with the addition of two more tines...'[12]

1851 Living at 50 Parsons Street, Tower Hamlets: Richard Clyburn (age 54 born Carlton, Yks.), Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Sarah Clyburn (age 47 born Manchester) and their nine children; Richard Clyburn (age 23 born Stroud), Engineer; Sarah Clyburn (age 21 born Stroud); Martha G. Clyburn (age 19 born Stroud); Thomas Clyburn (age 17 born Stroud), Engineers Apprentice; William Clyburn (age 13 born Stroud); Fanny Clyburn (age 12 born Uley); Alice Clyburn (age 7 born Uley); Harold Clyburn (age 5 born Uley); Mary Clyburn (age 3 born Uley). Also three visitors including Richard J. Strong (age 21 born Frome), Engineer. Two servants.[13]

1851 September 29th. Death of Mary, age 5, at Hackney, the youngest child of Richard Clyburn, late of Uley.[14]

1852 October 18th. Died at Tetbury, Richard Clyburn, engineer, formerly of the Uley iron works.[15]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Morning Advertiser - Tuesday 02 February 1836
  2. Worcester Journal - Thursday 05 November 1840
  3. Bristol Times and Mirror - Saturday 16 July 1842
  4. Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Derbyshire (and others), 1842
  5. Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 22 July 1843
  6. Sherborne Mercury - Saturday 05 August 1843
  7. Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 07 October 1843
  8. Morning Post - Wednesday 31 July 1844
  9. Newcastle Courant - Friday 18 July 1845
  10. Gloucestershire Chronicle - Saturday 15 May 1847
  11. Hunt & Co's Directory of Gloucester & Bristol, 1849
  12. Norfolk News - Thursday 19 July 1849
  13. 1851 Census
  14. Gloucester Journal - Saturday 18 October 1851
  15. Gloucester Journal - Saturday 30 October 1852