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British Industrial History

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Timothy Burstall

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Timothy Burstall (1776-1860).
Burstall and Hill Steam Coach.

Timothy Burstall (1776-1860) of Leith

c1776 Born in Lincolnshire

1804 Marriage(1) at St. Martin in the Fields, London to Charlotte Radwell

1807 Birth of son Thomas Burstall

1824 Built a steam coach (details in 'British Locomotives'). States 'Burstall and Hill of London'. Burstall and Hill’s first steam carriage, built in 1824, failed from the common cause of being cumbersome and exceedingly heavy which, together with the bad road surfaces, resulted in the machinery being shaken to pieces. In an attempt to overcome these problems by experiment they next built a quarter-scale model which they exhibited first in Edinburgh, as this broadside announces, and afterwards in London. The model was 5ft 6ins long and 1ft 10ins high and worked at a pressure of 25 psi. It is reported to have been a success but a full-size version never materialized. Details and image in 'British Locomotives'

On the 3d of February, 1824, a patent was granted to T. Birstall and John Hill, of Leith, for a locomotive steam carriage; an account of which was first given in the Edinburgh Journal of Science.[1]

1825 Details of the steam carriage for roads being built at Saw Mills, Leith. [2] [3] [4]

1825 November 14th. Marriage(2) to Mariann Price at Leith

1826 October. Trials along the Ferry Road at five or six miles an hour. [5]

1827 While running in London at their enclosure at New Bedlam, Westminster Road, the boiler burst injuring a boy, the brother of Mr. Hill. [6]

1827 Exhibit a model of their steam carriage in Edinburgh with a detailed description. [7]

1829 Built the Perseverance for the Rainhill Trials

1830 Birth of son Timothy Burstall (1830-1888)

1841 Living at St Peter and St Paul, Somerset (age c60), a Civil Engineer. With Timothy (age 11 born Scotland) and Timothy (age 3 born Scotland) (note: all three are listed as Timothy Burstall). [8]

1851 Living in Edgbaston, Engineer and Dealer in Patents. With his wife and daughter.[9]

1860 December 7th. Died at Glasgow

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: T. Birstall and John Hill
  2. The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Saturday, September 10, 1825
  3. The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, September 10, 1825
  4. Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, September 24, 1825
  5. Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), Friday, October 27, 1826
  6. The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Friday, July 27, 1827
  7. Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Thursday, December 20, 1827
  8. 1841 Census
  9. 1851 Census
  • Steam Locomotion on Common Roads by William Fletcher. Published 1891.
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • British Locomotives by C. J. Bowen Cooke. Published 1893