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British Industrial History

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William Marston Warden

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William Marston Warden (1815-1890) of Joseph Warden and Sons

1815 May 1st. Born the son of Joseph Warden and his wife Ann

1839 Married Mary Evers

1848 of Railway Iron Works, Edgbaston Street, Birmingham[1]

1848 William Marston Warden became an honorary associate of I Mech E[2]

1871 Living at 7 Westbourne Road, Edgbaston: William M. Warden (age 55 born Birmingham), Iron Merchant. With his wife Mary Warden (age 55 born Stonebridge, Warks.) and his married daughter Louisa Sharpe (age 28 born Birmingham). Also his son-in-law Charles I. Sharpe (age 28 born Somerset), Contractor for Public Works, and his grand-son Charles I. D. Sharpe (age 7 Months born Edgbaston). Five servants.[3]

1881 Iron merchant of Edgbaston[4]

1890 November 16th. Died. Probate to Walter Evers Warden of Thackeray House, Hagley Road, and Arthur Warden of the Vale, Edgbaston, Iron Merchants and sons.

1891 Obituary [5]

WILLIAM MARSTON WARDEN, the eldest son of the late Mr. Joseph Warden, was born at Birmingham on the 1st of May, 1815.

He was educated at a private school, and at an early age joined his father in the business still known as Joseph Warden and Sons, Railway Iron-works, Birmingham, and of which, from his untiring energy and business capacity, he soon became the leading spirit.

Later, he joined the Oak Farm and the Whittington Iron-works, and in 1857 established the Phoenix Bolt and Nut Works, now located at Handsworth, near Birmingham.

He was also a partner in the firm of Warden, Clark and Muirhead, electrical engineers and contractors, and during his connection with them many important undertakings were executed, including the telegraph from King William’s Town to Queenstown and Beaufort West, some 1,200 miles into the interior of Southern Africa, at that time but little explored.

In the early days of railway development, wherever extensive works were being carried out, Mr. Warden was constantly to be seen, a favourite alike with engineers and contractors, among whom Messrs. Brassey, Wythes, Betts, Walker and many other eminent railway pioneers mere his personal friends.

From Mr. Warden’s wide experience and sound judgment, his advice in commercial and financial matters was much sought after, and for some years he was Director and Chairman of the Birmingham Banking Company, the Birmingham Waterworks Co, the Alliance Assurance and many other important companies. He was also a Justice of the Peace for the county of Stafford, sitting regularly on the Bench, until unable to attend through failing health.

Movements of a philanthropic character ever found in him a generous supporter, and for a long course of years he was a willing subscriber to most of the charitable institutions of Birmingham and the neighbourhood. Hospitality and kindness of heart were the prominent features of his character, and although not taking an active part in public life, either politically or otherwise, he was always ready to lend a helping hand in promoting institutions for the benefit of the poor and needy, and in an unostentatious way he exercised much generosity. He possessed artistic tastes of no mean order, and has left a fine collection of paintings by leading artists. He was also a keen sportsman, yearly looking forward to the 1st of September, and until within a few years of his death was fond of horse exercise.

Mr. Warden died at his residence, Fairlawn, Edgbaston, on the 16th November, 1890, from a painful disease of which he had been a sufferer for some considerable time. He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 3rd of March, 1863.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Mechanical Engineer Records
  2. Mechanical Engineer Records
  3. 1871 Census
  4. 1881 census
  5. 1891 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries