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British Industrial History

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Alexander Clunes Sherriff

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Alexander Clunes Sherriff (c1816-1878)

1859 Alexander Clunes Sherriff, General Manager, Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway.[1]

General Manager of the West Midland Railways for many years, and up to their becoming part of the Great Western system.

1878 Obituary [2]

MR. ALEXANDER CLUNES SHERRIFF was a native of Aberdeen, and at an early age he obtained an engagement in the railway service. For some time he was Goods Manager on the Northern railway at Hull.

In 1856 he was appointed General Manager of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton railway, which he succeeded in raising from a position in which it barely earned its own working expenses to one yielding some return to the original shareholders.

When the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line was amalgamated in 1860 with the Worcester and Hereford, and acquired the name of the West Midland railway, Mr. Sherriff continued as the general manager of the combined undertakings, and retained that post until their amalgamation a little later with the Great Western railway, when he retired under an arrangement with the new directorate. Shortly afterwards hew as elected a member of the Town Council of Worcester, and subsequently sheriff, alderman, and several times mayor of that city. He was also one of the city magistrates. At the general election, in 1866, he was elected M.P. for Worcester in the Liberal interest.

Mr. Sherriff was also chairman of the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company, and of the Oldbury Railway Carriage Company, and a director of the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company, the Metropolitan Railway Company, the Metropolitan District Railway Company, and the Metropolitan and St. John’s Wood Railway Company.

He took a prominent part in effecting the conversion of the Worcester City and County Bank into a limited company, and was one of the originators of the Rosedale and Ferry-hill Mining Company, founded in 1861.

Mr. Sherriff was a bluff, kind-hearted, and genial man, an effective rather than an eloquent speaker, and an excellent man of business. He was a decided favourite with people at large, and especially possessed the affections of the working classes.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 5th of February, 1867, and died at Weybridge, in Surrey, where he had resided for several years, on the 17th of March, 1878, at the age of sixty-two.

1878 Obituary [3]

Mr. A. C. SHERIFF.-Mr. Sheriff, another member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and one of the partners of the late Mr. James Morrison, whose decease is referred to above, died in March last after a painful illness.

Mr. Sheriff, like Mr. Morrison, was entirely a self-made man. He was long connected' in various capacities with railway management, and for several years he acted as traffic manager of the North-Eastern Railway. In this capacity he became intimately associated with Mr. George Leeman, M.P. for York, whom he joined in several commercial undertakings, the most extensive being the Rosedale and Ferryhill Iron Company.

Mr. Sheriff was a director of the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company, and of several other concerns connected more or less closely with the iron trade. He was elected one of the members for Worcester in 1873.

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