Fenton, Murray and Jackson

Fenton, Murray and Jackson was an engineering company at the Round Foundry off Water Lane in Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

Fenton, Murray and Wood

The firm began as Fenton, Murray and Wood, founded by Matthew Murray and David Wood in 1795 to build machine tools (mainly for the textile industry) and stationary steam engines, competing effectively with Boulton and Watt and achieving a considerable reputation. They were joined in 1797 by James Fenton and the financier, William Lister.

In 1811, John Blenkinsop was interested in using steam locomotives on the Middleton Railway and had patented a rack and pinion system to overcome problems with adhesion. Fenton, Murray and Wood were asked to design a suitable locomotive. Built in 1812, it was successful and three more followed, plus another two for the Kenton and Coxlodge Colliery. No more were built before Murray died in 1826.

Fenton, Murray and Jackson

After Wood's death in 1820, the company became Fenton, Murray and Jackson.

From 1831, work began building engines to George Stephenson's designs, both 2-2-0 "Planets" and 2-2-2 "Patentees, " many of them under subcontract. Many were exported, and twenty of Daniel Gooch's "Firefly" class for the Great Western Railway. By 1840, they were turning out up to twenty engines a year. However, by 1843, the boom was over and the company closed down.

Fenton carried on building locomotives after 1846, taking over the Railway Foundry of Shepherd and Todd, in Hunslet, becoming Fenton, Craven and Company. Among the company's apprentices were some who went on to further success, David Joy, John Chester Craven, Benjamin Hick and Richard Peacock.

References

* Lowe, J.W., (1989) "British Steam Locomotive Builders," Guild Publishing
* G. Cookson, 'Early Textile Engineers in Leeds 1780-1850' "Publications of Thoresby Society" n.s. 4 (1994), 40-61.


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