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William Brown
1 Oct 1803 - 19 Oct 1885
A great-great-grandfather of the webmaster
and an engine-driver of The Stockton and Darlington Railway Company


"All Honour to - - - - those clear cool brains; for through and by these, thousands travel by Rail, and without such clever steady men,
those Iron Monsters, our smoking steam engines could not cope with the wind, and almost fly like lightning."

The above was penned in 1862 by poet John Close in his annual publication, "Once a Year : Tales and Legends of Westmoreland" [No.1; p.120]
Mr Close had pedalled books of his works at the newly built railway station at Kirkby Stephen, and his observations there
among all classes of traveller hands down to us a rare insight into the early days of that branch of the railway.  

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Majestic class, Coronation no. 13 was a double tender engine
 designed and built by Timothy Hackworth c.1831
All that remains of this Class of engine are a couple of primitive sketchs made many years
after the engines were scrapped, hence this 'reconstruction' is the webmaster's best guess.
The books listed at the foot of this page were very helpful in the quest.

William was the eldest son of George Brown, a farmer of Ingleton, Co. Durham and Jane Lamb of Redmarshall, Durham who married 17 May 1803 at St.Thomas' Stockton-on-Tees.  William was born and raised in East Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees.

1803 Oct 30 He was baptised at St.Thomas', Stockton-on-Tees.


1831
Aug 15 He married Mary Orton of Hutton Rudby, at
St.Thomas, Stockton-on-Tees.  They had two girls and three boys, inc. my g.grandfather Robert.  In 1821 Mary's father was sentenced to death at York Assizes. See her page in this site.

1836 William is believed to have been on the team which delivered an engine built by Timothy Hackworth to the Tsar of Russia.
Sources: (1) William's granddaughter, Helena Brown.  In a matter of fact way she said [c.1950] that William had been presented with a gold watch by the Tsar. And (2) Ann, a distant cousin of the webmaster living in Wellington, New Zealand has corroborated the story and provides a copy of an old photograph which may be seen via this link > > > > . 

1837 Paylists of the S&DR for May and July of 1837 show William alongside famous early engines and drivers.  

The earliest mention of his name found so far in the lists is for "---halling [sic] the 1st Class Coach, 1/4 day, paid 6 shillings".

 The following are monthly pay entries (out of sequence) in the "Enginemen's Wages for July 1837".

Drivers Amount Engines Signatures
W.Brown £40 18s 2d Coronation-13 ( Majestic class pictured above ) William Brown [33yr]
R.Morgan £4 13s 11d Locomotion No.1 ( the 1st engine on the line in 1825 ) John Morgan
R.Newcomb £30 9s 6d Northumbrian-15 ( Majestic class ) Elizth Newcome (sic)
J.Pickering £36 4s 6d Royal George ( The famous engine, built in 1827 ) John Mountrey
J.Greathead £35 13 5d Shildon-18 ( Majestic class ) John Greathead [22yr]
Another paylist  example, for May 1837, can be seen here > >    http://www.clevelandfhs.org.uk/S%20&%20D%20Wages.htm
1839 July  Driver of No.15 Northumbrian (Majestic class, as was No.13 Coronation)

1842  Driver of Trader (Tory class) which was a new engine in that year.

1846  Driver of Wear 
(Tory class)

1846 Sept  Driver of No.13 (not the old Coronation but Tory-class\Ocean renumbered from 28)

1846 Oct and 1847 Feb  Driver of No.30, Raby Castle.  She was a 2-2-2 coaching engine in a class of her own.  Herapath's Railway Journal 1841 stated that "The Raby Castle is a beautiful engine for her size and weight and second to none that I have yet seen.  She is a steady, active, neat, tight little engine capable of generating more steam than she has the weight to apply to it".)

Loco "Raby Castle" by Kitching

A side elevation of Raby Castle from Kitching's original drawing

Although new in 1839 the webmaster believes that Raby Castle was
in outline at least very similar to those engines delivered to the Tsar in
September of 1836, and said to have cost at least £2000 each
.

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Bradyll at Locomotion Museum Shildon

The above image shows the remains of Bradyll ( ? ), an engine of the same era as 'Coronation'
though the identity is in some doubt. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradyll_(locomotive)
She can be seen at the Locomotion Museum at Shildon, County Durham.  From the image it seems that the missing cylinders were attached to the sides of the smoke-box, (here painted black) and inclined toward the wheels at the far 'stoking' end of the boiler,
i.e not as Coronation's which were vertical and linked to the wheels & connecting-rod via a crankshaft.
 
Timothy Hackworth Coronation 1831
Coronation L-N-E-R  poster of 1937
Read on for transcript of the footnote
Locomotive built by Mr Timothy Hackworth in honour of the coronation of King William IV-1831.
"Coronation" engine from needlework picture in the John Phillimore collection of early railway relics.
Forerunner of the "Coronation" 1937 L-N-E-R streamline train King's Cross and Edinburgh.
LONDON & NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY

Web-master's note :- The artwork/needlework in the poster is by Scottish artist Doris Zinkeisen 1898 - 1991

1841  The family were living at East Thickley ( aka New Shildon ).  They are difficult to see in the facsimile of that census as the enumerators were permitted to use pencil and the writing has almost faded away.  William was recorded as an 'Engine-man'.  In that census only the youngest child Robert age 6 was at home and a search revealed William's other children living with their maternal grandmother Elizabeth Orton, at The Elms, Hutton Rudby, Yorkshire. [now no.5 North Side, n.e.corner of the village green, and almost back to back with the Bay Horse public house].  Then, in 1841 the house was the home of James Flounders, a retired farmer.  Elizabeth Orton, wife of a convict deported to Australia, was related to James by marriage.  James was a first cousin of famous philanthropist Benjamin Flounders one of the promoters of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Co.  
As William Brown was son-in-law of James Flounders' housekeeper, I wonder whether this led to his employment with S&DR ?

1851 Census: William is not at home in Temperance Street, Shildon, but another census page shows him in railwaymen's lodgings at Wolverton, Bucks (200 miles away) together with another engine-driver, his brother-in-law  John Greathead .  I wonder whether they had travelled by any of the engines mentioned above, e.g. Raby Castle ?

1861 The census shows William as 'Inspector of Locomotive Engines'.  The family were living in Adelaide St., Shildon.

1861 Reference only :  Westmorland 'Poet' John Close wrote about characters he met on the railway at Kirkby Stephen. Among those were in his words, "Also Messrs Clough and Henderson, Mineral and Plate Inspectors, and Mr Richardson, (see
Engine Inspector ).  All are superior, intellectual men.

..                  ..
 FR VISBY  > <  AARHUS

William Brown photographed c.1870 [1]

"AARHUS" in the footnote, is a seaport on the east coast of Denmark.
The place might have been a port of call when the first Engines were taken to Russia in 1836,
though technically this photograph would not have been possible in that year.
It is possible that following the initial business with Russia there would have been other opportunities
for travelling that sea route and the development of photography mimiced that of the Railways.
.........................................

William, Loco 61, and team ofengineers

William Brown photographed c.1870 [2]
Original image (framed) is in the possession of a descendant of his living in New Zealand.
Believed to be the traditional roll-out of a new locomotive at North Road Works, Darlington, in this case no.61.
William (inspector of locomotive engines) hatless, wearing collar and tie. Compare with portrait [1] above.
.....................................................................................

And see later photograph here : Cabinet Portrait in mount

1885 Oct 19 William died aged 82 at Company Cottages, New Shildon. Informant on the death certificate was John Dunning his son-in-law. William's widow, Mary later lived with her daughter Ann and John Dunning at Highside House (farm), Heighington.

An image believed to have come to light on an early postcard.
   

Gaunless_viaduct_bearing_Director_class_engine

George Stephenson's viaduct which was built in 1824 (link) over the River Gaunless at West Auckland, Co. Durham.
When the railway opened in 1825 it was originally to carry only horse-drawn traffic, so it is surprising
to see it here bearing the load of an engine of the Director class, the first of which was delivered in 1832.




Painting by Terence Cuneo
27th of September 1825. The opening day of the Stockton and Darlington Railway had arrived.
Here, somewhere along the line is Locomotion No.1 with fire in her belly racing toward Stockton-on-Tees.

1825_Etching



Recommended reading from which much of the above was gleaned :
  • The Locomotives of the Stockton and Darlington Railway (ISBN 0 902835 14 9) by T.R.Pearce
  • History of the Stockton and Darlington Railway (ISBN 0 85983 050 0) by J.S.Jeans
  • Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive (1925) by Robert Young
and see the following appendix to this page :
Thanks are due for professional assistance i.e. searches at the National Archives on behalf of the webmaster by Helen of Helen Osborne Research Ltd. SW20 9LB (premises, no.3)


  
All pages of this site are subjected to regular appraisal and amended accordingly.

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