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William Brown
1 Oct 1803 - 19 Oct 1885

Great-great-grandfather of the webmaster and
an engineman of The Stockton and Darlington Railway

"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.

Majestic class "Coronation" 1831 (copyright G.Royle 2006)   
William's engine in JULY 1837.
Majestic class, Coronation no. 13 was a
double tender engine designed and built by Timothy Hackworth c.1831
with some parts made by Robert Stepenson & Co. and R.W.Hawthorn, both of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
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.

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 Russia.  The former's granddaughter, 
Helena Brown   in a matter of fact way told me [c.1950] that he was presented with a gold watch by the Tsar.  I have heard that it was not unusual for Tsar Nicholas to dish out such baubles.  So what happened to it ?

For example only.....Tyoical-Russian-presentation

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 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)

1841  Coronation the last of the Majestic engines in service was sold at an auction in Shildon for £100, apparently to Timothy Hackworth. (pp 61-62, The Locomotives of the S&DR, by T.R.Pearce)

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

1846  Driver of Wear 
(Miner  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

The copper medal shown below was struck in Russia to commemorate the opening
of the Tsarskoye Selo Railway on 30 Oct 1836


Note the 'family' resemblance of the engine depicted here with 
Kitching's drawing of Raby Castle.


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.
But - - - - :
I have sneaking suspicion that in an earlier life this relic was Coronation-13, the tired old engine
bought at auction in 1841 by her creator Timothy Hackworth.  
It is common practice in engineering to use existing hardware as the basis of a new development.
The positions of blast-pipe; chimney; and fire-box are a match, and my guess is that the boiler,
could be 4ft. diameter x 13ft. long. (Although I have not had the pleasure of running a tape measure over her.)

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.

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 ).  Their entry in the facsimile of the 1841 census has faded because the enumerators were permitted to use pencil. William was recorded as an 'Engine-man'.  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].  The Elms was the home of James Flounders, a retired farmer and Elizabeth Orton wife of a convict deported to Australia.  She was related to James by marriage.  James was a first cousin of industrialist 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-St-George, Bucks (200 miles away) together with another engine-driver, his brother-in-law  John Greathead .  For reference only, see the image of an engine driver at the foot of this page.
I wonder if they travelled to Wolverton by any of the engines mentioned above, e.g. Raby Castle ?  

1861 Census : William shown  as  Inspector of Locomotive Engines
.   The family were living in Adelaide St., Shildon.

1861 Reference only : Westmoreland poet John Close wrote about characters he met on the railway station at nearby Kirby Stephen.  Among those were, in his words "Also Messrs Clough and Henderson, Mineral and Plate Inspectors and Mr Richardson, engine inspector.  All are superior, intellectual men."

1871 Census : William shown as an 'Engine-driver'.  The family were living in Company's Row, (Adelaide St ? ) his youngest son William-jnr 21, (fitter) was present.  His oldest son George 37 and family were living in the house next door.

1873  re. Mr Blair  This is relevant to Robert Brown's adventure below as it indicates the importance of Aarhus as a railway centre :  John Blair member of the (British) Institution of Mechanical Engineers, was Chief Locomotive Superintendent of Danish Government Railways at Aarhus, Denmark.  The place was a terminus on the first ever Danish railway line.

Page amendment : 1 APR 2016 ( Concocted to the best of my knowledge and belief )

To date, I have published 123 pages for this website including 44 for my cousin Ann who brought the following 'mystery' photograph to my attention.  It was printed 143 years ago, then cherished through five generations.  In different places and at different times both our grandmothers, surnamed Brown told us more or less the same story, that  " - - an ancestor delivered the first locomotive to Russia - - ".  However the photo lacks provenance because to the best of my knowledge it has neither labels nor a signature, and 'Chinese-whispers' over generations have blurred any useful narrative.  However, recognising my   g.grandfather's image in both of the photographs below, and being able to compare them after all this time has been amazing and a great clue to unravelling the 'mystery'.

Therefore I offer this, my latest interpretation of the scene.

1st of October 1873    William's 70th 'birthday party' at Soho, New Shildon

Robert Brown 1873 Aarhus, Denmark. copyright.....Robert - gripping the hand-rail of engine no.61

On the left, a photo in my possession of my g.grandfather Robert Brown 37,
and on the right, the photo of Ann's mystery group.
I believe that the four men on the running board are all Mrs Brown's boys ( see Mary Orton )
i.e. her son Robert 37; her husband William 70; her son George 39, and her son William 23.

Mr.William Bouch 60, Locomotive Superintendent is in the foreground, fourth from the right. 
The photographer and camera were close to the kitchen door
(north-side) of Soho cottage, New Shildon.
In the 1871 census the house was the residence of Mr Bouch.

Justifications (?)
  • The date assumed was close to William's 70th birthday. Perhaps it was the day he was made to retire as an engine-driver.
  • Two years earlier the 1871 census shows William Bouch "Locomotive Superintendent" living at Soho, Shildon.  Previously 1831 - 1850 it was the home of Timothy Hackworth.  Now (2016) known as Hackworth House it is a part of the National Railway Museum 'Locomotion' site. 
  • The backyard of Soho was the location of the gathering. Very near to the back of the house (until 1946) there was an annexe of the Soho Works large enough to shelter ten engines.  A map of 1876 shows three railway tracks running through it. (NGR NZ23232570) Over the years the building was used for various purposes, including a paint-shop. Tom Pearce's book "Locomotives of the Stockton and Darlington Railway" shows a similar scene on page 147, fig.161 - - - i.e. an engine and 14 men, which mentions "- - - the paint-shop 1870".
  • As mentioned above Mr.Bouch 60 is in the photograph, fourth from the right, and I suggest that the third man from the right (looking brotherly) is Mr.William Macnay 47, "Managing Engineer, Shildon Works".  Macnay would have claimed his place in the group as in the 1871 census he was  Mr Bouch's next-door neighbour.
  • Soho was actually a pair of large semi-detached houses. Later, upon Bouch's demise (1876), Macnay took over the role of "Locomotive Superintendent".
  • Body-language is not a modern field of study and we should applaud this pioneer photographer for his choreography.  He seems to have arranged  three or four distinct parties within the group.
  • Fortunately, I was helped by an email-friend (James A.) to identify the locomotive.  No.61 was " - - the first of four 0-6-0s built by Hawthorns of Newcastle for Denmark in 1873 - - " which confirms the year of the photo.  The engine-driver, and the gentlemen on the left in inky-black suits and shiny-shoes seem 'foreign' to me. Were they Viking officials of Danish Government Railways ?  And was Mr Blair among them ?
  • In the 1870s Robert Brown with his wife Ann (Adamson) and their seven daughters moved from Gorton, Manchester to reside in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His eighth daughter my grandmother was born there in 1876. And in the previous 'bullet' it seems that Robert would have been representing Hawthorns. 
  • As a boy Robert was trained at Shildon under Mr Bouch; then around 1861 he moved to Doncaster; then to Beyer-Peacock, Gorton. Perhaps on this 1873 occasion he had brought DGR no.61 from Hawthorns for trials and finishing, then sailed with it across the silvery sea to Denmark. Was it then that he sat for his portrait at the studio of Frau Visby ? )  He might have thought, "Some day Geoff will need this photo to prove I was here".
  • On the day, the location would have been used for several photographs, mainly 'business'.  Aside from the business photographs ours is what I would call a foreigner, i.e. not on the books but arranged ad-hoc at the discretion of Mr Bouch as a part of William's birthday/retirement treat.  Mr Bouch could easily afford the cost as his Will of 1876 shows a probate value of about £160,000.
  • Mr Bouch; William Brown and his sons had something in common - - they were 'Shildon villagers' and among the last of the true S&DR men.  
  • We should not be surprised at the lack of evidence to substantiate my story.  In the 1800s education was poor and illiteracy rife.  For example, in 1831 when William Brown and Mary Orton were married at St.Thomas' Church, Stockton-on-Tees neither of them managed their 'mark' with a legible 'X'.  However I do know that Timothy Hackworth goaded his men into further-education, and that the facsimiles of the Engine-men's-Wages show us William's signatures written 'in a good fist'.
  • Summarising the occasion from William's point of view :- No doubt he was proud (photo/body-language) to know that his son Robert (visitor to Shildon) was about to travel with the new engine to Denmark.  The place might have been a port of call when he himself delivered an engine to St.Petersburg 37 years earlier; and of course all three of his 'boys' had been thoughtfully included in the gathering.  For reference, Robert's birth year was 1836, i.e. the same year that his father went on the epic journey to Russia.
My wife at the door of Hackworth House 13-06-2007
Hackworth House in 2007
Previously known as  Soho House, it was home of Timothy Hackworth between 1831 - 1850

I wonder if the engine-men of old queued there for wages on pay-days ?
Up to 1946 the Soho Works 'paint-shop' would have towered over the roof-tops on the left.

End of page amendment : 1 APR 2016 / /  Until we know better, this will have to do.  Amen

was the year of the S&DR Jubilee.  J.S.Jeans, author of the official record included a short tribute to William Bouch:-
"The Shildon (engine) no.1033 was constructed thirty years ago - - - by Mr William Bouch.  It has been running continually since that time on the Stockton and Darlington line, and is yet, to all appearance, fit for a good deal of service."

NER 1033 aka S&DR 33 by William Bouch 1845

Shildon, no.1033  (1845 - 1877)
i.e. scrapped one year after the death of Mr Bouch

The webmaster must admit to a lump in the throat here as in 1959-1960 he served at R.A.F. Middleton-St-George alongside the old S&DR line, and steam engines were still in service.  R.A.F. jet-fighters on final approach had to cross the railway track, and at night the beams of their landing lights would occasionally stream through the carriage windows of passing trains.
1876 January 19  William Bouch died age 63, at Melcombe Regis, Dorset.  His on-line Will/probate shows his executor as (brother) Thomas Bouch, and an estate value 'less than' £160,000
To show familial likeness-only, this is 'executor' Thomas Bouch ..... Thomas Bouch 1822 - 1880 ..... Civil Engineer.

1881 Census : William Brown age 77 was still working, shown  as "Labourer at Works".

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

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


George Stephenson's viaduct which was built in 1824  (link) over the River Gaunless at
West Auckland, Co. Durham. Throughout its early development the railway
was supposed to carry only horse-drawn traffic, so it is surprising to see it
bearing 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.
Above, somewhere along the line is Locomotion No.1 with fire in her belly racing toward Stockton-on-Tees.

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 :
The following YouTube link plays folk music appropriate to the life and times of our Enginedriver :
Many thanks to 'Helen' of Helen Osborne Research Ltd. SW20 9LB for her professional work on my behalf at the National Archives.

The Driver of 1852 by Henry Thomas Alken

Original painting "Driver of 1852" by Henry Thomas Alken

Was this the uniform of Brown and Greathead in 1851 at Wolverton-St-George ?

S&DR Uniform button

 S.& D.R. coat button

" On my honour, I declare that I have done my best "
 (paraphrased from my Scout Promise of 1946)


My modus operandi i.e. declaration-to-correction is inclined to make my learned  readers feel rather queasy, but for more than ten years the technique has served me well.  I liken it to the science of geology as invented by Dr James Hutton 1726 - 1797, hence "Huttonian".

In the name of simplicity data sources are in general omitted, however please feel free to enquire/inquire.

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