Correspondence accumulated by John Wesley Hackworth and Ann Hackworth (Nee Turner)

part of archive:
Hackworth Family Archive
Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891)
Hackworth, Ann (b c 1818 – d 1872) (nee Turner)

Contains correspondence of John Wesley Hackworth, son of Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850), and his wife Ann Hackworth (nee Turner). Letters in this series are written in both a personal and business capacity and include letters both sent to John Wesley Hackworth and letters sent by him preserve in draft, copy or printed form. There are personal letters in this series. Early in the series Jane Dutton turns down John Wesley’s offer of marriage, then a subsequent letter to his wife Ann Hackworth (nee Turner) suggests that she was betrothed to be married to somebody else.

Letters 1843 are evidence of John Wesley Hackworth’s work alongside his father at Soho works, although one letter from Joseph Pease shows that at this time John Wesley had applied for the position of manager of engine department, Dublin and Kingston Railway. Letters from 1846-1847 show John Wesley Hackworth’s involvement in Soho Work’s contract to supply engines to the London and Brighton Railway, all these letters are from Timothy Hackworth (sr), except one from George Edward Young. Letters are evidence of difficulties that the business was facing at his time; Timothy Hackworth remarks on the amount of changes that have been made by the company as well as this letters frequently reference difficulties with money.

Records after his father’s death in 1850 show John Wesley Hackworth continuing the business, along with his brother after his father had died. The series contains evidence of John Wesley inventions and patents, but apart from this the series does not in any significant way record John Wesley Hackworth’s individual business ventures after he left Soho Works.

This series contains some of the frequent letters John Wesley wrote to newspapers and journals. This campaign begins with a letter from 1849 in which John Wesley Hackworth challenges Robert Stephenson to prove to who is superior in the construction and manufacture of locomotive engines. His public correspondence continues right up until his death. His letters to newspapers react to the claims made on behalf of the Stephenson’s that they were responsible for locomotive developments at the time of his father; he is particularly vocal about Samuel Smile’s works The Story of The Life of George Stephenson and Lives of Engineers. He wrote letters to papers that were reprinted and circulated: 1876 he wrote a letter to the Editor of the ‘Northern Echo’: ‘who invented the Steam Blast?’ and in 1885 ‘the Locomotive and Railway System’ under the pseudonym ‘Wylam’.

The series contains correspondence with individuals that were alive at the same time as Timothy Hackworth, and who were involved in his business activities such as Thomas Hackworth, Timothy Hackworth Sr’s brother; William Thompson who worked for Hackworth in Middlesbrough.

The last letter in the series was sent by C.K. Lord of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, enquiring about a loan of objects to the World Columbian Exposition in America, which was answered by his family.


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