Wright, William Barton 1828 - 1915


William Barton Wright (1828-1915), Mechanical Engineer, was born in Murton House, near North Shields, Northumberland on 13 November 1828 to father William Clark Wright and mother Charlotte Sarah Parr (married on 25 Jan 1825 in Tynemouth parish). In 1839 the Wrights moved to Bayswater, London, where William’s father died in 1844. In 1845 William started a six-year apprenticeship at Great Western Railway, Swindon, under Daniel Gooch. He worked in the erecting shop, then as draughtsman and lastly as assistant to the works manager Archibald Sturrock. In 1851 he was placed in charge of the GWR loco depot at Paddington, London. In October 1854 he was appointed the first loco carriage and wagon superintendent on the Madras Railway India, where he arrived in March 1855.

In 1875 William was appointed as the locomotive superintendent at the Miles Platting works, Manchester. In ten years he renewed almost entirely the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway (LYR) locomotive stock and was responsible of the establishment of new loco works at Horwich, near Bolton. He resigned from LYR in June 1886 to give more time to private practice as an engineer in London. William became the director of the Balmadies Estates Co Ltd and Assam Rs & Trading Co Ltd in India. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (associate from 1859, member from 1896 until 1906) and the Institution of the Mechanical Engineers (1878-1892).

William Barton Wright married Janet Forlonge in London 1858 and at least three sons and two daughters survived to adulthood. Son Edward William Barton Wright (1860–1951) worked also as a civil engineer and surveyor. In 1892 William retired following the death of his wife and moved to an ancestral home in Dover, then 1907 to St Leonards on Sea, Sussex, where passed away on 7 May 1915.