Slaughter, Edward 1814 - 1891

Slaughter, Edward (1815-1891), Mechanical Engineer, was born in London on the 1st of December 1814. He was educated at the school of Dr Nicholas at Ealing and in Paris and served a pupillage of five years to Mr. John Seaward of the Canal Ironworks, Limehouse.

Edward Slaughter joined I K Brunel in 1837 as Assistant Engineer and took part in the construction of the London end of the Great Western Railway in laying the permanent way over a large portion of the line, building stations and general work. Mr. Brunel subsequently gave him a post at the Bristol end of the line.

In December 1839 he accepted the offer of Henry Stothert and Co. engineering works in Bristol to join their firm as managing partner, specially manufacturing locomotive engines. The partnership was formed early in 1840 under the name of Stothert, Slaughter and Co., which was changed in 1856 to Slaughter, Gruning and Co. when Henry Gruning joined the company. In 1866 the business was converted to Avonside Engine Company Ltd. and Edward Slaughter became the Managing Director being responsible of the engineering and general management until 1873, when failing health induced him to retire.

During this period Edward Slaughter travelled widely abroad working with foreign railways, and supplied nearly one thousand locomotives including some marine and stationary engines and iron steamships. As many of the locomotives were built for foreign railways with steep gradients and sharp curves, he took a prominent part in the introduction of the various articulated or bogie systems. He improved the steamboat service between Bristol and Newport by designing and building two screw-steamers, 'Avon' and 'Severn', which were fitted with engines of the locomotive type working direct on to the screw-shaft.

Edward Slaughter was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Institution of Mechanical Engineers from 1853. He died on the 13th of May, 1891.