Author Topic: William Ashby, millwright and inventor of Westerham  (Read 49 times)

bertroid

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Re: William Ashby, millwright and inventor of Westerham
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 09:38:04 PM »
William Ashby
Believe this was him in 1861 census. Born about 1780 Frant, living at Addington rd, Croydon
He was a widower with a housekeeper Sophia Richardson, widow. His occupation was milli(x)igrit, also another unreadable word.
The page is very faint to read.

In 1851, with his wife Susanna at Barrack Fields,  Croydon. Also a married daughter & her 2 children, & a servant
He was a Millwright.
He had married Susanna Latter 1798 Lamberhurst. She died 1855

Believe he was buried 22.7.1866, Islington.


That's the chap.  I wrote a large chapter in my book about him.  Not sure he was buried in Islington, but probably unmarked in a Quaker burial ground.  Sussex would make more sense.


One of his sons, Adam, was also a professional millwright, who died in 1899 in Gravesend.


alkhamhills

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Re: William Ashby, millwright and inventor of Westerham
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 08:02:36 PM »
William Ashby
Believe this was him in 1861 census. Born about 1780 Frant, living at Addington rd, Croydon
He was a widower with a housekeeper Sophia Richardson, widow. His occupation was milli(x)igrit, also another unreadable word.
The page is very faint to read.

In 1851, with his wife Susanna at Barrack Fields,  Croydon. Also a married daughter & her 2 children, & a servant
He was a Millwright.
He had married Susanna Latter 1798 Lamberhurst. She died 1855

Believe he was buried 22.7.1866, Islington.

bertroid

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William Ashby, millwright and inventor of Westerham
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 03:02:14 PM »
William Ashby 1779-1866.

William was a millwright and Quaker, born in Sussex, who initially set up base in Westerham in Kent, and fathered eleven children.

He built a number of windmills in Kent/Surrey/SE London, namely at Erith, Keston, Knockholt, Warlingham, Ide Hill, Croydon Common, and almost certainly the ones still standing at Brixton and Shirley.

He led an extraordinary life which hit a massive downturn aged 60 when he was declared bankrupt due to a debt of £65. All his property was seized, and he was jailed for two years and incarcerated in the notorious Horsemongers Gaol near Elephant and Castle.

Somehow he survived that ordeal and ended up living in a slum in Croydon in the 1840s and 1850s at Barrack Fields. It was here, he invented and patented a machine called the 'smutter', for removing dirt from flour. It sold thousands across the world, and he died a wealthy man as shown in the photo. Some of his relatives carried on the milling tradition and were part responsible for the Wonderloaf factory that stood until recently in St James's Road, Croydon.