The Runcorn Bone Works & Edwin Charles Leventon (1845-1909)

wantingcaution !! this is an initial draft of a story about my great grandfather's refining company  ... there are many errors, omissions and inaccuracies for which I apologise ... perhaps someone will correct the errors ... ?

I only keep these notes on my website so I don't lose them !!


The Runcorn Bone Works.

Thr Runcorn Bone WorksThe Runcorn Bone Works, photo from the Leventon collection.


Runcorn Bone Works was established in Runcorn on the Bridgewater Canal around 1840 and The Chester Chronicle was advertising its wares on July 1st of that year.

In 1839 there was a petitioning creditor, a William Rawcliffe, a size manufacturer, of Manchester ... what was all that about?  ... in 1839 William Rawcliffe's partnership with Richard Allert as manufacturers of size in Winsford was dissolved ... and also in 1839 in Manchester, Patrick Magee's partnership with Michael Corcoran as marine store dealers in Liverpool was dissolved ... was this the time that William Rawcliffe joined forces with Patrick Magee and went into partnership to established The Runcorn Bone Works?

But first who was William Rawcliffe and what was going on at Winsford?

Winsford ...

William Rawcliffe (1806-) was born in Huddersfield, he had a younger brother Charles Rawcliffe (1811-).

In the 1841 census William Rawcliffe (1806-), Size Manufacturer, was living at Boundary Street, Hulme, with 4 year old Frances (1837-); and 2 year old Alice (1839-) ...

The 1851 census located William Rawcliffe as a Merchant & widower, now at Frazer Street, Liverpool, with Thomas (1831-); Emily (1835-); Francis (1838-); Alice (1839-); William (1842-) and Harry (1843-).

In 1839 a bone works of 'entirely new construction erected at very great expense' was commissioned in Winsford and in 1843 William Rawcliffe was indentified as the proprietor of the Winsford Bone Works in the Chester Chronicle. On the tithe maps of Cheshire (1836-43) Richard Allert's grocer's shop was identified close to the Winsford Bridge. And close by, down by the river, where the old dockyard and timber yards were ... there was the bone works ... clearly decipherable on the 1875 OS map 'Dockyard Works Salt & Bones' ...

In the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of 1845 there was a note about Rawcliffe's new bone works reflecting the market appetite for the manures -

'Returning through Middlewich to Winsford, where are some extensive bone works belonging to Messrs Rawcliffe. A peculiar process of boiling is carried on here with excellent effect; and the manure which a year and a half ago was sold at £5 10s, is now to be had at £3 12s 6d per ton. The dust, which is caused by the sawing of the bones, does not pass into the boiler, and is sold alone at £8 per ton: it is a very valuable manure'.

Winsford Bone WorksLocal historian Tony Bostock wrote interestingly about the Winsford of the mid 19th century -

'next door lived Charles Rawcliffe's family; at the time of the census he was not listed, instead his wife Ann is shown as the head of the house with her two children and a female servant. According to the tithe map a John Muskett lived next door but he and his family must have been absent for the census. George Gilbert, a size maker, Thomas Griffith, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Jane lived in the next house. In 1848, to raise £10,000 he needed, John Cheshire mortgaged his properties to Messrs Parr, Lyon and Greenall of Warrington but unfortunately within a few years he went bankrupt. In March 1852 Cheshire's property was assigned to a Thomas Green, esquire and held in trust by William Cross, Thomas Rigby, James Grimshaw and George Morgan. By this time the salt works alongside the market place which William Cross occupied, consisted of five storehouses, four pan houses with furnaces, a brine shaft, brine cistern, a cottage, a smithy, offices, an engine house containing a steam engine, machinery workshop, a stable, a weighing machine and two shops occupied by Thomas Thompson, a butcher, and John Harding a shoemaker, along with a sail-room occupied by John Barton. Part of the former meadow land and timber yard sites now hosted a bone and size works with seven boilers, furnaces, two coolers, two sheds and a button moulding factory which had once been occupied by William Rawcliffe, but at that time by Thomas Swanwick Bradbury. The Cross family timber yard with its graving dock, brick built smithy and brick built saw pit and block maker's shop still remained'. 

In 1850 Bagshaws Directory of Cheshire included the Winsford Bone Works at the old timber yard, the enterprise was now grandly labeled The Winsford Bone & Button Manufactory with Thomas Bradbury as manager.

In 1853 The Winsford Bone Works was confirmed as under the management of T S Bradbury and was keeping up to date with with imported Guano products and the services of analytical chemists. Thomas Swanwick Bradbury was still there in 1857 in the PO Directory.

The story at Winsford involved a change of ownership in 1876 with an ignominious sale when the bone works was late in the occupation of Mr Joseph Meredith ... and with Mr George & R G Cross in liquidation ...

In 1876 The Post Office Directory advertised  the Winsford Bone Works and William E Perry as a possible purchaser ... who was William E Perry?

In 2003 Winsford's history was reviewed in some interesting detail.

And now who was Patrick Magee (1806-) and what was going on at Runcorn?

Runcorn ...

Patrick 'Paddy' Magee (1806-75) was born in Ireland in 1806 and the 1841 census recorded him, a Marine Store Dealer, living at Bath Street, Liverpool. He married to Jane Bannon (1821-) in 1840 and they had a 6 month old daughter Cath (1841-).

In 1851 census Patrick, a General Merchant, was at 3 Cleveland Street, Birkenhead. The family had grown Cath (1841-); Henry (1843-); Maria (1845-); Emily (1847-); Francis (1845-) and Clara (1851-) ...

In 1851 Michael Corcoran (1827-), a Dealer from Cork Pitt Street, Liverpool, married to Catherine and accommodating a lodger, James Haran, a Dealer in Marine Stores ... it seemed the Irish marine store dealers always stuck together ...

In 1861 Patrick, a Ship Owner, was at Hamilton Square, still with Jane and the kids ... and now plus Florence (1852-); Theresa Alice (1857-); Patrick (1855-); Edward (1857-) and Walter (1859-). Henry was in the business ...

Theresa Alice Magee (1853-) born in Birkenhead, married Wilfrid Vincent Herbert (1842-) at Sacred Heart, Kilburn on 10th April 1883. They had one child, Clara Gladys Herbert (1888-90) in Kensington. Died 1890, Kensington. Wilfrid's father was the Royal Academician John Rogers Herbert (-). He married John Dedman's ggg aunt Kezia Mary Dedman at St George Hanover Square on 19th March, 1833. In 1891 census Theresa was in St Marylebone, Maida Vale, with her brother Peyto (Parick) as Head of family, and sisters, and Wilfrid's uncle Albert Herbert, and Albert's wife Kate. Albert Herbert married Catherine Magee. But still no child of Theresa was mentioned.  In 1901 Theresa (1861-) was staying with sister Florence Counsel in Bangor but on her own. In 1911 census confirmed Wilfrid V Herbert (1843-), Theresa Herbert (1857-) of Uckfield Sussex, one child died, one child grew up and married. So it would be wonderful to know that John Rogers Herbert and his wife Kezia Dedman had a grandson. He would be their only grandchild??   

In 1871, Patrick, a Ship Owner & General Merchant, was at Old Chester Road, Tranmere with the family but no more kids!

In 1881 Jane, a Annuitant, continued to live at The Ghan, Old Chester Road ...

Paddy Magee died in Birkenhead in 1875 aged 76. But they will never stop singing his songs ... Paddy Magee was a Liverpool legend!

Runcorn Bone WorksOn the tithe maps of Cheshire (1836-43) The Runcorn Bone Works was plot 111a 'Bone Works & Yard' occupied by William McGhee & Robert Routcliffe? William Magee & Robert Routcliffe ... transcription error?

On the 1875 OS map the site by Bates Bridge was identified as a 'Charcoal Works'.

In 1844 The Manchester Courier reported that The Runcorn Bone Works was up for sale. J Fraser Esq of George Street, Manchester was the assignee. It looked as though William Rawcliffe wanted out of Runcorn ... or may be he wanted a new investor? For sure in 1846/47 the company was still in business, and the advertising script had a changed.

A court case in 1848 described the troubles of partnerships & debt recovery and importantly confirmed William Rawcliffe was manufacturing size at Winsford and Runcorn and was in partnership with Magee at Runcorn.

The partnership between Patrick Magee and William Rawcliffe was dissolved in 1849 . And in 1851 the Chester Chronicle indicated that The Runcorn Bone Works was back in business under new management. Patrick Magee was now in partnership with Michael Corcoran of 13 New Quay, Liverpool and were advertising buttons, size and charcoal for sugar refiners ...

In 1853 The Runcorn Bone Works was prospering and when the Huyton Bone Works was up for sale the notice named the Runcorn outfit as a competitor; particularly for 'animal charcoal' for the sugar refiners. Animal charcoal or bone black was the carbon residue obtained by the dry distillation of bones. It contains about 10% carbon, the remainder was calcium and magnesium phosphates (80%) and other inorganic material originally present in bones. It was manufactured from the residues obtained in the glue and gelatine industries.
Charcoal was activated to increase its effectiveness in adsorbing a range of organic compounds dissolved or suspended in liquids. In the purification of sucrose from cane sugar, impurities caused an undesirable colour, which could be removed with activated charcoal.
This decolorizing power was applied by Charles Derosne to the sugar refining industry from 1812.

Continuous improvement & innovation was necessary for competitive success and in 1856 The Chester Chronicle was advertising the latest products from The Runcorn Bone Works. And in 1857 the company were also improving their distribution and sales through the use of area Agents. There was also relentless exposure of these superior products at farmers clubs and agricultural shows.

In 1856 The Cheshire Observer advertised bone products from The Runcorn Bone Works ...

 Michael Stammers in 'The Passage Makers', 1978, confirmed that the Magee & Corcoran partnership was into bigger things in Liverpool -

 'The firm of Magee & Corcoran also owed the bank £27,677 on ships. This concern, of which the famous 'Paddy' Magee was a partner, had failed some years previously (in the midst of debt intrigue in 1859), when their ships were assigned to the bank and Baines & Co managed them on its behalf'.

The Marco Polo Project'The Marco Polo Project' - Barry Ogden has a great project website ... and Paddy Magee was in the thick of it again -

In 1851 the 'Marco Polo' was rapidly turning into an albatross, an 'ugly duckling'. She was built by Irish born James Smith in New Brunswick and eventually sold to an Irish ragman, Paddy Magee, a Marine Store adventurer, at a price that satisfied both men. The famous Paddy Magee then used his oratorical gifts to convince James Baines of the Black Ball Line that the boxy monster could become a top notch luxury ship and excel as a valuable passenger ship for the floods of emigrants beginning to leave the British Isles for Australia spurred on by that country's gold rush. This, despite the growing popularity of steam ships, which eventually would lead to the downfall of the wooden ship industry. Though never a comely ship, the 'Marco Polo' was transformed from 'ugly duckling' built as a timber drogher, to magnificent swan following an extraordinary makeover. She was refitted a year after her launch, as a passenger ship, Black Ball Line kitted her out with maple paneling, stained glass doors, plush red carpeting and crimson velvet upholstery. Under the urgings of the driving Captain James Nichol 'Bully' Forbes, she broke all records of the day, sailing from Liverpool to Melbourne, Australia in 68 days. By this time, she had been fitted with interiors luxurious by the standards of the day, and was carrying up to 900 passengers a voyage.

At some stage our Paddy Magee 'the packet rat' passed on The Runcorn Bone Works to Owen Reilly?

In 1857 The Post Office Directory listed Owen Reilly at Halton, Preston Brook and at Runcorn ... and also Thomas Swanwick Bradbury at Winsford and Thomas Vickers at Rookery Bridge.

Owen Reilly (1814-89)

Owen Reilly was born in Ireland in 1814.

In 1846 Owen Reilly, at 32, married Ann Magee (-1855) in Liverpool and a year later in 1847 they had a daughter Elizabeth (1847-) born in Halton. Ann died in Runcorn in 1855. It was not clear what relationship Ann was to Paddy Magee, but it appeared Owen Reilly's introduction to manures was through his first wife's family?

Owen remarried to Elizabeth Osborn (1827-92) in Runcorn in 1858, Owen was 44, and Elizabeth 31.

In the 1861 census Owen Reilly was a Bone Manufacturer employing 22 men, 7 boys and 6 woman, living at Brook Place, Halton. Married to a Middlesex girl Elizabeth (1827-92) and with daughter Elizabeth (1847-). In 1871 Owen, a Bone Manure Manufacturer employing 35 men and 7 boys, was at Hallwood, Halton. Staying with them was William Clissold, a Clerk at the Bone Works. In 1881 Owen, a Bone Charcoal Manufacturer employing 19 workmen and 4 boys, with Elizabeth had moved to grand accommodation at 1 Abbey Green, Chester.

Runcorn Bone WorksIn 1863 The Cheshire Observer reported increasing demand and success resulted in investment in a new factory on the Weaver at Sutton. The congested site at Bates Bridge on the Duke's canal in Runcorn was superseded by ambitious facilities on the 1807 Weaver cut from Frodsham to Western Point.

1876 The Post Office Directory carried an imposing advert for The Runcorn Bone Works ...

The 1878 Post Office Directory of Cheshire listed Owen Reilly as the 'managing' partner of The Runcorn Bone Works.

In 1881 Thomas Wallington (1822-89), a General Merchant, was living in Ackers Lane, Latchford. In 1871 Thomas, a Coal & Iron Merchant, was living in Grappenhall Road, Latchford. Thomas was a founding father of Warrington Wolves, a ship owner and general good egg.

In 1884 The London Gazette reported and The Manchester Courier reported the dissolution of the partnership between Owen Reilly and Thomas  Wallington of The Runcorn Bone Works.

Thomas Wallington died in Warrington in 1889.

The 1863 new investment project at Sutton Weaver could have involved investment from Thomas Wallington. The relationship between Owen Reilly and Thomas Wallington (and Paddy Magee) needs further research. Were they all Irish immigrants of Liverpool close mates, looking for opportunities?

The Reilly/Wallington partnership at The Runcorn Bone Works, Sutton Weaver, was dissolved in 1884 and the operation of the business came into the hands of Mr Thomas Nicholas and his brother Mr Herbert Nicholas. The proprietor at the time was Mr Owen Reilly of 1 Abbey Green, Chester.

In 1885 The Liverpool Mercury reported a horrible death at Sutton.

In 1888 The Grantham Journal indicated that a Mr Thomas Hadfield was involved in The Runcorn Bone Works? However The Cheshire Observer reported Owen Reilly was still active and Mr Thomas Hadfield had no connection with the works. Could the confusion have been caused by misreading an 1883 Cheshire Directory which listed Thomas Hadfield and the Sutton works?

Owen Reilly died in 1889 in Chester, aged 74 years ... the same year as his erstwhile partner Thomas Wallington.

On the death of Elizabeth Reilly in 1892 The Cheshire Observer reported The Runcorn Bone Works was up for sale.

In 1899 a new limited company was formed by Mr E C Leventon to purchase The Runcorn Bone Works.

Edwin Charles LeventonThe Leventons of Liverpool.

George Leventon (1802-62), a Coachman, was born in Crosswell, Nottinghamshire. son of William Leventon and Elizabeth Jamson who were married in 1788 in Radcliffe On Trent, Nottinghamshire. Married Sarah Stafford (1812-75). Children all born in Notts. George (1832-98); Lucy (1834-); Sarah Ann R (1836-); Elizabeth (1838-40); Joseph (1840-70) buried in Alford, Lincolnshire. John Henry (1842-45); Edwin Charles (1845-1909) born in Wellow, Nottinghamshire. Died in Prescott, Lancashire. Herbert (1849-1917) died in Lincoln.
Thomas (1851-54); John Henry (1854-94) ...

George died in Southwell, Notts in 1862.

Edwin Charles Leventon (1845-1909), a Liverpool Merchant & Importer of Nitrate of Soda, was born in Wellow, Nottinghamshire. Married Margaret Stock Mercer (1842-80) in Gloucester in 1864. Children Herbert Edwin (1866-); Lucy (1869-); Thomas William (-); Frank (1872-); Nellie (1874-); Hollie (1879-); Maggie May (-)

 Margaret died at the tender age of 35 in a dentists chair in Liverpool ... raising important questions about the use of chloroform ...

At the time of the 1881 Census he was recorded as a widower aged 36 born Nottingham, a merchant, living at Clairmont, Victoria Road, Huyton-with-Roby. He had two sons, Herbert aged 15 and Frank aged 9, and three daughters Lucy aged 12, Nellie aged 7 and Hollie aged.

Edwin married again to Ada Stockton Arnitt (1862-) in Bridgenorth in 1881. Children Dorothy (1887-); Stafford (1889-); Majorie (1891-);

In 1876 H C Leventon left his job with the firm G O Dobell & Co and set up in business as a Commission Merchant ... Leventon and Co, of 16 Hackin's Hey, off Dale Street, Liverpool.

In 1884 The Manchester Courier reported a tragic accident at the Leventon works in Oriel Street, off Vauxhall Road, Liverpool.

In 1885 The Liverpool Mercury reported that Leventon & Co filed a patent for the brand and trade mark 'Marina Guano'.

'E C' was a cricketer of repute and one game he never forgot was playing for Huyton against Warrington in July 1867 ... Warrington were dismissed for 54, Leventon took 8 wickets ... the last 5 Warrington batsmen all succumbed to the Leventon wiles and managed 1 run between them! Edwin played for Lancashire in 1867 and Don Ambrose at The Cricket Archive recorded the event - In 1866 he had been top of the Huyton Cricket Club averages and was reckoned to be their best bowler. He played his only match for Lancashire the following year, at Whalley, against Yorkshire, when he batted at number nine. He also took the two valuable wickets of E Stephenson and G Anderson, both bowled. On 1st to 3rd August he played for Twenty-two of St Helens and District against the United All England Eleven, scoring 2 and 6 and taking two wickets.

Edwin died in Prescott in 1909 of heart failure. He collapsed in the street in Roby and taken to hospital, but he was declared dead of a heart attack on arrival. Edwin left a will and an estate of £54,930.

The Angels at MonsHerbert Leventon (1866-1918) was born in Prescott. He married Evelyn (-) in ??. Children Raymond (1899-1917); Evelyn Herbert (1903-) ...

Second Lieutenant Raymond Sylvester Leventon RFC was drowned in 1717 while on duty as reported in the London Times in 1918.

Herbert, 'Bertie', was remembered as an accomplished artist. A vast legacy of his work survives, particularly impressive was his pheasant in the snow. A series of cartoons he drew for the Liverpool Echo were also acclaimed and many remembered his poignant 'The Angels WERE at Mons' ... this was Herbert's tribute to the heroism of the heavily outnumbered British troops and the Red Cross at Mons ... the first major engagement of the British Expeditionary Force in August 1914 ...

The urban myth about the intervention of the 'Angels of Mons', summoned by the Bowmen of Agincourt, was  undoubtedly the most enduring supernatural legend of the First World War ...

Herbert died in 1918.

Frank LeventonFrank Leventon (1872-1938), Chemical Merchant. Married Gladys Henriette Dreaper in West Kirby in 1911. They had three children; Pauline Mary, Frank R and Herbert Desmond.

Frank was appointed a Director of the Runcorn Bone Works Limited on incorporation in 1899.

N B Edwin Charles first made his mark as an importer of nitrate of soda. Nitrate of Soda, sodium nitrate, NaNO3, was a salt also known as Chile saltpetre due to the large deposits found in that country and Peru. This distinguished it from 'ordinary' saltpetre, potassium nitrate. Saltpetre was used extensively as a fertiliser and component of gunpowder.
The first shipment of Chile saltpetre to Europe arrived in England in 1820 or 1825, but did not find any buyers and was dumped at sea in order to avoid customs toll.
With time, however, the mining of South American saltpetre became a profitable business, in 1859, England consumed 47,000 metric tons. Nitrate of Soda was commonly imported as guano from the coastal islands of Peru, Africa, Chile, and the West Indies. Guano is dried excrement of sea birds and bats; it contains about 6% phosphorus, 9% nitrogen, 2% potassium, and moisture. Mixed with feathers and bones and it is an excellent fertilizer. (Wikipedia)


Liverpool, of course was famed for its graceful, enigmatic cats which had been found aboard ships for centuries. This explained why the felines were seen all over the world. Certainly the most important animal at sea was the ship's cat, they had always been useful to mariners because they were skilled rat catchers ... and rats plague sea going vessels. The tradition of having cats on ships originated in ancient times, when merchants visiting Egypt saw the efficiency of these strange animals that guarded the granaries.
Recently the ships SS Phou and SS Thebes, set sail from Alexandria, Egypt, with 180,000 mummified cats on board. The cats had been dead for 4,000 years and had been dug up from a sacred cat cemetery on the banks of the Nile.

Guano and bone merchants Messrs Leventon and Co of Hackins Hey, Liverpool, bought the 19 ton cargo; ground embalmed cats were known to make excellent fertiliser. The auction was supposed to be a private trade affair but news leaked out and members of the public, museum curators and Egyptologists, turned up, to express their distaste at the appalling vandalism of the whole affair. 

On February 8th 1890 The Manchester Courier reported on the secret of success of enterprising Leventon & Co!

Punch and Kleinwort Benson were in on the act! What an entertainment! The Taunton Courier had an interesting slant on the story which was a international phenomena! The Bristol Mercury & Daily Post, on Feb 11th 1890, reported yet another tribute to Victorian entrepreneurs -

Sale of Feline Mummies.
'At noon yesterday Messrs James Gordon and Co sold by auction, at Liverpool, eight and a half tons of mummified cats from Egypt. The mummified cats, which came from Beni Hassan, about 100 miles from Cairo, were consigned to Messrs Kleinworth, Sons, and Co, Liverpool. They were brought to Liverpool in 100 bags by the steamer Thebes, from Egypt. The sale attracted a very large number of Liverpool merchants. Mr J C Gordon, who conducted the sale of the cats, said that Professor Conway had written an article about them, and had expressed his belief that they were from 3000 to 4000 years old. The had in the room that day a basket of the mummified bones as a specimen of what the remaining bones were like. The bones would be sold at so much a ton. He would like an offer. The bidding commenced at £3 per ton, and gradually advanced to £5 17s 6d, at which sum they were knocked down to Messrs Leventon and Co. Messrs Leventon and Co were the purchasers of the other consignment of mummified cats, which were disposed of a short time ago. The price per ton then realised was £3 13s 9d. A large number of single cats' heads were next sold at prices varying from 1s 9d to 4s 6d each. The reason the cats heads were sold singly was because the brokers had been deluged with letters asking if they would sell specimens as samples. The mummies are broken into fragments, few perfect specimens remaining. They were packed very tightly into bags for the purpose of saving freights. The first cat's head which was disposed of brought an offer of 1s 3d. Mr Gordon said the head belonged to a beautiful tom, and was worth more (laughter). The bidding for the head slowly advanced in price, and was knocked down to a Mr Gorst for 3s 3d. [Here lists prices of many cats' heads, and amusing comments of auctioneer] ... The sale from first to last evoked great merriment, and it was quite a study to watch the interest which a few men of science looked upon the affair as compared to the banter indulged in by men of business. Messrs Leventon and Co., who bought the mummified cats by the ton, intend to grind them up into manure. It is stated on good authority that the remains of Egyptian mummified human beings have before now been ground in English mills for manure'.

The Nicholas Family

After the incorporation of The Runcorn Bone Works in 1899 Thomas Nicholas (1857-) and his young brother Herbert (1873-)were contracted to continue to devote himself to the works as Managers for at least seven years. This was a smart move as the Nicholas family were trusted servants of the company, experienced and indispensible to the success of the new company. Thomas had worked at Sutton Weaver since 1882 and Herbert since 1887.

Old man Thomas Nicholas (1809-), a Stone Getter from Barrow in Cheshire, married a local girl from Halton, Martha (1813-). There eldest son John (1834-) and youngest Thomas (1843-), were born in Halton.

In 1861 John Nicholas (1834-), was a Labourer, living with his wife Elizabeth (1834-) from Keckwick, at Halton Road, Runcorn. Their children were Thomas (1856-); Clara Florence (1858-) and John Arthur (1861-), were all born in Halton.

In 1871 John Nicholas (1834-), a Engine Driver, had moved to the new Bone Works at Sutton which was built in 1863. John & Elizabeth had more children Edith (1864-), born in Halton just before the move and John Arthur (1869-) and Eva Annie (1871-), both born in Sutton after the move. It seemed John was an important employee at the Bone Works from day one ...

In 1881 John Nicholas (1834-) had risen to a position of Foreman at the Bone Works, and his son Thomas (1857-) had followed in the footsteps of his father and was an Engine Tender. There were more children; Herbert P (1873-); Mary Elizabeth (1875-) and Frederick Richard (1878-).

In 1891 John Nicholas (1834-) was now Manager Bone Works, living at Boneworks, Marsh Gate, Sutton. John & Elizabeth were living with children John Arthur (1869-), an Stationary Engine Driver; Eva (1871-); Herbert (1873-), a Clerk Boneworks and Fred (1878-). Thomas was living at Barley Groves, Bridge Lane, Frodsham, married to Alice Nickson (1859-) with children Sarah E (1885-) and Frances H (1890-). He was now assistant to his father John Nicholas (1834-), Assistant Manager Manure Works.

By the 1901 census there were three brothers working for the Bone Works -

 Thomas Nicholas (1857-) was the Manager Chemical Manure Works, living with his wife Alice (1859-) at The Poplars, Frodsham, with daughters Sarah Elizabeth (1885-) and Frances Mary (1890-). He was still in the job in 1911 and still with his two unmarried daughters but Alice had died and the family had moved to Fluin Lane, Frodsham.

John Arthur Nicholas (1868-) had also stayed with the company and he was now a  Foreman at the Bone Works.

Herbert (1873-), was a Bookkeeper at the Bone Works, living with his sister Edith (1864-) on Main Street, Frodsham, who had married local Flour Miller George Davenport. Fred (1878-) was also with them but he was a Grocer's Assistant.

The 1911 census confirmed that after the Leventon purchase the Nicholas family were at the helm at the Sutton Bone Works with Thomas, the Manager, John Arthur, the Foreman, and Herbert, Company Secretary.

1910 Kelly's Directory of Cheshire confirmed Thomas Nichols (sic) as manager.

When did the Leventons sell The Runcorn Bone Works to Edward Gorton?


Frodsham PortThe development at Sutton on the Weaver canal started with Owen Reilly's new factory in 1863 but nearby there was an interesting array of employers around Frodsham Port on the old river ... industrial developments on this site went way back to the old cheese warehouse built in 1670 by Sir George Warburton -

Bone Manures & Animal Feeds - Joseph Ashworth & Sons ltd - founded 1860 - sold in 1862 by James Lowe - still advertised in The Post Office Directory of 1876 ...

Flour Milling - Thomas Rigby & Son ltd

Jam Factory (off Church Street) - Kydd & Co - Joseph Kydd Proprietor. James Entwhistle Manger.

Liquorice Works - McAndrew & Co; Harold Leicester, confectionery Manager.

Salt Works - Crosbie & Urmson

Salt, Bricks & Milling - William Pickering & Co; Thomas Leicester Flour Manager.

Ship Builders - Wm Hayes & Co

Slate & Timber Merchants - John H Hayes & Wm Hazlehurst

Soap & Chemicals - Heywood & Massie Ltd


Shropshire Archives - Archon Code : 166

Accounts: Leventon & Co 4572/52/131 29 January 1890

Accounts: Leventon & Co 4752/52/148 12 March 1890

Store - Palnackie - Leventon & Co, Manure Merchants, Liverpool.

The Commissioners of Patents' Journal (page 137 of 185) - 28,279 - Leventon and Co, of 16, Hackin's Hey, Liverpool. — Class 2. 


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