Hackworth Family Archive

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 756 HACK
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English French
  • Physical Description
      1036 letters with accompanying letters and associated documents, 151 pieces of printed material and printed images, 13 volumes, 6 drawings, 4 large items.

Scope and Content

The Hackworth family archive is a record of early railway development in Britain. It contains records of Timothy Hackworth’s work with the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company and features original documents to and from prominent railway individuals such as George and Robert Stephenson and Edward and Joseph Pease. It describes business activities and events on the line and discusses developments of railway engineering and travel that enabled the railways of today. Business records such as ledgers, notebooks and drawings provide detailed information about locomotives built; records also document business activities, such as the passport of John Wesley Hackworth from when he delivered the first locomotive to Russia. There is also a large amount of correspondence between various individuals regarding Soho Works’ order for the London and Brighton Railway Company. Correspondence between the members of the family describes the early railway industry informally; Timothy Hackworth appears to regularly correspond with his children in a personal and business capacity and writes to his wife regularly when he is away from home. Timothy Hackworth’s correspondence with his wife and two sons describe his feelings about how his business and about railway developments at the time. Letters are also heavily tinged with religious references and are evidence of the family’s Methodist faith and describe every day events.

The archive contains a large amount of family records from after the death of Timothy Hackworth. There are hundreds of papers regarding the settling of his estate gathered by his friend and executor of his estate Thomas Greener. These show how the family administered the estate and, dealt with running Soho Works without their father and their various decisions to sell the business. Papers also deal with private matters such as the mental health of Timothy Hackworth’s eldest daughter Ann Ambler who was put into a mental asylum and the family’s attempts communicate with her husband William Amber. The mental heath of another sister Mary Hackworth is also discussed, along with the threat of her marrying an unsuitable husband as the estate was being settled. Thomas Greener filed personal letters alongside estate papers; the series includes letters regarding the death of Timothy Hackworth’s wife Jane, letters announcing marriages, illness of his son Timothy Hackworth and often express money troubles within the family. Disagreements between family members are played out, notably between the two sons John Wesley and Timothy who both attempt to buy the business. At another point John Wesley Hackworth attempts to bring legal action on his brother and another executor.

Letters between the children of Timothy Hackworth between themselves and their friends give an insight into what life was in Victorian times. Letters between women and girls are an example of this; Timothy Hackworth’s daughter Prudence Nightingale (nee Hackworth)’s correspondence with her friend Elizabeth Dove describes family matters and the death of many people in her family of tuberculosis. Correspondence accumulated by younger daughter Jane Young (nee Hackworth) describes her time at school in Vilvorde, Belgium. Letters describe the family’s opinions regarding the observation of the Sabbath; provide gossip about family and friends and on potential suitors and describe Victorian fashion. There are numerous items in the archive that are evidence of social and religious history for example proposals of marriage, letters turning down marriage, religious confessions and letters of condolence on the death of family members.

The archive has another dimension to it: many of Timothy Hackworth’s children, grandchildren ancestors and friends campaigned for their ancestor’s recognition and their records are also contained in the archive. Hackworth’s daughters, their husbands and friend Thomas Greener collected, wrote and distributed literature about him. John Wesley Hackworth’s research papers and his correspondence in papers demonstrate his eagerness that his fathers name must not be forgotten. He publically battled against people who he thought were promoting historically inaccurate notions in relation to who was involved with early railway development. He focused on the argument that his father had invented the ‘blast pipe’ which the Stephenson’s used in order to make their locomotives successful. Later letters between Robert Young and various correspondents provide different points of views on the effectiveness of John Wesley Hackworth’s work to promote his father. Some correspondents such as, Timothy Hackworth’s nephew ardently defend John Wesley’s work and views, whereas others such as Robert Young Pickering, cousin of Robert Young are very critical of the way that John Wesley ‘damaged’ any chance that of making Timothy Hackworth’s name prominent.

Research for Robert Young’s book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive (London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923), gathered by Robert Young provides an in depth into the history surrounding the dawn of the locomotive in Britain. Both his and John Wesley Hackworth’s research, which he also used, provide a great deal of first and second hand information and evidence regarding the history of railways. Young researches through published sources, correspondence with people who were alive at the time of Timothy Hackworth including members of the family, photographs, magazines. Robert Young and his cousin Samuel Holmes, who lived in the United States, corresponded in depth about what should go into Robert Young’s book. Samuel Holmes tended to follow John Wesley Hackworth’s style of debate whilst Robert Young wanted to avoid the book offending the public and to create a more impartial account of events. Samuel Holmes wrote a forward to the Robert Young’s book however he died before the book was completed and it was never included in the final publication. There are various heated letters between Samuel Holmes and Robert Young that debate Timothy Hackworth’s involvement in railway history.

Later letters in the series document arrangements for parts of this archive and other Hackworth artefacts to be exhibited by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in the World Columbian Exposition, or ‘World Fair’ held in 1893. Letters sent between members of the family describe current events at the time of writing such as the Boer War and the World War I. Letters from family members now and again describe the family’s bad luck and often describe sorrow due to death and illness in the family. Later letters deal with what should happen with the family archive after members of the family have died and demonstrate further attempts to publicise Timothy Hackworth.

HACK/1 Papers of Hackworth, Timothy (b 1786 – d 1850), Railway Engineer and Hackworth, Jane (b 1875 – d 1852) (nee Golightly)

  • HACK 1/1 Correspondence accumulated by Hackworth, Timothy, Railway Engineer (b 1786 – d 1850)
  • HACK 1/2 Correspondence accumulated by Hackworth, Jane (b 1875 – d 1852) (nee Golightly)
  • HACK 1/3 Business papers of Hackworth, Timothy, Railway Engineer (b 1786 – d 1850)

HACK/2 Papers of Greener, Thomas (b 1820? – d c 1903)

  • HACK 2/1 Papers documenting the estate of Hackworth, Timothy (b 1786 – d 1850) gathered by Greener, Thomas (b 1820? – d c. 1903)
  • HACK 2/2 Personal papers of Greener, Thomas (b 1820? – d c 1903)

HACK/3 Papers of Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820- d 1891) and Hackworth, Ann (b c 1818 – d 1872) (nee Turner)

  • HACK 3/1 Correspondence accumulated by Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891) and Hackworth, Ann (b c 1818 – d 1872) (nee Dunton)
  • HACK 3/2 Business Papers of Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891)
  • HACK 3/3 Research Papers of Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891)

HACK/4 Papers accumulated by children of Hackworth, Timothy, Railway Engineer (b 1786 – d 1850) [excluding Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891) HACK/2]

  • HACK 4/1 Material accumulated by Holmes, Elizabeth (b 1818 – d 1905) (nee Hackworth)
  • HACK 4/2 Material accumulated by Nightingale, Prudence (b 1822 – d 1897) (nee Hackworth)
  • HACK 4/3 Material accumulated by Hackworth, Timothy (b 1825 – d 1856) son of Hackworth, Timothy, Railway Engineer (b 1786 – d 1850))
  • HACK 4/4 Material accumulated by Young, Jane (b 1831 – d 1914) (nee Hackworth) and Young, George Edward (b 1823 -1889) Wesleyan Preacher
  • HACK 4/4/1 Material accumulated by Young, Jane (b 1831 – d 1914) (nee Hackworth)
  • HACK 4/4/2 Material accumulated by Young, George Edward (b 1823 – d 1889, Wesleyan Methodist Preacher)
  • HACK 4/4/2/1 Papers accumulated by Young, George Edward (b 1823 – d 1889, Wesleyan Methodist Preacher)
  • HACK 4/4/2/2 Research papers of Young, George Edward (b 1823 – d 1889)
  • HACK 4/5 Material accumulated by several members of the family or unidentified

HACK/5 Papers accumulated by Young, Robert (b 1860 – d 1932) and Young, Edith Mary (b 1875 - d 1954) (nee Lees)

  • HACK 5/1 Correspondence and accompanying documents accumulated by Young, Robert (b 1860 – d 1932) and Young, Edith Mary (b? – d 1954) (nee Lees)
  • HACK 5/3 Research Papers of Young Robert (b 1860 – d 1932)

HACK/6 Papers accumulated by grandchildren/great grandchildren of Hackworth, Timothy (b 1786 – d 1850) Railway Engineer

  • HACK 6/1 Material accumulated by Hackworth, Albert (b 1853 – d 1904) and Hackworth, Esther Ann (b 1862 - d 1917) (nee Williams)
  • HACK 6/2 Material accumulated by Holmes, Samuel (b 1845 - d 1920)
  • HACK 6/3 Material accumulated by Young, Timothy Hackworth (b 1855 – d?)
  • HACK 6/4 Material accumulated by Hackworth, John Hennon (b 1843 – d 1923)
  • HACK 6/5 Material accumulated by Young, George Edward (b 1867 – d 1916) son of Young, George Edward (b 1823 – 1889) Wesleyan Methodist Preacher
  • HACK 6/6 Material accumulated by Young, Samuel Holmes (b 1869 – d 1936)
  • HACK 6/8 Material accumulated by Alderslade, Esther (b 1888 – d 1973) (nee Hackworth)
  • HACK 6/9 Material accumulated by Parsons, Prudence Winifred (b 1892 - 1956) (nee Hackworth)

HACK/7 Papers accumulated by Bainbridge, F F (fl 1900 – 1925), Coun, J.P.

HACK/8 Printed material

HACK/9 Images

Administrative / Biographical History

Hackworth, Timothy (b 1786 – d 1850), Railway Engineer was an early railway pioneer who worked for the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company and had his own engineering works Soho Works, in Shildon, County Durham. He married and had eight children and was a converted Wesleyan Methodist. He manufactured and designed locomotives and other engines and worked with other significant railway individuals of the time, for example George and Robert Stephenson. He was responsible for manufacturing the first locomotive for Russia and British North America. It has been debated historically up to the present day whether Hackworth gained enough recognition for his work. Proponents of Hackworth have suggested that he invented of the ‘blast pipe’ which led to the success of locomotives over other forms of rail transport. His sons other relatives went on to be engineers. His eldest son, John Wesley Hackworth did a lot of work to promote his fathers memory after he died. His daughters, friends, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and ancestors to this day have worked to try and gain him a prominent place in railway history. Notably his grandson son Robert Young wrote a book Timothy Hackworth and the locomotive (London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923) in a bid to preserve and promote his memory.

Timothy (b 1786 - d 1850), Railway Engineer and Hackworth, Jane (b 1785 - d 1852) (nee Golightly) were married in 1813 at Ovingham Parish Church, both were converted Methodists. Family legend suggests that Hackworth, Jane (b 1785-d 1852) was descended from a Scots lord who lost his land in the Jacobite risings, it does seem that Jane Hackworth was of a higher social status than Timothy. Jane was involved in religious life and correspondence from after her death describes her as an active Methodist. They had six daughters and three sons. One son, Thomas died shortly after his birth. Records suggest that Jane was involved with Timothy’s business activities; he often discussed business matters in correspondence to her asking her to pass on messages, give instructions whilst he was away.

Hackworth, John Wesley (b 1820 – d 1891) was born at 6.30 pm on 08/05/1820 at Warbottle, Northumberland. His father was Hackworth, Timothy, Railway Engineer, (b 1786 – d 1850) and his mother was Hackworth, Jane (b 1785 - d 1852) (nee Golightly). The family moved to Shildon in 1825 as his father had taken up work with the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company. John Wesley was involved with his father’s work from an early age and accompanied his father’s locomotive to Russia in 1837 when he was just 16 years old. He married Ann Turner, this was after he had proposed to Jane Dunton, who turned him down. Ann herself appears to have been betrothed to someone else. They had nine children, the youngest three died at an early age. One his children was Albert Hackworth whose papers are listed in series HACK 6/1. Ann died in a Coxlodge Asylum, Northumberland 28/07/1872.

John Wesley Hackworth was works manager at Soho and continued to there after his father’s death until the works were sold in 1855. He then set up business at Preistgate Engine Works in Darlington and made stationary engines and machinery. John Wesley patented a number of inventions including the horizontal steam engines and a type of valve gear known as the ‘dynamic valve gear’ or ‘Hackworth radial valve gear’. In the mid 1860’s he began manufacturing cotton machinery for Egypt and built a works at Bank Top, Darlington, however this business was affected by the fall of the Khedive in Egypt and the works failed. After his wife’s death he visited Canada and the United Stares in an attempt to introduce his valve gear, which appears to have been relatively unsuccessful. He returned to England and began work as a consulting engineer in Darlington, moving to Sunderland and then London. He also worked to devise better ways to ventilate mines.

John Wesley Hackworth campaigned throughout his life for recognition of his father. He sent a public letter challenging Robert Stephenson to a locomotive competition in 1849 (HACK 3/1/15) presumably with an aim to bring Hackworth to more prominence. After his father’s death his campaign became much more pronounced. He reacted to what he felt were inaccurate and unjust claims on the behalf of people involved in the early days of railways, particularly claims that Stephenson was responsible for the success of the locomotive. He was particularly angered by the claims made by Samuel Smiles in his published works. John Wesley Hackworth played out his anger in public, writing letters to newspapers and personally to railway writers such as Zerah Colburn. According to his nephew Robert Young Pickering he also gave talks supporting his father that made wild claims, he was a supporter of the theory that the Sanspareil was sabotaged in Forth Street Works, therefore causing his father to lose the Rainhill trials. Robert Young, his nephew writes in his book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive (London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923).

‘He wrote vigorously, and pounded his opponents in sledge-hammer style. Sometimes he did harm to his case by his downright methods, and on more than one occasion quarrelled with those not ill-disposed to himself or his cause, and his impetuous and abrupt disposition told against him’

John Wesley appears to have had money difficulties towards the end of his life. In 1887 his sister Prudence Nightingale (nee Hackworth) writes to Thomas Greener to ask him for help to lobby members of parliament, apparently the family could not support him and they were concerned he may end up in the workhouse. John Wesley died of cancer in Sunderland on 13/07/1891.

Greener, Thomas (b 1820? - d c 1903)’s father John Greener had worked at Killingworth Colliery and was in charge of the Etherley incline engine on the Stockton and Darlington Railway after his brother John Greener left this position. John Greener was active in the establishment of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company. John Greener came with the Young family [descendents of George Edward Young (HACK 4/4)] from the Tyne when Timothy Hackworth took up his position as Superintendent Engineer of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825.

Thomas Greener was an active Methodist, lived in Etherley and worked at Etherley Colliery, he is described in correspondence as being a ‘colliery agent’. Records show that he lived at Etherley and moved to Tulse Hill Gardens, London around the 1880’s, probably when he retired.

Greener was clearly close to the Hackworth family and corresponds in depth with them about private matters such as metal asylums for the eldest daughter of Timothy Hackworth Ann Ambler (nee Hackworth) and the debt that the family was in.

Young, Jane (b 1831 – d 1914) (nee Hackworth) was born at 4 pm 19/06/1831 at Soho House, Shildon. She was the daughter of Timothy (b 1786 - d 1850), Railway Engineer and Hackworth, Jane (b 1785 -d 1852) (nee Golightly). She went to school at her sister Prudence Nightingale (nee Hackworth)’s Seminary for Young Ladies, Penrith and then was sent to finish her education in Vilvorde, Brussels. She married Young, George Edward (b 1823 -1889) Wesleyan Preacher 28/12/1853. The couple moved around regularly due to George Edward’s job; correspondence shows that they lived in Leeds, London and that Jane lived in Hull.

Young, George Edward (b 1823 -1889) Wesleyan Preacher was the only son of Robert Young, who had worked with Timothy Hackworth at Wylam Colliery. Robert Young came to work for the Stockton and Darlington Railway at the same time as Timothy Hackworth and was an engineman at Brusselton Incline. George Edward Young was an office boy at Soho Works and worked his way up to be office manager. He later became a Wesleyan Methodist Preacher and was Methodist Minister in Leeds from 1868 – 1874 and from 1877 – 1880.

They had five sons and one daughter, sons including the following that feature in the archive Young, Timothy Hackworth (b 1855 – d?) HACK 6/3; Young, Robert (b 1860 – d 1832) HACK/5; Young, George Edward (b 1867 – d 1916) HACK 6/5 and Young, Samuel Holmes (b 1869 – d 1936) HACK 6/6. Their son Young, Robert (b 1860 – d 1832) HACK/5 wrote the book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive.

Both Jane and George Edward Young were active in campaigning for recognition of Timothy Hackworth. George Edward Young’s research papers and correspondence demonstrate his involvement and Jane Young (nee Hackworth) appears to have been involved in research about her father for most of her life.

Young, Robert (b 1860 – d 1932) was born on 21/07/1860; he was the son of Jane (b 1831 – d 1914) (nee Hackworth) and Young, George Edward (b 1823 – d 1889) Wesleyan Methodist Preacher. He married Edith Mary Lees, who was born in Chester in 1875 on 05/08/1905 and they had six daughters.

He became an engineer and spent a significant amount of time working in Asia and founded the Engineering firm R. Young and Co., Ltd in Penang, Malaysia. He was a member of the Straits Settlements Legislative which included Penang as well as acting as the editor and a chairman of the board of directors of the Pening Gazette. He was a Government and Municipal contractor and lessee of the Penang Steam Tramways. He was a Freemason and installed as Master of Royal Prince of Wales Lodge in Penang, later becoming D.G. Warden and later Deputy District Grand Master.

After the death of both his brother George Edward Young (b 1867 – d 1916) and his sister in law Henrietta Young (nee Chapman) in 1916 Robert Young and family moved back to Britain. After his retirement he moved to Haywards Heath and then moved to St Leonards on Sea.

On his return to England Robert Young wrote Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive. He spent years researching for his publication and contacted members of the family, people who used to work with his father and prominent railway individuals in order to gain evidence for his book. Robert Young died 06/05/1932 at St Leonards on Sea and his wife died 04/06/1854.


The archive has been arranged into sub fonds that represent how individuals gathered material; e.g. all letters they received, letters they wrote and never sent, papers written by them, publications gathered by them etc. It has not been possible to ascertain the owner or gatherer of some printed material and images, therefore these have been classed under separate sub fonds. Where appropriate married couples have been described together, this is where material has been gathered by both individuals, letters have been addressed to both parties and so on. Some couples have been split into two series when their activities are deemed separate.

Access Information

Access is given in accordance with the NRM access policy. Material from this archive is available to researchers through the Search Engine reading room.

Opening times:

Search Engine is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 10.00-5.30. You don't need an appointment to use the library collection but you will need to book at least a week ahead if you wish to look at archival material.

To make a booking, email: search.engine@nrm.org.uk. We recommend you contact us at least one week before your visit.

Contact details:

Address: Search Engine, National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ. Email: search.engine@nrm.org.uk

Check full details on the website at: http://www.nrm.org.uk/ResearchAndArchive/enquiriesandvisiting.aspx

Other Finding Aids

This catalogue acts as the finding aid to this collection, reference numbers are provided for each item.

Alternative Form Available

Copies are held with the donors of the archive material.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Archive is made up of paper, some large patent documents and drawings and some photographs. Where there are specific technical requirements these are listed alongside the item or series description.

Archivist's Note

Catalogue was complied by Alison Kay, Project Archivist June-Dec 2011; descriptions and information were provided by Jane Hackworth Young, transcripts were compiled by volunteers Charlotte Claydon and Sarah Maultby, French translations were provided by volunteers Richard Connell-Smith and Phillip Cussons.

Description created by Jane Ronson (Archives Hub team) using the Archives Hub EAD Editor, June 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied of items in the archive, provided that the copying process used does not damage the item or is not detrimental to its preservation. Copies will be supplied in accordance with the NRM’s terms and conditions for the supply and reproduction of copies, and the provisions of any relevant copyright legislation.

Appraisal Information

Printing blocks, photocopied duplicates and publications duplicated in the NRM library have been returned to the donor. Some publications have been classified as library material and therefore moved to the NRM library collection.

Custodial History

Before the archive reached the NRM it had come from various members of the family; usually kept with the oldest male relative. Around the 1880 a large proportion of the archive appears to have been taken to the United States by Samuel Holmes; Timothy Hackworth’s nephew. Parts of the archive appear to have been passed to Robert Young when he was writing his book Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive. Robert Young and his descendents passed pieces of the archive, mainly letters to and from Timothy Hackworth to the Science Museum, London. These letters were subsequently transferred to the National Railway Museum in 2005. Other records remained with various decedents and were transferred to the NRM in three separate donations in 2005, two donations in 2010 and further donations in 2011.

Further acquisitions donated by a descendent of Timothy Hackworth were added to the collection in December 2012, these had previously been represented in the collection as copies. This deposit consists of letters and documents removed from the main bulk of the archive by Robert Young when he was writing his book, they are cover dominant themes in the archive such as early loco development, Ann Ambler’s mental illness, the death of Timothy Hackworth’s wife Jane Young and John Wesley Hackworth’s failed marriage proposal.

Some letters referenced in Robert Young’s Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive (London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923) do not survive in the archive and their location and provenance is unknown.


The archive contains photocopies of original documents, in the future some photocopies will be replaced with original documents and an accrual of additional material is expected in 2012.

Related Material

Related units of description held at the National Railway Museum, listed by Inventory number:

  • 1998-9733: Account of Shildon Works Company with Timothy Hackworth, Soho Engine and Foundry Works. 1840.
  • 1931-513: Records relating to Stephenson, George (1781–1848), accumulated by the National Railway Museum. 1821-1844.
  • 1950-250/1-3
  • 1992-235
  • 1992-236
  • 1992-237
  • 1992-238
  • 1947-135: Records relating to Stephenson, Robert (1803–1859), accumulated by the National Railway Museum (including letters written to Robert Stephenson from Samuel Smiles). 1822-1969.
  • 1997-1
  • 2006-7495
  • 1984-820
  • 1989-178
  • 1992-239
  • 1992-339
  • 1970-473: Records of Robert Stephenson & Company, Locomotive Manufacturers, Newcastle Upon Tyne (later Darlington, Durham). 1823-c1960.
  • 1943-238: Report Books of Graham, John, Stockton and Darlington Railway Employee. 1831-1845.
  • 2010-7055: Correspondence of Pease, Henry (1807–1881), Stockton and Darlington Railway. 1846-1876.
  • 1999-8292: Diary of Kitching, Alfred (1808-1882). 1843-1844.
  • 2005-7137: Letter from Backhouse, John Church (1811-1858) to his sister describing the opening train on the Stockton & Darlington Railway. 27/09/1825.
  • 2008-7154: Letter from Dixon, John (1796-1865) discussing steam tests and experiments on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. 28/02/1863.
  • 2005-7136: Letter describing the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and the death of Huskisson, Sir William (1770-1830) MP, after being run down by the "Rocket". 21/09/1830.
  • 1945-108: Notebook of Rastrick, John Urpeth (1780–1856). 1829.
  • 1995-7773: Records originating from Trevithick, Francis (1812–1877) including records relating to his father, Trevithick, Richard (1771–1833). 1746-1979.
  • 2002-8348.
  • 1996-7068: Letter from Dalrymple, Leighton (1785-1820) Lieutenant Colonel. Account of his visit to Wakefield and Leeds, including a description and sketch of John Blenkinsop’s Steam Locomotive ' Salamanca ', 1812. 1812.
  • 2008-7154: Letter, paper, autograph, John Dixon (Darlington) to Zerah Colburn (London), 28 February 1863. Discussing at length steam tests and experiments on the Stockton & Darlington Railway using "our powerful modern engines used in the Mineral Department." Mentions that he is too old to ride on the locomotives himself but that his instructions are being carried out by William Bouch. 6 sides. 28/02/1863.
  • 1986-78: Research papers of C.F. Dendy Marshall. Comprises cuttings and notes; illustrations, photographs and drawings; patent specifications; official accident reports, etc. re locomotives and railways in Britain. Contains also papers re his interest in philately, and his work at the Ministry of Munitions (Munition Inventions Department) during World War One, and later inventions. 6 boxes, listing available]. c1914-1946.

Related units of description elsewhere, listed by Repository:

The National Archives, Kew, London

  • Reference: RAIL 667. Records of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company. This series contains minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and Shareholders, and of the Railway, Traffic, Finance, Locomotive Power, Permanent Way and Works, and other committees. It also includes a wide range of reports and correspondence, stock and share registers, deeds, agreements, contracts, specifications, estimates and plans, statistical material, locomotive and rolling stock records (including annual surveys and valuations of locomotives), petitions and memorials to directors, staff records and accountant's records, in addition to material relating to the New Shildon works and the New Shildon Mechanics Institute. Includes Timothy Hackworth’s account books and other records relating to him. 1818-1903.
  • Reference: RAIL 386/99. Agreement with Timothy Hackworth for supply and delivery of 21 engines (specification and form of tender embodied herein). 01/01/1846.
  • Reference: RAIL390/1876. London and North Eastern Railway Company: Minutes and Reports Secretarial Papers relating to Board Shildon, Timothy Hackworth's factory. 1945.
  • Reference: RAIL 1007/349. LMSR Record Office Files ue of Timothy Hackworth; Claud Sutton.
  • Reference: RAIL 1021/11/39. Shildon Railway Centenary Celebrations, including unveiling of Timothy Hackworth Statue and Memorial Tablet. 1925.
  • Reference: RAIL 1148. Briggs Collection consists of three guard books containing a collection of original and copy letters etc., from George and Robert Stephenson, original letters from I.K. Brunel (1837-1841) and George Hudson (1842-1846), and a collection of original letters from well-known people, including James Allport; Wm. Cubitt; Timothy Hackworth; Jas. Nasmyth; John Peirson; William Shaw; Thomas Tredgold and others.The collection also contains Isaac Briggs' Diary, items on the Chevet Tunnel, and the Catalogue of the Museum and Archive contents of Briggs' collection. 1820-1878.
  • Reference: RAIL 1148/3. Guard Book containing original letters from well-known people including James Allport, M Bell, E Bergue, George P Bidder, William Cubitt, Timothy Hackworth, James Nasmyth, John Peirson Quarter Master General Horse Guards, William Shaw, Thomas Tredgold and others (List within). 1834-1878.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers Library, London

  • Reference: IMS 45. Illustrated business card of Timothy Hackworth. Depicting a steam locomotive against a background of a chapel and town on a hill. Beneath, text reads: 'Timothy Hackworth, Manufacturer of Locomotive, Marine, High Pressure, and other Steam Engines, Mills &c. On the most approved Plans. New Shildon, near Bp. Aukland. Durham.' Verso blank. The card was discovered in a desk (reputedly belonging to Hackworth) by T.Cruddas as Works Manager, London and North Eastern Railway's Shildon Wagon Works. Engraving, 76x114mm., 1 item. On pasteboard.c. 1830.
  • Reference: END/10/2/1/4. Passenger engine, longitudinal section, Inscribed '12 passenger engines built to the designs of John Gray L & B Locomotive Supert. By Timothy Hackworth, Newcastle. 2 delivered Nov.1846 10 by 1848 to the London & Brighton Ry. They made a very smart passenger engine, though they looked clumsy. I travelled on one to London with 14 carriages, easily doing 40m per hour continuously up the 1 in 264'. Scale 1 1/2 inches: 1 foot. 630x955mm., ink and watercolour on tracing paper. 11/1846.
  • Reference: END/10/2/1. Drawings of locomotives built by the E.B.Wilson Company of Leeds and Timothy Hackworth of Newcastle for the London and Brighton Railway Company.Ink and watercolour, various sizes. On paper and tracing paper. 1856 & n.d.

Durham County Record Office, Durham, England

  • Reference: D/XD 44. Miscellaneous documents - Darlington.

Northumberland Record Office, England

  • Reference: NRO 02203/1. Photocopy of draft letter for publication by John Wesley Hackworth on Timothy Hackworth and the production of the Royal George locomotive engine. c. 1850.

Senate house Library, University of London

  • Reference: NRO GB 0096 MS242. Rastrick, John Urpeth: diaries, notebooks, etc. Include descriptions of timothy Hackworth’s work on the Stockton and Darlington Railway c. 1850. 1805-1854.

University of Michigan, Special Collections Library,Transportation History Collection Single manuscript collection.

  • Reference: No. 540. Timothy Hackworth to Robert Stevenson, (New Castle Upon Tyne, November 15, 1825); 1 leaf. Subject: worn wheels. 15/11/1825.
  • Reference: No. 550. George Stephenson (Liverpool) to Timothy Hackworth (Darlington, July 25, 1828); 2 leaves - Photostat. Subject: New engines. 25/07/1828.
  • Reference: No. 553. Timothy Hackworth (n.p., ca. July, 1829); 1 leaf. Subject: Notes in regards to various railroad matters. 07/1829.
  • Reference: No. 555 . Timothy Hackworth (Soho Engine Works, Shildon [Durham]) to London, Brighton, and South Coast Railroad (July 3, 1847); 1 leaf, folded. Subject: Discusses the value/quality of steam engines being built, financial difficulties and cost overruns, and plea for more funds. 03/07/1847.

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, Hays T. Watkins Research Library, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, 901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21223.

  • Reference: 2006.022.944. Letter addressed to R. Stephenson from T. Hackworth. Dated November 15, 1825. 15/11/1825.
  • Reference: 1883.01.01. Name: GMA/NS Director's Car, also known as the Bride's Car. Railroad of Record: General Mining Association of Nova Scotia. Type of Car: Passenger Coach. Built by: Timothy Hackworth of London. Date Built: c.1838. 1838.

Location of Originals

The archive contains originals and copies. Original versions of copies are held in private hands, the however it is anticipated that these will be transferred to the NRM in the future. The location of some copies is unknown.



  • Ahrons, Ernest Leopold, 1866-1926. The British steam railway locomotive, 1825-1925 / by E.L. Ahrons. London : Locomotive Publishing Company, 1927. (E8A/19)
  • Bailey, Michael R. (Michael Reeves) The "Braddyll" locomotive and "Collier" class tender : an assessment of current condition and recommendations for restoration / Michael R. Bailey, John P. Glithero. S.l.] : Michael R. Bailey, John P. Glithero, 1994. (E8A/46 L)
  • Brooks, Philip R. B. (Philip Richard Bowman), 1940- Wylam and its railway pioneers : a short account of the Northumberland village which was the birthplace of several famous early locomotive engineers, and of its association with the development of the steam locomotive and the history of railways / by P.R.B. Brooks. Wylam : Wylam Parish Council, 1975. (B1/3)
  • Clark, D. K. (Daniel Kinnear), d. 1896. Railway machinery: a treatise on the mechanical engineering of railways : embracing the principles and construction of rolling and fixed plant : illustrated by a series of plates on a large scale, and by numerous engravings on wood / by Daniel Kinnear Clark. Glasgow : Blackie and Son, 1855. (E8F/83/1 R)
  • Colburn, Zerah, 1832-1870. The permanent way and coal-burning locomotive boilers of European railways : with a comparison of the working economy of European and American lines, and the principles upon which improvement must proceed / by Zerah Colburn and Alexander L. Holley ; with fifty-one engraved plates by J. Bien. New York : Holley & Colburn, 1858. (E3/57/1-2 R)
  • Colburn, Zerah, 1832-1870. Locomotive engineering, and the mechanism of railways : a treatise on the principles and construction of the locomotive engine, railway carriages, and railway plant with examples : illustrated by sixty-four large engravings and two hundred and forty woodcuts / By Zerah Colburn. London : W. Collins, Sons, and Company, [1871]. (E8F/82/1-2 R)
  • Davies, Randall, 1866-1946. The railway centenary : a retrospect / by Randall Davies. London : London & North Eastern Railway Company, [1925]. (A1/49)
  • Dredge, James. A record of the transportation exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 / by James Dredge. London : Offices of "Engineering", 1894. (Q5/12L)
  • Dewell, Frederick. Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) "father of the locomotive" : souvenir of the centenary of his death, July 7th, 1850. Shildon : Shildon Timothy Hackworth Centenary Commemoration Committee, 1950. (E1/20 P)
  • Greener, Thomas. Timothy Hackworth, the father of locomotives, who, in 1827 A.D., built the first railway locomotive engine ("The Royal George"), that could do more work in a given time, and at less cost, than horses. London : Thomas Greener, [19--]. (E1/19 P)
  • Guy, Andy Soho House (Timothy Hackworth’s house) & cottages, Shildon : a research report prepared for the National Railway Museum / Andy Guy. [York : National Railway Museum], 2009. (E5B/244)
  • Hedley, Oswald Dodd. Who invented the locomotive engine? : With a review of Smiles’s Life of Stephenson / by Oswald Dodd Hedley. London : Ward and Lock, 1858. (E8A/42 R)
  • Milburn, Geoffrey E. Timothy Hackworth (1786-1850) : / Geoffrey E. Milburn. Shildon : Timothy Hackworth Victorian and Railway Museum, [2000?]. (E1/311)
  • Mortimer, John, 1934- Zerah Colburn : the spirit of darkness / by John Mortimer. Suffolk : Arima, 2007. (E1/341)
  • Pangborn, J. G. (Joseph Gladding), 1844-1914. The world’s rail way : historical, descriptive, illustrative / by J.G. Pangborn. New York : Winchell Printing Company, 1894. (A2/344 L)
  • Sekon, G. A. 1867-The evolution of the steam locomotive (1803 to 1898) / by G.A. Sekon [pseud. Nokes, George Augustus,]. London : Railway Publishing Co., 1899. (E8A/57)
  • Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904. The story of the life of George Stephenson : including a memoir of his son, Robert Stephenson / by Samuel Smiles. London : John Murray, 1864. E1/6 R (rare book)
  • Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904. The life of George Stephenson, railway engineer / by Samuel Smiles. London : John Murray, 1857.(2nd edn) (E1/254 R) (rare book)
  • Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904. Lives of the engineers : with an account of their principal works : comprising also a history of inland communication in Britain / by Samuel Smiles. London : John Murray, 1862-1868. (6 volumes) (rare book)
  • Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904. Lives of the engineers : the locomotive : George and Robert Stephenson / by Samuel Smiles. London : John Murray, 1877. (E1/48)
  • Stretton, Clement E. A few notes on early railway history (from 1630 to 1830) / by Clement E. Stretton. London : Otto, 1884. B1/25 P
  • Trevithick, Francis, 1812-1877. Trevithick, Francis, 1812-1877. Life of Richard Trevithick : with an account of his inventions / by Francis Trevithick ; illustrated with engravings on wood by W.J. Welch. London : E. & F.N. Spon, 1872. London : E. & F.N. Spon, 1872. (E1/32)
  • Warren, James G. H. A century of locomotive building by Robert Stephenson & Co., 1823-1923 / by J. G. H. Warren. Newcastle upon Tyne : Andrew Reid & Co., 1923. – (E17/51)
  • West, Theodore. The evolution of the locomotive engine / by Theodore West. Darlington : William Dresser, [ca. 1900]. E8A/11 P
  • Wood, Nicholas, 1795-1865. A practical treatise on rail-roads, and interior communication in general : containing numerous experiments on the powers of the improved locomotive engines, and tables of the comparative cost of conveyance on canals, railways, and turnpike roads / by Nicholas Wood. London : Printed for Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1838. (B1/83/2 R)
  • Young, Robert, Timothy Hackworth and the locomotive / London: Locomotive Publishing Company, 1923. (E1/63)
  • Timothy Hackworth museum. [S.l. : Sedgefield District Council, 1975?]. (Q1A/106 P)
  • Perceptions of great engineers : fact and fantasy : proceedings of a one-day conference held at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, 26 June 1993 / edited by Denis Smith. London : Science Museum for the Newcomen Society, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside and the University of Liverpool, 1994. (E1/230)


  • ‘Hackworth locomotives - No.25 Derwent at Darlington Bank Top station’ in Railway Archive (July 2007 issue16) p 26
  • ‘Stockton & Darlington Railway "Hackworth" scrapped - S&DR 71, NER 1071 and 1717’ in Locomotives & Railways (Jun 1902, issue 30) p 60
  • Preservation of the remains of Hackworth locomotive at South Hetton’ in S.L.S. Journal (Jan 1949, issue 285) p 28
  • ‘Origin of the species: Hackworth's model of San Pareil - now at Science Museum’ in Model Rail (second series) (Sept 2006, issue 95) p 88
  • ‘Hackworth's locomotive "Samson" in Nova Scotia’ in Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Review (July 1929 issue 443) p 229
  • ‘Hackworth attractions’ in Railway Magazine (Mar 1989, issue 1055) p 152
  • ‘Railway Centenary Celebrations, Shildon: Statue of Hackworth’ in Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Review (Jan 1926, issue 401) p 23
  • ‘Timothy Hackworth Museum, Shildon’ in Industrial Railway Society Bulletin (Dec 1982, issue 342) p 342
  • Dieter Hopkin ‘Magnet Drawing’ in National Railway Museum Review (2004, issue 107) p 15
  • Andy Guy, ‘North Eastern Railway Pioneers 1802-1827: A reassessment’ in Early Railways Vol. 1 eds. Guy, Andy and Rees, Jim (The Newcomen Society, 2001) p 117 [Wylam locomotives pp 119-122]
  • Richard Gibbon ‘Rings, Springs, Strings & Things: The National Collection pre 1840’ in Early Railways Vol. 1 eds. Guy, Andy and Rees, Jim (The Newcomen Society, 2001) p 208 [Hackworth’s Safety Valve pp 208-215]
  • Herb Macdonald ‘The Albion Mines Railway of 1839-40: Some British Roots of Canada’s First Industrial Railway’ in Early Railways Vol. 1 eds. Guy, Andy and Rees, Jim (The Newcomen Society, 2001) p 266 [Hackworth’s Samson, Hercules and John Buddle p 270]
  • Michael Bailey and John Glitheroe ‘Learning through Restoration: The Samson Locomotive Project’ in Early Railways Vol. 1 eds. Guy, Andy and Rees, Jim (The Newcomen Society, 2001) p 278
  • Andy Guy ‘Early Railways: Some Curiosities and Conundrums’ in Early Railways Vol. 2 ed. MJT Lewis (The Newcomen Society, 2003) p 64 [Wylam test carriage and Puffing Billy pp 65-67, Locomotive for Russia and John Wesley Hackworth pp 70-71]
  • John Crompton ‘the Headley Mysteries’ Conundrums’ in Early Railways Vol. 2 ed. MJT Lewis (The Newcomen Society, 2003) p 149 [ref to ‘The Wylam Team of Headley, Hackworth and Forster’]
  • John Liffen ‘The Patent Office Museum and the Beginnings of Railway Locomotive Preservation’ in Early Railways Vol. 2 ed. MJT Lewis (The Newcomen Society, 2003) p 202
  • Jim Rees ‘The Sans Pareil Model: Its purpose and possible origins’ in Early Railways Vol 4 ed Graham Boyes (The Newcomen Society, 2010) p 232
  • Michael Bailey and John Glitheroe ‘Turning a Blind Eye to Braddyll’ in Early Railways Vol 4 ed Graham Boyes (The Newcomen Society, 2010) p 259 [information on Timothy and Thomas Hackworth and Fossick and Hackworth]
  • Dieter Hopkin ‘Timothy Hackworth and the Soho Works Circa 1830-1850’ in Early Railways Vol 4 ed Graham Boyes (The Newcomen Society, 2010) p 280 [Timothy, Thomas, John Wesley & Timothy Hackworth jn]
  • Peter Davidson and Dr John Glithero ‘Analysis of Locomotive Performance’ in Early Railways Vol 3 ed Michael R Bailey (The Newcomen Society, 2006) p 284
  • John Liffen ‘The Iconography of the Wylam Waggonway’ in Early Railways Vol 3 ed Michael R Bailey (The Newcomen Society, 2006) p 51
  • ‘Timothy Hackworth and the Soho Works, circa 1830-50 / Dieter Hopkin’ in International Early Railways Conference (4th : 2008 : London).. Early railways 4 : papers from the Fourth International Early Railways Conference / edited by Grahame Boyes. Sudbury : Six Martlets Publishing, c2010. (B1/131/4)