Livesey and Henderson Business Papers

Scope and Content

Company records relating to Livesey, Son and Henderson and predecessor companies. Includes financial information and specifications for railway engineering works, also details regarding contracts, orders and agreements. Items which relate to specific companies/contracts are arranged together (where possible) for example, Argentine North Eastern Railway. The collection also contains material related to partners of the company; including World War II work undertaken outside of the companies.

Also, two items relating to successor Henderson companies: Henderson Hughes and Busby; and Kennedy Henderson Ltd (KHL). KHL was formed by a merger with Henderson Busby International Ltd and was a member of Kennedy & Donkin Group Ltd (founded 1889). Henderson Hughes and Busby was formed c1973, name change in 1982 to Henderson Busby International and then in 1992 to Kennedy Henderson.

Fully catalogued.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Livesey founded the original company (James Livesey and Company) after returning to England from working in Spain for Santander and Altar Railway Company. Based in Manchester, James Livesey and Company operated as consultant engineers, with contracts at home and across North and South America and in Spain. Harry Livesey (Fernando Harry Whitehead Livesey), joined his father's business in 1885.

The business expanded in 1894 to form 'Livesey Son and Henderson' when Sir Brodie Haldane Henderson became a partner. The company became one of the foremost consulting engineers of the period, specialising in railway projects and operating worldwide. Two of Henderson's sons entered the company, Neil and Andrew Brodie. Andrew was appointed as Staff Captain (Railway Bridging) GHQ, Middle East Forces, 1941-1942. He became Second-in-Command, No 2 Railway Workshop Group, Royal Engineers, 1942-1943, before being appointed Officer-in-Charge, 169 Railway Workshop Company, Royal Engineers, with a rank of Major; some wartime material is included in LIV/4.

The companies premises altered several times, including a move to 2 Victoria Mansion, Victoria Street (from 1883) and subsequently to 29-31 Broad Street Avenue, EC (from 1889-1902) and then 14 South Place, EC2.

[NB: later company formations: Kennedy Henderson Ltd to Parsons Brinkerhoff and now under the umbrella of WSP-PB.]


  • LIV/1: James Livesey and Company, founded 1865
  • LIV/2: James Livesey and Son, from 1885
  • LIV/3: Livesey, Son and Henderson, from 1894; includes Alexander Henderson, Lord Faringdon (1st Baron Faringdon) material
  • LIV/4: Livesey and Henderson, from 1932; includes Andrew Brodie Henderson material and Henderson successor companies material
  • LIV/5: Additional material; mainly the history of the company, compiled by Andrew Brodie Henderson

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Archivist's Note

Compiled by Karyn French, Archivist, Mar 2018.