Time Line

Prospective Leases & Similar Enquiries re the Appleby & Frodingham Estates.

Except where otherwise noted the information given which follows comes from Roland Winn’s letter books held at the West Riding Archives, Chapletown, Leeds.

Charles Winn, as the owner of both the Appleby & Frodingham Estates signed all leases and agreements which his son Roland negotiated.




News of the discovery of large deposits of easily worked ironstone in North Lincolnshire soon spread through not only the iron making, but also through the financial districts of the United Kingdom. As a consequence Charles and Roland Winn (with the help and advice of John Roseby) soon found themselves in the happy position of being able to ‘pick and choose’ amongst the candidates pressing for leases in North Lincolnshire


Many of the enquires proved to be merely of a speculative nature put forward by entrepreneurs whose aim was to make a quick killing. The following gives details of all the proposals made to the Winn’s until roughly 1875, when the speculatative bubble burst. In the end, the Winn’s were left with, for most of the next thirty years, the main players, the Trent Iron Works; Frodingham Iron Works: Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company: Appleby Iron Works: North Lincolnshire Iron Company and the one failure in that period, the Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company.


Here then in chronological order is a resume of all the companies and individuals and the proposals for leases and works they submitted to the Winn’s.


February 1860: Samuel Beale of the Park Gate Ironworks at Rawmarsh nr. Rotherham leases 103 acres from Winn in parish of Frodingham

19th September 1860: Charles Palmer of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Wanted agreement for 20,000 tons of stone p.a. for 7 years delivered free on board ships at the Trent at 4/3d per ton of 21cwt. Alternately to lease 250 acres in Appleby bounded on the south by the railway under construction by W H & G Dawes, on the east by the Roman Road and on the west by the Dawes lease. Subject to Roland Winn granting right to construct furnaces. Offered rent of £500 p.a. for 1st year then £1200 p.a. Stone to be carried in Palmers own wagons on the Trent Ancholme and Grimsby at 6d per ton. On Roseby’s advice Winn rejected Palmers terms. “We cannot allow prospective lessors to dictate their own terms”

 1862 Dawes lease signed: 250 acres in parish of Scunthorpe, 650 acres at Santon. Later in the same year 9 additional acres in Scunthorpe for site of works.

1st December 1863: Ruben Plant wants to lease 100 acres of outcrop stone in Frodingham, 300 acres of stone in Appleby. 2 blast furnaces to be erected in Frodingham during 1864. Shafts to be sunk in Appleby in 1865 for working stone with pumping engines properly installed or 2 blast furnaces to be put up on the side of the Ancholme bank.

Feb 1864: Cliff & Hirst & Charles Winn sign lease: 93 acres in Frodingham Parish: xxx acres in parishes of Santon & Thorneholme.

October 1864: Charles Winn & Lord Beauchamp agree to exchange land on the east and west commons in Scunthorpe & Frodingham.

Jan 1865 Daniel Adamson: of the Newton Heath Engine Works, Manchester & Charles Winn sign lease for 13 acres in Frodingham Parish.[1]

5th & 12th September 1865: Letter from a J F Whall to Roland Winn. Employed by a Mr Barrow of Staveley to find a site for furnaces in Appleby and mine ironstone underground.

23rd July 1866: J Berger Spence of Manchester inquired about leasing 100 acres contiguous to the Railway.

1866: Request from Cary Elwes for permission to lay line across Appleby Estate from east of Santon Beck to his Roxby Estate. As far as can be discovered nothing came of this proposal.

January 1867 Edward Myers claimed he was anxious to buy the North Lincolnshire Iron Company. Adamson says he will consider any offer. (Myers was Winn’s London Agent for Nostell Coal)

1867 Appleby Iron Company: Edward Myers now leads a consortium proposing to lease 360 acres of ironstone bearing land: to sink shafts to the stone and construct 3 blast furnaces and all ancillary works etc. on Appleby estate. All to be connected by a branch railway from the Trent Ancholme and Grimsby.

August 1867: Offer by Bolklow & Vaughan to lease 500 acres on their own terms declined by the Winn’s.

September 1867: John Roseby informs Roland Winn “that Mr Brown, the late manager of the Frodingham Iron Works has called intimating that he can find parties willing to go into a speculation if he can be guaranteed a Royalty.” Roseby suggests they could give him the plot assigned to Myers.

September 1867: Roseby has met the party involved with Adamson who are prepared to take over the North Lincolnshire Iron Company. He is not impressed, “their guarantees do not seem at all acceptable: we should put an end to the matter till such times as Adamson comes up with more suitable parties.”

September 1867: Roseby and Myers look over the bank of the Trent and the Ancholme: looking for suitable sites for blast furnaces.

May 1868: Cliff and Hirst formerly dissolve their partnership.

June 1868: The Dawes brothers refuse a Mr Plants offer of £100,000 for the Trent Company

November 1868: John Roseby to Roland Winn: “Mr Sacré’s younger brother, Alfred, and some of his friends are prepared to erect works in Frodingham if you will offer them suitable terms. Also there is a Mr Williams of Bayswater who is anxious to discuss terms for a lease with you. He has designed a blast furnace of an improved principle for smelting ore containing a high proportion of limestone and is anxious to erect one in Frodingham.”

January 1869: Roseby meets Mr Plant and Company at Stourbridge. Tells Roland Winn “he cannot now see any prospect in persuading them to invest in north Lincolnshire.”

1869: John Hodgson Lovel and William John Roseby form J Hodgson Lovel & Company, Ironstone Vendors and Contractors & Promoters to the Iron Industry. Head Office, Silver Street Doncaster. William John Roseby appointed Managing Director.

July 1869: John Roseby to Roland Winn. “Mr Alison, who has now inspected the works and the mines, is set to ask for a lease of the site by the old pit opposite the Trent Works. The site is to the south of the occupation road between that road and Cliff’s lease. (The site was later occupied by the Lindsey Smelting Company). He intends to erect two furnaces and is to ask you for a lease of 20 to 30 years and to lease 300 acres in Appleby, where he could mine his own stone. He would guarantee to erect four more furnaces on that part of the lease. He is well known in Scotland and has a good reputation. Nothing came of this proposal.

September 1869: Negotiations with Mr Alfred Sacré are at an end.

7th January 1870: Roland Winn writes to Charles Winn “Joseph Cliff has changed his views: He does not now want to build near the Ancholme, but to make a  line of railway for himself from his present works to the Ancholme, so as to get his coke from Durham without having to use the Trent Ancholme and Grimsby. This he has the power to do under his present lease.

 27th January 1870: Roland Winn to Charles Winn: I wrote to Cliff yesterday to stipulate that he

constructs four furnaces instead of two on the Ancholme. We shall have to be content with ½d. per ton wayleave, any more he could well push the MSLR into constructing their line from here(Appleby?) to Winteringham & Barton and we should thus lose out on a great deal of the wayleaves we now have on coal and iron traffic.”

 July 1870: Negotiations with Mr Plant are at an end: he being unable to raise the £50,000 to £100,000 needed for ironworks at Appleby.

August 1871: William John Roseby to Roland Winn “Enclosed Agreement with the Scunthorpe Iron Company is for your signature.”

 September 1871: Roland Winn to Charles Winn: “I send for your signature the Agreement with Lovel Senior” This is the lease of land for the Scunthorpe Iron Company, later to be superseded by the Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company. Lovel senior (of Norton, near Malton, north Yorkshire) was the father of John Hodgson Lovel, who had recently (with his fathers money) gone into partnership with William John Roseby and set up  John Hodgson Lovel & Company, Contractors and Promoters to the Iron Industry.

 1872; Adamson relinquishes sole control of the North Lincolnshire Iron Company, sets up partnership with George Tosh, of Kilmarnock and George Ogle of Manchester.

 December 1872: Mr Lovel snr. Writes from Norton to Roland Winn to “Confirm arrangements made with our Mr William John Roseby with regard to the Appleby Iron Company.”

1st June 1872: Lease of land to Sir Robert Sheffield from Winn near North Lincoln Junction across Appleby Estate for approx 14 chains to enable Sheffield to mine stone. Single line of railway to be put in, to be doubled when need arises.

 June 1872: Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company formed. Subscribers:

 Edmund John Winn of Nostell Priory (Treasurer of the WestRidingCounty Council, York

 William Asheton Cross of Preston (No Occupation):

 William Thrush Jefferson of Northallerton (Solicitor):

 William Ingliss of Scarborough (no occupation):

 George Grant Sanderson of Sheffield (Ironmaster):

 Alfred Davy of Sheffield (Engineer);

 Roland Winn MP of Appleby (no occupation!!!):

(According to the Industrial Railway Society subscribers to the company all came from the midlands. It is obviously not so: the subscribers were all either related to or friends of, the Winn’s, Edmund John Winn was Roland’s younger brother.

August 1872: Redbourn Hill Company agree lease for 12 acres in Frodingham Parish

1st August 1872Wayleave granted to Glebe Iron Ore Company across land to their ironstone field – latter leased from Church Commissioners.[2] This led to the branch line known as Glebe Branch.

December 1872: Buck & Dickson (Charles Winn’s Solicitors of Preston) confirm to Roland Winn that the following gentlemen –all from roughly the Glasgow area -are prepared to invest in the Appleby Iron Company and that they are all good standing and financially secure:

John Reed, chairman of the Clydesdale Bank

Thomas Coates, Thread maker

David Richardson, Sugar Merchant

John Henderson, Iron Merchant

 Robert Donaldson, Iron Merchant.

Buck & Dickson unable to find copy of release of area for site of works from Dawes­: area originally part of Dawes Santon Royalty. Nevertheless the lease to the Appleby Company of 15 acres goes ahead.

1876: Dawes Brother’s dissolve their partnership. Trent Works now in the hands of William Henry Dawes. Manager is his son, Joshua.

March 1876: Roseby suggests to Roland Winn giving Mr Parkinson a Wayleave of 2d per ton and a charge of 1d per ton on any minerals that come of his land. (Being mined by the Aireside Company). Suggests Winn also contributes to cost of bridge under the Scunthorpe Road by the Mill as this would enable the area north of Parkinson’s –recently acquired from Mr Wells(no relation) – to be mined.

September 1876. S J Claye to Roland Winn: at a meeting of the Shareholders of the Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company it was unanimously agreed that I should be Chairman: Mr Perry, the previous Chairman; Mr. Farmer, Mr. John Roseby and Mr. William John Roseby have all resigned from the board. See Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company.

October 1877: Glebe Iron Ore Company now solely in the hands of Charles Markham of the Staveley Iron Company.

August 1878: Roland Winn passes the day to day management of the Frodingham Ironstone Company to his brother, Edmund John Winn. Roland Winn says that his Parliamentary duties keep him in London and he is not able to devout as much time to the Company as it needs.

1878: WH Dawes dies, Trent Iron Company passes to his widow Elisabeth.

March 1882: S J Claye writes to Roland Winn ’that good progress is being made in the setting up of a Company to take over the Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company.’

June 1882: Roland Winn instructs W Langbridge to remove the rails leading into the North Lincolnshire Iron Company’s works and to instruct the Company to vacate the premises.

October 1882: Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Company in liquidation.

February 1883: Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company purchase Lincolnshire Iron Smelting Cos. Works, they now become (officially) Lindsey Works. Before this happened, there had been a proposal, led by a certain A J Leslie Melville (acting for the Administrators) to sell as Winn requested to a local firm:  the Cliff family were mentioned but it seems as though they only ‘wished to deter others’ in the words of Melville. Something was though going on it the background as revealed in an interesting letter from A J Leslie Melville to a Mr. Williams, of Newlands, Middlesborough and dated 1st August 1882 “It is reported that Mr. S J Claye is in someway mixed up with the Gentlemen whom you propose to purchase the Smelting Companies ironworks and I think this has called a great deal of difficulty in my coming to any Arrangement. I have always understood that Mr. Claye had not and would not have anything to do with the proposed Company. I shall be much obliged if you would let me know if he is in any way mixed up in the scheme and if there is at any future time a proposal to admit him.”

Mr.  Williams replied on the 3rd of that month and stated that “ The report you have passed on to me is without foundation and it is the first I have heard of it and knowing the Lessee’s opinion  it seems it is a report calculated to make trouble.”

May 1887: WH Dawes & Co in receivership. William Shakespeare pays of Dawes’ mortgage on the works, negotiates with Lloyds Bank for new mortgage, sets up agreement with Roland Winn (now Lord St Oswald) and thereby takes over the Trent Iron Works. Josiah Dawes remains as manager. Shakespeare had a law practice in the West Midlands: he was the executor of Elisabeth Dawes will.

February 1890: Death of Josiah Dawes at Trent Holmes, Messingham. Mr. George Drury appointed by Shakespeare to take over management of Trent Iron Company.

1993: Death of Roland Winn oka Lord St Oswald.

July 1899: A Mr. Powell  and others lease land known as ‘Brathills’ in the parish of Ashby to the Frodingham Iron & Steel Company for 60 years. In 1909 that same area is purchased by the Frodingham Company.

1904: Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company sold to the Monks Hall Co.

1905: William Shakespeare sells Trent Iron Works to John Brown & Company Ltd Sheffield.

1906(?): Death of William Shakespeare.[3]

July 1907: Trent Iron Company Ltd. formed by John Brown & Company. Shares all held by J.B. (and were not for public issue.)

1908: Cymfelin Iron & Steel Company purchase Redbourn Hill works from Monks Hall Co.

1910: North Lincolnshire Iron Company   proposes to lease 200 (or so) acres in Santon & Thorneholme parishes. Not proceeded with.

1911: Construction of John Lysaghts works starts on land acquired from the Sheffield’s of Normanby Hall.

1912: Appleby Iron Company goes into receivership. Lease & works taken over by the Frodingham Iron & Steel Company.

1915: Lord St Oswald sells land to Scunthorpe U.D.C. on Dawes Lane for gasworks.

1916: Lord St Oswald’s Ironstone Mines Company officially changes name to Frodingham Ironstone Mines Ltd.

1916: Lord St Oswald sells 80 acres of land under Redbourn Hill ironworks and mines to Cymfelin Iron & Steel Co for site of new steelworks.

1917: Frodingham Iron & Steel Company and Appleby Iron Company become part of United Steel Company.


It will be noted that after the initial burst of interest in the Ironstone District from 1868 to 1872 little in the way of expansion took place. The works which were to remain the main centers of pig iron all were in place. Only the Frodingham Company made a major decision to turn to steel production in the 1890’s.

The turn of the century saw major extensions, John Lysaghts and Company, with leases from the Sheffield Family of Normanby Hall built the Normanby Park works: the Redbourn Hill Company, after two changes of ownership in the early years of the new century and with encouragement from the Government started construction of a new steelmaking plant with ancillary operations in the period 1915-1920. The Redbourn Company also closed the Lindsey Iron Works in about 1904. The furnaces and blowing house etc were demolished shortly after that date.

Ironstone mining was the growth industry during the late nineteenth century and continued to be throughout the first half of the twentieth century, finally coming to an end in the early 1980’s.

By that time the early entrepreneurs would not have recognized the Ironstone District, The Winn’s, the Dawes, the Cliffs and the Adamson’s had all bowed out, but had left the nucleus of a huge steelmaking district that thrived until the early 1960’s, when changing world markets and the growth of a steel industry in India, China and other states, left the British Iron & Steel Industry fighting for its very existence.


Many changes to leases took place over the years, especially in respect of the Dawes Brothers lease. Most of the surrenders are shown on this plan, drawn up by G R Saunders & Co (Winn’s London Solicitors) and dated 13th March 1932.  Ref 578/407/9


Les Wells 17th October 2013.


[1] Adamson was also instrumental in setting up Penistone Iron Company, later sold to Cammel Laird & Company. He was also the main protagonist behind the ManchesterShip Canal

[2] The Glebe Iron Ore Company was a joint venture by Staveley Iron & Coal Company, Park Gate Iron & Steel Company and John Brown & Company. A Business History of Stanton & Staveley. S D Chapman University of Nottingham 1981 page 78.

[3] There are that many William Shakespeare’s in the West Midlands that I have found it impossible to give an accurate date of the death of this particular William Shakespeare


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