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Gladstone & Cornforth

Details about Gladstone & Cornforth

Arthur Gladstone and John Cornforth formed their company in 1880.When John died the company continued under Gladstone & Co. They ceased trading after they lost their last two steamers to enemy fire in 1917.

Family History:

Arthur Gladstone was born at Poplar, London on 26th September 1852 to parents Samuel Palmer and Sarah (nee Richardson) Gladstone. His father worked as a Lloyd’s shipping surveyor. The family came to the North-East in 1853. Arthur’s first employment was for Robert Irvine & Co.  In 1875 he established the successful Vulcan Rivet Works at Stockton-on-Tees and commenced ship owning in 1880. Arthur purchased the iron works in 1881 from Jonathan Backhouse & Co. Matthew Gray joined him as a partner and the works converted from iron to steel making when steel began being used in shipbuilding. The works were eventually taken over by the South Durham Steel & Iron Co. Ltd. In 1906 Arthur moved his offices from West Hartlepool to Middlesbrough when he acquired the Grosmont  Ironstone Mines along with Arthur John Dorman.

Arthur married Ann Nicholson at York on 14th July 1880. In the 1881 census the couple were living at No. 1 Lorne Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees with Arthur listed as a rivet maker and metal broker. In 1891 the couple and their six children were living at Station Lane, Seaton Carew with Arthur now listed in the census as a shipowner. By 1901 the family were living at Stockton-on-Tees and in 1911 the couple, with three of their children, had moved to ‘The Hollins’ Grosmont, Yorkshire

Two of their sons, Samuel Palmer and Ronald Murray, were in the army. Samuel reached the rank of captain and Ronald reached the rank of major. Another son, Frederick Charles, was a surgeon in the navy.

Arthur died aged 64 at Grosmont, Yorkshire on 14th February 1916 leaving effects of £104,110.

John Cornforth was born at Hartlepool in 1837. His mother, Dorothy, was a widow before 1841.  John married Mary Ann Hodgson at Hartlepool in 1862. Mary Ann died aged just 35 in January 1880 and by the 1881 census John was listed as a marine engineer living at Catherine Street, Hartlepool with one of his sons, John, and daughter, Dorothy. His other son, George, was at boarding school. By 1891 the family were living at Raglan Place, Stranton and John was listed as a shipowner.

John died aged 58 of blood poisoning at Cambridge Road, West Hartlepool on 27th December 1895 leaving effects of £20,480.

George Cornforth was born at Hartlepool in 1867 to parents John and Mary Ann (nee Hodgson). He completed his education at Durham College and commenced his career with Murrell & Yeoman then spent two years with Watt, Moon & Co. shipbrokers of London. In 1890 he returned to West Hartlepool and joined Gladstone & Cornforth as managing clerk. On the death of his father in 1895 he became a partner in the company. George married Lillie Bowden Rooke at Hartlepool on 6th September 1893. For the short time they were married the couple lived at ‘Grange House’, West Hartlepool

George died aged 30 at Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire while on a pleasure trip on 5th January 1898 leaving effects of £9,365.


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