The First Cotton Mills

This table is derived from an article by S.D.Chapman in the Industrial Archaeology Review (6:1, 1981-82) with the title “The Arkwright Mills – Colquhon’s census of 1788 and archaeological evidence”.

Click here to read the story of the cotton industry in Cumbria.

Patrick Colquhon was a lobbyist for the cotton industry, and included this list in a pamphlet he produced asking for government support following a fall off in trade. It was ‘an account shewing the different cotton mills erected in Great Britain within the last twenty years but chiefly within the last seven years’. Chapman describes it as a “hurried compilation”. There are many errors – of names, locations, spellings etc. and it is incomplete, with numerous omissions, especially for Cumbria and Yorkshire. So Chapman has added to the list mills from that period that have been identified since the 1788 census. Here they are – Org for those on the original list, Add for those that should also have been on the list.

Name (as written) Location Chapman’s notes My notes
Lancashire Org Backbarrow Co (2 mills) Backbarrow Birch, Robinson & Walmsley
Org Jackson & Co Ulverston Lund Becks? Low Mill
Org Thackeray, Stockdale & Co Cark-in-Cartmel
Add John Salthouse Greenodd Not Greenodd.
Spark Bridge?
Westmorland Org Parker & Millthorp Kendal Milnthorpe Upper Mill (paper)
converted to cotton
in 1777. Robert Parker
was bankrupt in 1796.
Org Rodick, Matthew & Co Staveley Kendal Barley Bridge
Org Wakefield, John Burneside Kendal
Add Godmund & Burton Burneside Kendal Sprint Mill
Add Grave, Lane & Co Kirkby Stephen
Add John M Carleton Yosgill Near Brough
Add ? Penrith Southwaite Southwaite Green at Eamont Bridge?
Cumberland Org Monkhouse & Co Cockermouth Stoddart’s Mill?
Add Hudson, George & Co Carlisle Dalston
Add Lamb, Scott, Forster & Sons Carlisle Cummersdale
Add Thos. Forster Carlisle Denton
Add Joseph & Fras. Stodart & Co Carlisle Willowholme
Add Richard Ferguson & Co Carlisle Holme Head
Add Robert Stoddart Carlisle Corporation Damside
Add Daniel, Hebson & Co Dalston
Add John Clerk & Co Carlisle Corporation Damside
Add Isaac Pattinson & Co Wigton 1780 “check manufactory” – weaving not spinning?