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Rastrick, John Urpeth: technical notebooks

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS155
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Rastrick, John Urpeth: technical notebooks
Date(s): 1819-1833
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 4 volumes
Name of creator(s): Rastrick | John Urpeth | 1780-1856 | civil engineer
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Urpeth Rastrick was born at Morpeth in Northumberland on 26 January 1780, the son of John Rastrick, an engineer to whom he became articled in 1795. In about 1801, he was working at the Ketley Iron Works in Shropshire and, in or after 1805, he joined in partnership with John Hazledine (soon succeeded by Robert Hazledine) of Bridgenorth, Shropshire. During this time, Rastrick assisted in the construction of the locomotive 'Catch me who Can' for Richard Trevithick in 1808, and in 1814, he took out a patent for a steam engine and soon started experimenting with steam traction on railways. His first major work was the cast iron road bridge over the Wye at Chepstow (1815-1816). In 1817 Rastrick left that partnership, to join with James Foster, in about 1819, at the iron works which then became known as Foster, Rastrick and Co., at Stourbridge, Worcestershire. His association with railway engineering began in 1822 when he became an engineer for the Stratford and Moreton Railway. Rastrick became an active supporter of railway proposals put before Parliament, an adviser to railway companies, and a designer and builder of locomotives - the 'Agenoria' and 'Stourbridge Lion' for example. He acted as surveyor or engineer to parts of a large number of lines, among them the Liverpool and Manchester (1829 onwards), the Manchester and Cheshire Junction (1835 onwards), and the series of lines later known as the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (1836 onwards). About 1847, he retired from engineering work, although he continued to occupy himself with railway business, and was active in a number of arbitrations concerning railway disputes. He retired to Sayes Court, Chertsey, Surrey and died on 1 November 1856.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of John Urpeth Rastrick including memoranda, calculations and diagrams, including estimates for iron arch for Stratford-upon-Avon Railway Bridge; for a roof for William Foster; gasworks at Kidderminster; recipe for brass lacquer; lists of materials of six-horse Boulton and Watts engine, and of the contents of packing boxes, with diagrams of each item entered; notes, specifications and sketches for the Stratford and Moreton Railway; and detailed descriptions, statistics and sketches of bridges, railways and engines. Enclosing the following items: (i-ii) 2 sheets of rough calculations. (iii) Card bearing printed statistics of the Burnton and Shields Railway; annotated in MS and signed by Benjamin Thompson (23 January 1829). (iv) Printed wrapper sent from the Office of Ordnance to Messrs J Bradley and Co, [?at] Foster, Rastrick and Co Ironworks, Stourbridge; used for rough calculations and draft accounts in MS.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open for research. 24 hours notice should be given before a research visit.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

T D Rogers, The Rastrick Papers, University of London Library (1968), nos 654, 656-657 and 660.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Imported from the Senate House catalogue and edited by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2009.

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