MASBROUGH, in the township of Kimberworth, and parish of Rotherham, upper-division of Strafforth and Tickhill; half a mile NW. of Rotherham, 6½ from Sheffield.
This village is separated from Rotherham only by a bridge; the inhabitants of which are chiefly employed in and about the Iron Works, which were begun in this neighbourhood in the year 1746, by Mr. Samuel Walker, and his brothers Aaron and Jonathan, and have been ever since that period, progressively increasing. At these works are manufactured, cannon of the largest calibre, and almost all other cast iron articles; bar, sheet, slit or rod iron, tinned plates, steel of every sort, and many articles of wrought iron. The iron Bridges of Sunderland and Yarm; also recently, one across the Thames in London, were cast at the foundries of Masbrough. The coal and iron stone for the blast furnaces and foundries are principally supplied from from the estates of the Earl of Effingham, and some from those of Earl Fitzwilliam. --Miller's History of Doncaster.
The following account of that worthy and enlightened character, Mr. Samuel Walker, is extracted from Dr. Miller's History of Doncaster: He was born in 1716, at Hill Top, in the parish of Ecclesfield: his parents dying when he was about twelve years old, he was left, without ample means for subsistence, and none for education; but by diligence and due application, without any assistance than from a few books, he qualified himself for keeping a School at Gunnowside, where, previous to the year 1746, he taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and was occasionally employed in surveying, making sun dials, and other things, which shewed genius and a rising character. In the meeting house for dissenters of the independent denomination, built chiefly at his own expense, is a monument to his memory, with an inscription composed by the celebrated poet, the Rev. William Mason, his intimate friend.
Near the Meeting House, is an Academical Institution for education of Protestant Dissenters called the Rotherham Independent Academy. The Institution was opened in 1795, under the superintendence of the Rev. Dr. Williams, who presides as Divinity Tutor. It is calculated to accommodate sixteen students, containing twenty two rooms, with lodging rooms and studies, and a library which contains about a thousand volumes.
[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]
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