William Thorold

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William Thorold -1827 to 1851

William Thorold was born in 1798 in Northwold. He was first mentioned in an advert of 1827. He took the premises previously occupied by John Fisher Gurling prior to his death.

A Good STONE MAN. - None need apply but such as can use the Bill skilfully.
Enquire of Wm. Thorold, St. Martin's Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd December 1827

William Thorold may have refitted Bawburgh watermill in 1829, when it was advertised with a new steam engine.

AN excellent WATER CORN MILL, and STEAM ENGINE attached, together with a convenient Messuage, granaries, waggon lodge, piggeries, and other outbuildings, in a complete state of repair, with a garden and piece of land adjoining, situate at Bawburgh, Norfolk, within Five miles of the city of Norwich. The Mill is situate on a fine stream of water, having a fall of nine feet, and is capable of manufacturing 15 to 20 lasts per week.
Also, Four Freehold Cottages, in Bawburgh, in the occupation of Charles Mason and others.
Also, a Messuage, with wheelwright's shop. yard, and garden, all Freehold, in Bawburgh, now in the occupation of John Cole.
Also, a Piece of Land, in Bawburgh, containing 1A. 2R. 0P.
for further particulars apply to Messrs. Mitchell and Clarke, Solicitors, Wymondham, or to Mr. William Thorold, Engineer, St. Martin's at Oak, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd May 1829

A few days ago, Thomas Telford, second son of Mr. Thorold, civil engineer.
Norfolk Chronicle - 20th June 1829

William Thorold was listed in Pigot's Directory of 1830 as a millwright at St. Martin's at Oak Street. He built a postmill at Felthorpe in 1830.

Capital Wind Mill,
Lease of Water Mill, Dwelling House, Land, and Cottages.
On Saturday, the 11th September, 1830,
At Four o'clock in the Afternoon,
At the Maid's Head Inn, situate in Saint Simon's, in the city of Norwich.
THE following VALUABLE PROPERTY, situate in Felthorpe, in the county of Norfolk.
Lot 6. - All that substantial and recently built Freehold POST_WINDMILL, with patent sails, round-house, two floors, three pair of excellent French stones, jumper, iron shaft, &c. &c. granary, cart lodge, and a piece of Land. - An excellent freehold Dwelling-house, in the occupation of Mr. Christopher West, a short distance from the mill, with a Retail Shop, barn, stable, gig-house, yards, and garden, containing altogether about four acres (including the site of the mill and buildings). Also the remaining term of a Lease of a Water-Mill, of which 11 years will be unexpired at Michaelmas next, with all the machinery, in complete repair, viz. three pair of stones, flour-mill, jumper, &c. &c. and two acres of land.
The Mills are now in full trade, and retail nearly fifty sacks of flour weekly. The whole having been in the occupation of Mr. West for many years, is exceedingly worthy the attention of the public.
The property may be viewed on application to Mr. West, at Felthorpe; and further particulars had of Mr. J. R. Staff, Solicitor, St. Andrew's, or of Mr. Spelman, Duke's Palace; and of Mr. Thorold, engineer, St. Martin at Oak, Norwich..

Norfolk Chronicle - 4th September 1830

Heigham Bridge and Road.
At a Meeting of the Commissioners under this Act, held at the Guildhall on Tuesday, the 15th day of March last,
That Mr. Thorold's design for Building a Brick Bridge, over the River Wensum, in the County of the City of Norwich, and for Making the Road connected therewith, be accepted, and that the Clerk be directed to advertise for Tenders for executing the Work according to Plans and Specifications to be prepared by the Engineer.
Notice is hereby given, to all Persons wishing to offer Tenders, that they must deliver them sealed up at my Office, on or before Wednesday, the 11th day of May next, by Ten o'clock in the forenoon precisely, on which day the Commissioners do not pledge themselves to accept the lowest Tender, but such as shall in their judgement, with the advice of the Engineer, appear to be most eligible; and the Contractor of Contractors will be required to enter into Bonds for the due performance of the Works Contracted for.
The Works will be divided so as to meet the views of artificers in their peculiar department.
At the said Meeting it was Ordered that the Clerk be directed to make a Call of 40 per cent. on the respective subscriptions entered into under the above Act, and that the same be paid into the hands of Samuel Bignold, Esq. the Treasurer.
Plans and Specifications of the Bridge and Road may be seen at the Office of Mr. Thorold, Engineer, at any time after the 26th instant, where further information may be obtained.
Bank Street,
Norwich, April 13th, 1831.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th April 1831  

William Thorold was the contractor who built the new road between Acle and Great Yarmouth in 1831.

On Wednesday, the 13th inst. pursuant to advertisement, the Acting Trustees of the new Acle and Yarmouth Turnpike, with John Prentice Esq. their chairman, the Rev. Charles Penrice, H. N. Borroughs Esq. T. H. Batcheler, Esq. R. Cory Esq. C. Nichols Esq. W. W. Branford Esq. and other gentlemen, met at the Suspension Bridge, on the North Quay, to walk over the line of road, and inspect the progress of the works. - It appears that the bridge over Tunstall Boat Dyke is complete; the arches and trunks over Land Spring Drains, the Mill Drains, and the entire line of road formed, and that to complete it, previously to its being opened to the public, the materials (which are broken stones and shingles) remain to be laid on, and these are actually prepared, and landed over the river wall, whence they will be conveyed in boats down the dykes to different parts of the roads. - The Trustees were accompanied by Mr. Isaac Lenny, of Norwich, the company's surveyor, by Mr. Thorold, the Contractor, and other gentlemen and the Trustees were pleased to express their gratification at the manner the works were going on, and afterwards an excellent dinner, provided at Acle Queen's Head, in Mr. England's best style. - perhaps it is not generally known, that the saving of distance from Acle to Yarmouth will be three miles and five furlongs, and a great advantage of the project is, that by means of the branches, a large tract of the country will be laid open to Yarmouth, which has hitherto been nearly excluded for a great part of the year, on account of the distance of roads by a very circuitous route. In addition to the satisfaction which the trustees feel at the progress of the works, the shareholders have the gratification of knowing that they will receive ample interest or the principal money, invested so judiciously, and with so much public spirit in this useful undertaking.
Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd April 1831

The mill at Felthorpe was again for auction in July 1831

Capital Windmill, Lease of Water_Mill, Dwelling House, Land & Cottages at FELTHORPE in Norfolk.
To be Sold by Auction by Wm. SPELMAN on Saturday 30 July 1831 at 4 o'c at the Angel Inn, Market Place, Norwich.
Lot 1. All that substantial & recently built Freehold POST_WINDMILL with Patent Sails, Roundhouse two floors, three pair of excellent French Stones, Flour Mill & Jumper, Iron Shaft etc. Granary, Cart Lodge & Piece of Land, an excellent Freehold Dwelling House in the occupation of Mr. Christopher WEST a short distance from the Mill with a Retail Shop, Barn, Stable, Gig house, Yards & Garden containing altogether about 4 acres. Also the Lease of a
Water Mill of which ten years will be unexpired at Michaelmas next ...
An Extensive Retail Trade has been carried on in the Mills nearly fifty years & the Lot is worthy the attention of the Public.
Land tax 7s.
The Property may be viewed on application to Mr. WEST of Felthorpe, further particulars of Mr. STAFF, Solr. St. Andrews, Mr. SPELMAN, Dukes Palace, & Mr. THOROLD, Engineer, St. Martin at Oak, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th, 23rd & 30th July 1831

William Thorold built a drainage mill at Limpenhoe during the autumn of 1831.

An Agreement for the Drainage of a certain level of Marshes lying in Limpenhoe & Southwood in the County of Norfolk.
That the specification of William Thorold of the City of Norwich, Engineer hereunto annexed for the erection of a Drainage_Mill & Cottage & for making the Drains & Road & other necessary works to be done for the purpose of the said drainage & his contract to perform the same for the sum of £744 is hereby accepted & agreed to by the said parties & that he shall forthwith commence the said works.
As Witness our hand this 15th day of October 1831.
John Frances Leathes.
H. N. Burroughes, Jer. Burroughes.
Agent for Mrs. C. Burroughes, Wm. Blake, Rt. Gilbert, Fras. Drake.
his Benj. X Browning mark
Rt. Walpole, by Wm. Foster, his agent.
W. H. Maddison, Agent for the execrs. of the Late Revd Jno. Emeris.

The mill was to be paid for by each person in proportion to the acreage of marsh owned that was to be drained by the mill. The mill still survives in a derelict condition. The tower is complete and the cap frame is still on the top of the mill with the remains of the fantail and the windshaft, which is broken at the back of the canister. The tower is about 35' to the curb, with three floors internally and the mill would have had a boat shaped cap without a gallery. It carried an eight-blade fantail and four double patent sails, probably 9' or 10' wide with 9 bays of shutters. The drive was via a 19' diameter wooden brake wheel to a 5' diameter cast iron wallower, thence via the wooden upright shaft to an iron wallower driving a 10' diameter cast iron pitwheel with wooden teeth and thence to a 19' diameter scoopwheel. The surviving scoopwheel axle bears the legend:
. This is the only surviving windmill built by William Thorold.

There was a dispute over the building of the Acle to Yarmouth road in the summer of 1832.

We understand that all matters in difference between the trustees of the Acle and Yarmouth road and their late contractor are amicably adjusted, and the works are immediately to be resumed, and completed under Mr. Thorold's superintendance. This useful work will shorten the distance between Yarmouth and this city three miles and five furlongs.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th July 1832

William Thorold was listed in Whites' Directory of 1836 as being in Coslany Street. He was the architect responsible for workhouses built at Thetford, Pulham Market, Rockland All Saints, Kenninghall, Hindringham and Great Snoring between 1836 and 1837. He also designed the workhouse for the Rochford Poor Law Union in Essex, built in 1837. He may also have designed the St. James Yarn Mill, Norwich in 1836.

Steam Engine to be Sold.
A Second-hand four-horse Power Condensing STEAM ENGINE, with apparatus for driving a Saw Mill;
A useful Portable Crane,
A variety of Second-hand Wheels,
A quantity of wrought Scrap Iron
And a capital three-wheel Tumbril.
Apply (if by letter post-paid) to Mr. Thorold, Engineer, Old Foundry, near the Foundry Bridge, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th March 1839

Robert Humphreys was charged with breaking and entering the counting-house of Mr. Wm. Thorold, and stealing six pennies and a knife. Mr. Thorold's clerk proved the counting-room had been broken into and that some halfpence and a knife had been stolen. Mr. Yarrington a day or two afterwards apprehended the prisoner, and on searching him found a knife, which was identified as the one taken from the counting-house. The prisoner was acquitted.
Norfolk Chronicle - 6th April 1839

TWO MOULDERS, Steady and Good workmen may have Constant Employ, and Good Wages. Apply to W. Thorold, at the Old Foundry.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th June 1839

The premises in St. Martin at Oak were for auction in June 1839.

John Browne claimed to have invented a thrashing machine in 1804
To Millwrights and Engineers, Timber Merchants. Corn and Coal Merchants, Dyers
and Scourers, Builders &c.
At the Norfolk Hotel, Norwich.
On Wednesday, the 26th inst. at Six o'clock.
ALL those Excellent FREEHOLD PREMISES, late in the occupation of Mr. Wm. Thorold, (formerly in the occupation of Mr. G. Shafto and Mr. J. F. Gurling) Millwright and Engineer, situate in the parish of St. Martin's at oak, in the city of Norwich, where an extensive and lucrative business has been carried on during the last half century.
The premises consist of a genteel and convenient Dwelling-house, workshops, Counting-house, Stable and Gig-house, and Offices, complete, and are well adapted for any business requiring room, and in excellent repair.
Further particulars may be obtained by applying to Mr. I. O. Taylor, Solicitor, or to Mr. Culley, the Auctioneer, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 15th June 1839

There was a major fire that all but destroyed Thorold's new premises on the 27th February 1840.

On Thursday night, a fire broke out in the extensive and newly-erected premises of Mr. Thorrold, engineer and iron founder, near the Foundry Bridge, in this city, which, we regret to say, totally consumed all but the bare walls, including a steam engine, besides a great deal of valuable property, and other business-implements and materials.
At one time, indeed, there was great cause for apprehension that the dwellings and wharfs immediately adjacent would have shared the same fate. But, most providentially, there was no wind stirring; and the long range of the building, which was the seat of the conflagration stood sufficiently insulated to prevent the flames form spreading much beyond it, until means very tardily, but at length sucessfully applied, were taken to arrest their further progress.
Mr. Thorrold, who resides at Hethersett, did not arrive on the spot till one o'clock, to take a directing part of the occasion - a circumstance much to be lamented, as we never remember to have witnessed a casualty of that serious kind, in which less of adequate assistance was given or judicious management shown, to get the fire under and cut off its channels of communication, than was displayed in this instance. - The only two engines, brought into position on the bridge-side of the burning pile, were some time before they could be played, owing to defects, in the leathern pipes; and though the river was so close at hand, the cry of "more buckets" and "more water" was continually raised, and obviously without too much reason. - We have not yet had the means of ascertaining how the fire originated; but we understand that it made its appearance in that part of the foundry where the furnace is situated.
The appearance of the scene when the conflagration had reached its height, was marked by features of picturesque splendour and the most awful magnificence. A vast and vivid body of flame, culminating from the roofs towards the lofty chimney which stands in the centre, cast its red light on the surrounding Houses, and on the countless faces of the multitudes who crowded the approaches to the bridge, and also the banks of the stream, teaching "Night" in that locality, "to counterfeit" the brightness of noon day. We understand the property was partially insured.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th February 1840

Fire at the Foundry,
BEGS to return his heartfelt thanks to the Inhabitants of Norwich, who so kindly rendered their assistance in extinguishing the calamitous Fire which occurred on his premises, on Thursday night, the 27th of February.
The remembrance of their exertions and the subsequent kind sympathy he has experienced will never be effaced from his memory.
Foundry, 4th March, 1840.

Norfolk Chronicle - 7th March 1840.

The foundry was soon up and running again, with a new name and within seven weeks of the fire was fully up to speed.

BEGS to inform his Friends and Customers that he has resumed Business on that part of his Premises which was not burnt, and made such arrangements as will enable him to undertake orders to any extent as heretofore.
Foundry, 11th March, 1840.

Norfolk Chronicle - 14th March 1840


BEGS to inform his Friends and the Public, that he has covered in the Roof of the Foundry so as to enable him to commence casting on Monday next.
W. T. has just purchased the Furnace Bar and other Patterns, lately used at Messrs. Howlett and Bacon's Foundry.
The MATERIALS of a WINDMILL, consisting four Sails, two Stocks, Windshaft, Sheer-trees, and Curbel, Head Wheel, Gripe, and Wallower, all for £24.
(One Concern)

Norfolk Chronicle - 28th March 1840

Phoenix Foundry,
BEGS to announce that his FOUNDRY is now completely restored, and in full Blast, and that he has engaged Moulders from the Manufacturing Districts competent to execute any description of Castings in a superior manner.
An Inspection of the Premises on the FAIR DAY by his country Friends, will convince them no time has been lost in effecting the restoration.
April 8th 1840.

Norfolk Chronicle - 11th April 1840

Phoenix Foundry,
In order to correct an erroneous Report that has gone abroad, begs to inform the Public, that in this Foundry are executed all kinds of general Foundry Work.
Patterns for Ironmongers' goods have been recently made, with the latest improvements.

Norfolk Chronicle - 30th May 1840

William Thorold was involved with the Norwich Yarn Factory. He may have built the mill or installed the steam engine and machinery. He advertised some more mill machinery for sale in February 1841.

A Capital OAK PIT-WHEEL, with Iron Segments, now driving four pair of Stones, 9 feet diameter, 96 cogs, 3½ in pitch. Also a Cast-Iron CISTERN for the same, all good as new.
Apply to William Thorold, Engineer and Millwright, Phoenix Foundry, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 13th February 1841

A person named Birch was charged by Mr. Thorold, the engineer, with stealing tools from his establishment. Birch it seemed had once been in Mr. Thorold's employ, but had commenced master in partnership with another person. This partnership had been broken up, and the tools sold. Mr. Thorold's goods, which were produced, were clearly traced to the firm of Birch and Co. but ---- the other person had left Norwich; he, however never worked with Mr. Thorold. The case was adjourned till this other person should be forthcoming. Mr. Thorold said this was a common practice, journeymen set up for themselves, and when they left they took away their employers tools. It was done to a very great extent, and some of the ironfounders (he named one) encouraged them in it. His object was not so much to punish the past as to prevent the future. The magistrates expressed a determination to assist Mr. Thorold in this business, and it will be resumed.
Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd October 1841

George Birch was indicted for stealing and carrying away, on the 25th of February, 1840, three moulding boxes, the property of Wm. Thorold, his master.
Mr. Evans prosecuted and Mr. Cooper defended the prisoner.
Mr. Thorold is an engineer and founder, and the prisoner was in his employment the beginning of the year 1840. In the month of April that year he was discharged by the prosecutor, who was not satisfied with his work, at that time, having any suspicion of his dishonesty. After this the prisoner went into partnership with Benjamin Cannell, as founders, at which time Birch had on his premises three moulding boxes which were produced in Court, which Mr. Thorold believed were his property, and which were taken from the possession of Birch. Mr. Cooper addressed the Jury for the prisoner, and contended that the evidence had failed to fix upon him the charge of having the property in question. The prisoner received a good character.
The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

Norfolk Chronicle - 23rd October 1841

William Thorold was listed as a millwright at the Phœnix Foundry with a home in Thorpe Hamlet. He also has an entry as an engineer living in Thorpe Road. He refitted the Taverham paper mills in 1842.

Taverham. - This quiet sequestered village has been for some time past in a very depressed state in consequence of the stoppage of the Paper Mills. We understand that Mr. Bligh, of Ipswich, has taken the mills, and that in this rural retreat the hum of busy industry will soon again be heard. Mr. Thorold, of this city, has engaged to remove the whole of the old works for the assignees. The new proprietor intends to fill the building with entirely new apparatus and machinery of the most improved kind, and he expects to manufacture some kinds of paper much cheaper than they can be produced at present. From the practical knowledge of the business possessed by Mr. Bligh, there is every prospect that these mills will in future be worked with more success than they have hitherto been.
Norfolk Chronicle - 30th April 1842

The old machinery from Taverham paper mills was duly advertised for sale in 1842 and 1843

WATER WHEEL and Steam Boiler
Enquire of Mr. Thorold, Foundry Bridge.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th October 1842

To Paper Makers
Steam Boiler, eight horse power, Force Pump, with Pipes and Apparatus, Water Pump, Iron Pipes, Water Wheel, Head Frame, Gate Tackle, Bars of Foreign Iron, Pit Wheel and Pinions, Iron Screws and Presses, Indigo Mill. Donkin's Patent Paper Machine, with Rollers, Rule Carriages and Apparatus, removed from the Paper Mills, at Taverham.
Respectfully informs the Public, he is Instructed to
On Wednesday, the 5th of April, 1843,
At the Foundry Bridge Wharf, and Jay's Wharf, St. Margaret's, Norwich.
Beginning at Eleven o'clock,
A Capital STEAM ENGINE, eight horse power, Force Pump with pipes and apparatus, Steam Cage, two Safety Valves, Steam Pipe and Cock, Iron Pipes and Brass Cocks, eight Iron Screws with nuts and plates, Machine Water Wheel, nine feet nine inches diameter, Water Wheel Shafts, two Plimmer Blocks and Brasses, splendid Iron Press, with Iron Screw of very great Power, Pit Wheel, in two parts, new Pit Wheel and Pinions, two Spur Wheels, an Indigo Mill complete, quantity of Foreign Iron, and a variety of Screws, Bolts, Water Pump and Pipes, &c. &c.
Immediately after the Sale of the above will be Sold
Donkin's Patent Paper Machine, with all the rollers and apparatus thereto belonging, two large Felts, Brass and Iron Rollers, a large Vat lined with lead, brass cock, &c. with sundry parts of Machinery, &c. &c.
Further particulars may be had on applying at Mr. Spelman's Offices, St. Giles' Street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 1st April 1843

William Thorold was the contractor who cut the new waterway at Thorpe for the Norwich and Yarmouth railway.

Norwich and Yarmouth Railway
RESPECTFULLY announces that he is instructed to SELL by AUCTION, on Monday, the 11th Sept. 1843, at the King's Head Inn, at Thorpe next Norwich, at 12 o'clock at Noon.
20 Horse-power Steam Engine,
With Water Wheel 27 feet diameter, Wheel-race, Sluice-gate, and Driving-gear complete, as now at work draining the New Cut for the Railway Works at Thorpe, and to be removed at the completion of the Cut, which is expected in about three weeks.
The Engine has proved itself efficient during the progress of the Works, and more particularly so in clearing the Cut after the late storm.
Also, the Boilers, Piling, Brickwork, and Chimney.
The whole will be sold in one or more lots, subject to such conditions as will be determined upon at the time of the sale.
For particulars apply to Mr. Thorold, Engineer, near the Foundry Bridge, or to Mr. Spelman, St. Giles'-street, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 2nd September 1843

William Thorold was listed in White's Directory of 1845 at the Phœnix Foundry, Foundry Bridge, with his home address being Thorpe Hamlet. He was also an architect and in 1846 some of his designs for farms were published in J. C. Loudon's book Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture.

The steam engine and the scoopwheel from the New Cut for the railaway at Thorpe were again advertised for sale in August 1846.

To Millwrights, Manufacturers, Millers and others.
Has received instructions to SELL by AUCTION, at Harrison's Wharf, King Street, Norwich, on Thursday, August 13th, 1846, at Twelve o'clock, in lots.
a 14-Horse power Steam Engine, with inclined Cylinder, Cylindrical Hammered Iron Boiler and Furnace, with Bars, Fire Irons, &c.
Also a Water Wheel,
27 feet diameter, with internal Spur, Pit Wheel, and Nut, driving the Water Wheel, with Iron Shafts, Bearing Blocks, and Brasses, &c. belonging thereto.
Norfolk Chronicle - 1st August 1846

William Thorold gave up the agricultural side of the business in 1846.

BEGS to inform his Agricultural Friends, that owing to the pressure of other engagements, he has
Agricultural Business
and Disposed of all his
To Messrs. Campling and Watson.
Near the Cattle Market,
and begs to recommend them as his Sucessors.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th January 1847

There was a fire in the premises next to the Phoenix Foundry on the 6th February 1847. No damage was done to the foundry.

To be LET on lease for a Term of Years,
In the County of Norfolk,
Upon the never-failing River BURE, navigable to Yarmouth,
THEY were formerly Paper Mills, and for the last 28 years have been in the occupation of Robert and Page Bleakley, as Woollen Manufacturers, whose lease expires at Michaelmas next, and their machinery (if required) can be taken in the usual way.
These Mills are in a fine and highly-cultivated agricultural district, and are well adapted to any trade requiring power and warehouse room, as they cover a large space, and can be hired without any payment for machinery.
There is a capital Residence, Stabling, Farming Buildings, and Piggery for upwards of 100 Pigs. About 20 Acres of Land can be had if required.
For further particulars, apply to Mr. J. Warnes, Bolwick Hall, near Aylsham; Mr. G. E. Simpson, Solicitor, or Mr. W. Thorold, Engineer, both of Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 9th June 1849

William Thorold was listed in Hunt & Co.'s. Directory of 1850 as a millwright and civil engineer at Foundry Bridge, with a home address in Thorpe Hamlet.

Gt_Yarmouth_Cobholm_towermill was insured with the Norwich Union for £800 but it's not established if the stock was insured.

Board Meeting 1st April 1850, policy no. 184354 £800, brick tower mill £300, standing and going gear, wire machines and dressing mills £500. Took fire and was totally burnt out yesterday afternoon. Mr. Leman to go over.

Board Meeting 29th April 1850, Mr. Robert Waters claim in detail for the standing and going gear, wire machines and dressing mills in his brick tower windmill burnt down on 31st March to be referred to Mr. Thorald and evidence to be given that the building is damaged to the value of £300.

Board Meeting 6th May 1850, £800 total loss as per Mr. Thorold's report, amount allowed.

A Highly-improved STEAM ENGINE, upwards of twenty horse power, with ample room for manufacturing purposes.
Apply to W. Thorold, Engineer, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 16th March 1850

In 1851 William Thorold was given as a surveyor aged 52 living at Thorpe Bower, Thorpe Road, Thorpe with his wife Susanna (52) and children Susanna (29); John S. (26); Sarah Ann (24) and Rom H. (16) William Thorold retired from business in 1851 and the contents of the foundry were auctioned.

To Locomotive and Railway Engineers,
Iron Founders, Merchants, Smiths, and others.
In the month of March next,
By order of the Proprietor, retiring from Business,
The Valuable Machinery, Tools,
The whole of which are of the best description, and have been fitted regardless of expence, including
TWO highly-finished, high pressure, and condensing STEAM ENGINES, self-acting surface Turning and Boring Lathes, Planing and Screwing Machines, three Steam Boilers, one adapted for a Portable Threshing Machine, four Cupolas, eight Single, Double and Treble Purchase Cranes, from two to ten tons, of the most superior construction, Blowing Machine, 50 tons of Flasks, and Loam Rings and Plates, the Fittings of the Smith's Shop, including Forges, Anvils, Swages, top and bottom Tools,
200 Tons of Pig & Scrap Iron,
20 Tons of Rod, Bar-iron, and Boiler Plates.
Of the most approved construction, from 12 to 15 feet diameter,
Large variety of Plant and Machinery,
Detailed Advertisements of which will shortly appear. At the same time will be Sold,
The Valuable Patents for improvements in the manufacture of Turn-tables.
For further particulars apply to Messrs. Fuller and Horsey, Billiter-street, London.

Norfolk Chronicle - 8th February 1851.

Machinists, Founders, Smiths, and others.
To be SOLD by Auction,
On Tuesday, March 11th, 1851, and following days,
At 11 o'clock each day, on the Premises, the
Phoenix Iron Works, Norwich,
By order of the Proprietor, who is retiring from Business, the valuable,
And Stock in Trade,
INCLUDING two powerful SELF-ACTING SURFACE LATHES, capable of turning surfaces 16 feet and 7 feet diameter, one 10-inch Self-Acting Lathe, several Engine-Turning lathes of various dimensions, Self-Acting Planing Machine, (table 6 feet by 2 feet) two Screwing Machines, Drilling Machine, and Steel Tools. An expensive SELF-ACTING PLANING AND DRILLING MACHINE, Seven DOUBLE and TREBLE PURCHASE CRANES, of a most superior construction, and adapted for the foundry, erecting shop, and wharf. Two highly-finished STEAM ENGINES, of about 10 and 16 horse power, with Compound Cylinders High and Low Pressure, well adapted for a steam flour mill, three Steam Boilers, one adapted for a portable steam thrashing machine. Four CUPOLA FURNACES, Iron Charcoal Mill. Drying Stove, Crane, Shack, and Hand Ladles, Stove Trucks, Flask Beams, and Founder's Tools, blowing Machinery & Tubes. 50 TONS FLASKS, 200 TONS IRON, in Cast Scrap and Pigs, and Wrought Iron Bars and Boiler Plates, five tons Smith's Tools in Anvils, Swages, Top and Bottom Tools, Mandrils, &c., 9 double and Single Forges, with Bellows and Troughs, Plate Furnace, Bending Machine, Cutting and Punching Machine, two Cast iron Fly Wheels, a Cast Iron Water Wheel, 27 feet diameter, for Marsh-draining, Grindstones and Frames, Eight RAILWAY TURN-TABLES, 15 feet and 12 feet diameter, of the most approved construction, similar to those fixed on the Norwich and Lowestoft, East Lincolnshire, Manchester and Sheffield, Great Northern, Newmarket, and Eastern Counties Railways. An assortment of valuable PATTERNS, in Iron and Wood, the Fittings, of Pattern Maker's Shop, three Lathes, Drilling Machine, Circular Saw Bench, 500 feet Shafting, 100 Wheels, 2000 ft. Leather Strap, six Tons of Tram Rails, Trolly, four Jacks, Founder's Cart on springs, two pair of large Wharf Gates, the Principals and Rafters of two roofs, and numerous other effects. Also the valuable PATENT and MODELS for eleven Improvements in the Manufacture and Construction of Railway Turn-Tables.
N.B. - Promissary Notes (to be approved by the Vendor) at three month's date, will be taken from purchasers to the extent of £50 and upwards.
The Situation of the Works is most advantageous for the removal of the lots, being on the banks of the River Yare, with depth of water sufficient for vessels of 100 tons to lie alongside, (the freight to London is 12s. per ton.) The Railway Station is immediately contiguous, the carriage to London by rail being 11s. 6d. per ton. The Premises are intersected throughout by iron tramways, with a strong trolly, the use of which, as also of the wharf crane, will be granted to the purchasers without charge.
The machinery may be seen in motion on Saturday and Monday previous to the sale. Catalogues at Sixpence each, may be had on application at the Works; or to Messrs. Fuller and Horsey, 13, Billiter-street, London, by whom Catalogues will be forwarded post-free, on receipt of 12 postage stamps.
Norfolk Chronicle - 22nd February 1851

William Thorold was elected a Guardian of the Parish of St. Helen and Thorpe in 1858. He continued as a civil engineer and was mentioned on letters from Thomas_Smithdale in respect of Colman's mill at Stoke_Holy Cross in October 1860 and a steam drainage mill at Ten Mile Bank, Hilgay, Norfolk in May 1861. He was also responsible for the drainage of the Middle Level at Kings Lynn in 1862. By this time he was a Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Mr. Thorold,
Dear Sir,
Agreeable to your request I beg to say I am willing to make & fix at Stoke_Mills one set of Stone Pans, with Wheels, Governors & connecting Shaft &c. &c. for do. Also hang one pair of Friction Wheels on Horizontal Shaft and Stone Spindle according to plan and Specification. The Work to be done in a Workmanlike Manner for the sum of fifty pounds.
£50. -. -.
I am,
Dear Sir,
Your Obt. Servt,
Thos. Smithdale.

Friday morning, after a lengthened illness, Ellen, second daughter of William Thorold, Esq., Thorpe Hamlet, in this city.
Norfolk Chronicle - 29th December 1866

Railways on Turnpike Roads.
This was the subject of a paper read by Mr. W. Thorold, C.E.., in the Mechanical Section of the British Association. It was as follows:-
The subject I beg to introduce to the Section has reference to a new system of railways applicable in old countries as auxiliaries to the present lines, but for new and unexplored countries it will be available as main lines and primary modes of communication.
My experience as a turnpike surveyor of near forty years' standing, and the present question of the future duration of turnpike roads, has led m to consider what will be the best result of this debatable affair for the convenience of the public, and I am come to the conclusions that a combination of the railway system on the turnpikes and leading highways will ultimately succeed, provided that it is effected at a moderate cost of the rails and plant. And to attain this we must have a rail that will not cut up a road in its construction or incommode the traffic of the public either by the width absorbed by the railway. or the requirement of large radius for curves which would be fatal in passing through towns and villages, even if it exceeded a radius of 20ft. It is well known that this curve cannot be obtained by any narrow gauge line, as now practised; these lines are therefore inadmissable.
As it is not intended on this system to have heavy wheeled pulling locomotives, we can very well carry all the common railway carriages upon one single continuous line of rails, &c., if we use four wheels to each carriage, so that the weight bearing on each wheel shall not exceed three tons. It will be a matter of indifference to the truck or carriage whether the four bearing wheels are placed two on either side or all in one line under the centre of the carriage; the pressure on the wheels on the rail would be the same in either case, and provided the load was adequately balanced by traversing gear before starting, the pressure would be more uniform upon the single line than upon any gauge line, and, with the exception of working round curves, the flange friction of the wheels would be less.
Having thus disposed of the bearing wheels to carry the usual eight ton loads upon a single line of rails, we have to provide means of retaining the load in a perpendicular position for this purpose. We use the surface of the turnpike roads as a base, and employ an additional pair of wheels running upon the road without bearing any of the weight of the carriage.
The axle of these wheels has a slot in the centre, and a pin fixed to the bottom of the loaded carriage works up and down in this slot, and prevents the carriage deviating from a perpendicular position as long as the road itself is kept in proper order. Having shown mode of obtaining a proper bearing for carriages with a single line of rail, we will proceed to show how the carriage is to turn in 20ft. radius. For this purpose the four bearing wheels are placed in two fore-and-aft trucks, whose centres are under the axles of the railway trucks, and carry the truck, with its wheels and springs above the surface of the turnpike road, upon the single line of rails; these bearing wheels, being flanged on either side, will be guided by and follow the direction and sinuosities of the rail, and, as a matter of course, the bogies will have the power of accommodating themselves, by compensating levers, to any inequality of the gradient of the rail. In rigging out a common railway truck with the apparatus it will only be necessary to bring the truck over a pit, and raise the apparatus by jacks up to the bottom of the truck, the propelling power will then launch it on the new line, and when the truck returns to the common railway, it passes over the same pit and leaves the apparatus behind it.
The propelling power is derived from a traction engine, with its wheels obtaining adhesion upon the surface of the turnpike road, and this traction engine is guided and in part borne by a fore-and-aft bogie, and, further, this bogie is made to slide longitudinally for the purpose of adjusting the pressure of the traction wheels upon the surface of the road as may be required to meet the inclination or state of the surface. It is not intended to limit the propelling power to steam, traction, or other locomotive engines, but to use horses, elephants and other beasts of burden.
For the purposes of working this single line more effectually, it is intended to insert electric telegraph wires within the bridge rail.
By reference to the section of the turnpike road, it will be seen that the minimum of inconvenience to the public traffic is obtained.
Estimated cost per Mile.
34 Tons of 40lb. rail, at £8 per ton
5280ft. of sleepers, at 6d.
Contingencies, ay, 25 per cent.

The gradients upon the present turnpike road rarely exceed 1 in 30, whereas the traction engine has drawn loads up 1 in 12 upon a soft surface. How much latitude we have for the development of its tractive power with the favourable circumstances of having the load itself carried by a railway, time will prove. The adjustible mode of regulating the adhesion renders its action positive in all weathers and conditions of surface.
The present cost of conveying a ton of heavy goods per mile upon a common road with horses and carts is 10d, and it is fair to assume, by analogy, a ton of the same with the auxiliary rail will not exceed 2d. per mile, but little risk will be incurred in adapting this system to many turnpike roads and highways that act as lateral feeders to railways and other local demands, such as branches to connect existing establishments (now cut off) with railway stations, mines, quarries, &c. This last will be highly conducive to the transit of road materials for the maintenance of all roads in the district as well as the turnpike itself. The abstraction of the heavy traffic from the wear and tear of the existing roads and the above saving of the road materials would go far to pay the cost of the single rail system.
Suppose the interest upon £500 a mile on some roads amounts to £25 a year upon a well frequented turnpike, lateral to a railway, we should probably save £20 per year in the absence of repairs, so that the annual charge would be reduced to a sum too insignificant to be made up by the increased traffic induced by railway facilities.
It is hoped enough has been said to prove that an auxiliary system of railway can be obtained at an exceeding low cost of construction, and one that can be carried up any gradient or turn in any curve through towns and villages, and, if so, the proposition just set out is obtained.
For new countries this system is peculiarly applicable; and where gravel is not to be found for ballast, it is probable that clay will predominate, and this buried will make excellent ballast for the permanent way and road wheel tracks, gradients not exceeding 1 in 12, and curves not exceeding 20ft. radius. Almost any ravine can be ascended and any mountain side by traversing also.
In India, such lines could be worked by elephants, as Bewick states they are proud of being harnessed, and docile under kind and judicious treatment.
In Australia, this system is peculiarly applicable, as their new set out roads are 60ft. wide and raised 3ft. in the centre, and by placing the single line of rail in the middle of the road, the traffic could follow with the least possible annoyance or inconvenience.
This system is likewise applicable as a pioneer line, and for conveying materials for any line, as a second line can be added to make it a gauge line in desired.
By this means of railway the bountiful crops of Italian rye grass and other forage anticipated upon the Crown Point Sewage Farm can be daily transported from the Trowse Station to every light land and fen farm in the Great Eastern district, to the great relief of the flocks and herds in a season like the present.

Norfolk Chronicle - 12th September 1868

The system proposed by William Thorold was subsequently adopted in India, where it was used at Kharagpur and Patiala, where there were two lines; one from Sirhind to Morinda and the other from Patiala to Sunam. The Kharagpur system used mules for the motive power and the Patiala system used adapted traction engines. A section of the Patiala State Memorial Tramway, as it was called, has been re-created at the Indian National Railways Museum in Delhi.

William Thorold was listed in Harrod's Directory as a civil engineer at Bank Chambers and he was also involved with the sewage works at Trowse.

PERSONS willing to Contract for the erecting of a good and powerful WINDMILL, designed by Mr. Thorold, may inspect the Plan and Specifications at Mr. Hotson's Room, Rampant Horse Street, Norwich, on Saturday, the 22nd January instant, between Twelve and Five o'clock.
Long Stratton, 17th January 1870.

Norfolk Chronicle - 15th January 1870

William Thorold died in December 1878, aged 80

THOROLD. - On the 17th inst, at his residence, Thorpe Hamlet, in his 81st year, Wm. Thorold, Esq., M. Inst. C. E.
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st December 1878

William Thorold's wife died in July 1884

This (Friday) morning, at her residence, Thorpe Hamlet, in this city, Mrs. Susannah Thorold, in her 86th year.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th July 1884

In 2005 some of William Thorold's work still survives:
The Rochford workhouse in now converted to residential accommodation.
The Pulham St. Mary workhouse is now an old people's home.
The Rockland St. Mary workhouse is now the Wayland Hospital.
Limpenhoe Windmill survives in a derelict condition.
The Acle New Road is still in daily use between Acle and Great Yarmouth and is, perhaps, his monument.

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