WALKER, Samuel (1779-1851), of Masbrough Hall and Aldwark Hall, nr. Rotherham, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. 4 Sept. 1779, o.s. of Samuel Walker, ironmaster, of Masbrough by Sarah, da. of John Nutt of Raisin Hall, Sheffield, wid. of Thomas Booth of Ecclesfield. educ. Glasgow Univ. 1795. m. 29 Apr. 1801, Elizabeth, da. of John Palmes of Naburn, 8s. 5da. suc. fa. 1792.
Capt. Rotherham vol. inf. l798, lt.-col. commdt. 1804; lt.-col. commdt. Strafforth and Tickhill regt. W. Yorks. militia 1808.
Walker’s grandfather (d.1782), a dissenter, founded the iron and steel works at Masbrough which flourished from the 1740s until the end of the Napoleonic war, having become one of the largest works in Europe. He also manufactured white lead at Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 1778, and this enterprise was extended, producing not only white and red lead but also lead shot and pipes. His son Samuel survived him by only ten years and provided in his will for the purchase of his interests in the family company by his three brothers for £41,000, with authorization to sell shares to his heir when he came of age. The third Samuel accordingly purchased a two-eighteenths interest in Joshua Walker & Co. for £33,820. By 1819 his share was two-thirteenths and he was a partner in the London lead works and the Islington white lead factory, in which at that time the family invested most of its capital.1
Before the election of 1818 Walker purchased the electoral interest of Charles Fox Champion Crespigny at Aldeburgh for £39,000 and returned himself and his cousin Joshua at the general election. He was inconspicuous in the House. On 18 Feb. 1819 he took three weeks’ leave. He appeared in the ministerial majorities on Wyndham Quin’s* conduct, 29 Mar., and against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May. He was in the minority critical of delays in Chancery, 20 May 1819. He did not seek re-election in 1820 and two years later disposed of his interest in Aldeburgh.
Walker’s iron business no longer flourished in peacetime when competition from Sheffield increased and their ore supplies were depleted. The firm also suffered through the failure of the Southwark Bridge Company, for which they had supplied the iron. By 1822 Walker was in charge of a transfer of the ironworks to Gospel Oak in Staffordshire, producing cannon. It failed, though two of his sons later made it a profitable concern. He returned to Rotherham in 1826. In 1832 he became bankrupt. He died 30 Jan. 1851, having retired to Nether Silton, near Northallerton.2