Locomotive Building in Wolverhampton

The Armstrong Family

Thomas Armstrong was a yeoman or small landowner in the Parish of Bewcastle, Cumberland. There was mass unemployment at the end of the Napoleonic wars, in 1815. Thomas sold up, and in 1817 he emigrated to Canada, with his wife and four sons. The youngest was Joseph who was born on 21st September, 1816. Two more sons were born in Canada, the second was George, who was born in 1822. Failing to settle down in Canada, and with the improving conditions in England, the family decided to return home to Cumberland, in 1824. Thomas obtained a post as bailiff of some farm land in an area west of Newcastle-on-Tyne, which belonged to the Duke of Northumberland. Their new home was at Newburn-on-Tyne, Northumberland. Thomas and his wife had a daughter, Rebecca, in 1825. Three of their sons died in their early years. The third son John founded Armstrong and Addison, which was an engineering company that was based at Sunderland. John served his apprenticeship with the North Eastern Railway. His son William succeeded him as head of the company. 

The total length of the family's service with the Great Western Railway from 1847 to 1946, an inclusive period of 100 years, amounted to nearly 190 years. 

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