James Platt

Find out more about James and his family

JAMES   PLATT  OF GLOUCESTER.  JP   (1834 – 1897)

Member of Institute of Mechanical Engineers (M.I.Mech E.)

(co-founder of Fielding & Platt).

His father was John Platt (1806-1876) – born in Saddleworth, Yorkshire.

Married Elizabeth Waddington on the 14/08/1867 in Denton, Lancashire.

Elizabeth came from Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire.

James & Elizabeth came to Gloucester in 1859, where he acquired a job as a works manager at Savory & Sons, (which later became Fielding & Platt).

They had seven children: –

Ann Platt (4 Sept 1861 – 26 Sept 1861)

John Platt (1 June 1864 – 27 April 1942)

Kate Platt (6 June 1866 – 13 Oct 1940)

Francis James Platt (25 Feb 1869 – 1 Dec 1924)

Edward Platt (22 Apr 1872 – 21 May 1946) (also known as Paul Trent)

Frederick Waddington Platt (1 Dec 187* – 2nd Sep 1918)

Ralph Platt (12 Dec 1876 – 20 Dec 1960)

Samuel Fielding & James Platt started their business on 16th November 1866.

The 1871 Census states that James, Elizabeth, John (aged 6) & Francis (aged 2) were living at No. 2 Somerset Villa (there is no mention of Kate).

The 1881 Census states that James, Elizabeth, John, Kate, Edward, Frederick & Ralph, along with an 8 year old niece (Ada Platt) were now living at 45 Sudbrook House.  It also states that James Platt was an Engineer in an Iron Foundry & employs 240 men & 55 boys.

The 1891 Census shows all six children living at home  & that John was now a mechanical engineer, whilst Francis was a mechanical engineering draughtsman.

Edward was an articled clerk to a solicitor (law) with Frederick (16)  Ralph (14) both still at school.

It also states that a Leonard C Seawill was a visitor to the house & was a student of Engineering from Swanage, in Dorset.

James Platt died 29 December 1897, at Somerset House in Southgate Street.

He was interred at Tredworth Road cemetery, with his wife, two sons & one daughter–in-law.

Elizabeth, his wife, died 21 Jan 1906, age 71.

In his will he left all household belongings, including his clothes, to his wife along with the house, plus £250.

He bequeaths to his six children one hundred shares each in Fielding & Platt.

To his nephew Hervey Platt, he left 5 shares.

The rest of his shares to his wife and friends.

Oswald William Ellis of Newcastle upon Tyne (engineer) and Alfred Slater – manager of Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Works became trustees.

His estate was valued at £9,273-3s-6d.

In Sept 1901,  Francis Platt became a director of Fielding & Platt, where he remained for 2 years, whereupon having resigned, he went to The Dudbridge Iron Works, & in 1905 became Managing Director.

He married Lily E Aldridge of Sunny croft, Tuffley, daughter of George Aldridge on 11 Oct 1892 at the Southgate Congregational Church.

The 1911 Census states they have four children: –

Marjorie Lily   (aged 13)

Winifred Francis   (aged 4)

Ronald James    (aged 2)

Kathleen Laura (aged 6 months)

John Platt, the eldest son, went to the West Indies for the firm of Messrs Savoury & Son, Engineers.

He died age 77 on 27 May 1942, at 47 Parkend Road.

Kate Platt, it appears, was single & living at 13 Cowley Street, Westminster in 1908, & had the initials M.B to her name.

Her mother, Elizabeth spent the last 4 months of her life living with her. Elizabeth had become an invalid the last 8 years prior to her death & died of bronchitis, she was brought back to Gloucester by train and was interred with her husband at Gloucester Cemetery.

Ralph Earnest Platt was educated at Malvern College, commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1893, served in the Boer War and Great War of 1914 – 1918; resigned commission in 1920 after serving 27 years. Appointed a Lt. Colonel; served in the Home Guard 1940 – 1945.

Married at St Margaret’s Westminster in 1907 to Harriet Wilmot Leverich, daughter of James Henry Leverich, stockbroker of New York.

Died 20 December 1960.

Comments about this page

  • David Brown wrote in to fieldingandplatthistory@gmail.com on the 17th August 2020 the following, part of which is reprinted here: –

    “Thank you for putting together the site about Fielding and Platt. It is very interesting. James Platt’s younger brother, Owen, (1844 – 1925) was my great grandfather. It was his second daughter, Ada, who was lodging with the family in Gloucester in 1881. Owen’s first daughter, Annie, and Ada were both born in Gloucester in 1871 and 1873.

    There is a slight error on the site where you say James’s father was Charles Platt. It was in fact John Platt (1806 – 1876) – born in Saddleworth, Yorkshire. The evidence is included in the Graces Guide page about James, where there are two or three references to his father John.

    James features in the 1841 (Halifax) census and 1851 (Manchester) census where he is mentioned as a Draughtsman. Also, note James was born in 1834 not 1837.

    Owen moved to Gloucester in 1871, shortly after he was married in Halifax. I am trying to find out whether his older brother gave him a job at Fielding and Platt. By 1881 Owen and his family had moved to Melksham where he became Foreman at Spencers Foundry. Another brother, George (b. 1846) also was living in Gloucester in 1881. He lived in Vulcan Terrace and was a Mechanical Engineer Foreman. Again, I presume James had given him a job?? but I have no evidence. George later moved to Reading and was Foreman at a pumping station and gas works.

    There were six other brothers, all of whom were engineers of one form or another.

    Do let me know if you have any information about Owen or George working for Fielding and Platt in 1870 – 1885??

    Many thanks, David Brown”

    Ed: David, many thanks for the information. Hopefully, corrections have now been made where necessary. John B

    By John Bancroft (18/08/2020)

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