As a consequence of re-reading Tomlinson's Presidential Address to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers KPJ decided that the steamindex biography of James Fenton was woefully inadequate. It is hoped that this is better: it is based on Marshall (reproduced in full) together with another Jamed Fenton (born 1754) listed by Marshall whose relationship with the James born in 1815 has yet to be established, and Grace's Guide off the Internet plus what Joseph Tomlinson had to say in 1890
Born on 29 August at Dunkenny in Forfarshire; died at Leamington on 22 April 1863. On leaving Glasgow University he was apprenticed to James Cook & Co, Glasgow, as a mechanical engineer. He also received training as a civil engineer under William Blackadder of Glamis (l789-1860). In June1837 he worked as an assistant engineer on the GWR under Brunel. On 3 August 1840 he was appointed locomotive superintendent on the Manchester & Leeds Railway. On 9 November 1842 John Chester Craven was appointed locomotive foreman under Fenton. On 20 January1845 Fenton resigned to become acting engineer on the Leeds & Thirsk Railway but in July 1846 he took up a new appointment as manager of the works of E.B Wilson & Co at the Railway Foundry, Leeds. Fenton was joined by Craven and the name of the firm became Fenton, Craven & Co. Here he worked with David Joy on the design and construction of the famous Jenny Lind class 2-2-2 locomotive, noted for its simplidty of construction and steadiness at high speed. In December 1847 Craven left to become locomotive, carriage & wagon superintendent on the LBSCR at Brighton. Fenton also built and launched one of the largest landing stages in Britain at New Holland on the Humber for the ferry across to Hull. In 1851 he left the Railway Foundry to become a consulting engineer at the Low Moor Iron Co. where he remained until his early death at Learnington following a visit to London where he caught a severe cold. He became MIME in 1847, the year the Institution was founded. He presented a paper to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1856 on safety valves
Born 1754; died Hampstead 13 January 1834 aged 79. In 1797 he joined Matthew Murray and David Wood who had formed a firm in 1795 to build steam engines. and who had just established a works at the Round Foundry. Water Lane. Holbeck, Leeds. The name of the firm became Fenton, Murray & Wood. Fenton was the finandal partner and he superintended the book keeping. Their first locomotives were built in 1812 and 1813 for the Middleton Colliery Railway near Leeds. They were propelled by a toothed wheel engaging in a rack cast on the left side of the rails. After the death of Murray in 1826 the firm became Fenton. Murray & Jackson, Fenton was not primarily concerned with the design and construction of engines. [KPJ words which follow are what John Marshall stated]. He is included here to avoid confusion with the later Jarnes Fenton, (this web-page). As he would have been aged 61 in 1815 it is doubtful, although possible, that he was father of the latter, although he could have had a younger brother who was. See also item in Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 1930, 11, 164.