- Huntingdon Beaumont - c1560 to 1624
- Shorter biography page (Page last updated 15 July 2009)
Public domain release - The text of this short biography of Huntingdon Beaumont has been released into the public domain via Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (For details see GNU Licence text) All other material on this page, the design of the Site, text, photographs and other graphic material elsewhere remains in copyright and is not so released unless specifically endorsed as such.
Huntingdon Beaumont was the youngest of four sons born to Sir Nicholas Beaumont and his wife Ann (Saunders). They were an aristocratic family in the English East Midlands. There were several branches to the Beaumont dynasty and this was the one based at Coleorton in Leicestershire. He was therefore of gentleman status in the formal Elizabethan sense.
The family owned coal bearing lands and worked them. Huntingdon was involved in this coal working and eventually in the late 1500s during the reign of Elizabeth 1 he began working in his own right in the Nottingham area. During his partnership with Sir Percival Willoughby, Lord of the Wollaton Manor, in 1603-4 he constructed the Wollaton Waggonway / Wagonway which was, we currently believe to be the world's first. He can therefore be credited with the title of the "Great Grandfather of railways". He had also worked in the Wollaton and Lenton areas previously and Crow Wood on the map was one of those earlier areas of working.
Huntingdon Beaumont was a successful finder of coal and an innovator in the development of mining techniques. A key innovation currently attributed to him is the introduction of boring rods to assist in finding coal without sinking a shaft. He also built the first waggonway / wagonway which is why he features on this Site. His working life covered involvement in coal mining activities in Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northumberland. His coal mining and waggonway activities in the early 1600s near Blythe in Northumberland were, like most of his ventures, unprofitable. However the boring rod and waggonway technology he took with him was implemented by others to significant effect. The waggonway evolutionary chain he started in the English north east was to later encompass George Stephenson and change the world forever.
Regrettably Huntingdon Beaumont was not a successful businessman. He lost his several family members considerable sums of money and died in Nottingham Gaol in 1624 having been imprisoned for debt.
Additional Beaumont ResourcesAuthor(s)Link
ContentJohn NewBibliography / prosopography of items relating to the Beamont family.John NewExpanded version of this biography with an outline of Huntingdon Beaumont's family tree as it is currently known. This is not released into the public domain.Wikipedia contributors (page originally authored by John New)A short public domain biography of Huntingdon Beaumont in Wikipedia.John New
John New (NB On external webSite - link repaired 4 Feb '06 and last rechecked 19 March 2007)A web based overview of the Wollaton wagonway ( or Wagonway) and its builder, Huntingdon Beaumont.John New400 years of English railways - Huntingdon Beaumont and the early years. Pendragon PublishingComprehensive article in Backtrack Magazine (Vol 18 No 11 - November 2004) about the Wollaton Waggonway (or Wagonway) and its builder Huntington Beaumont. Also referred to occasionally as the Strelley Tramway.WebSite Site coordinatorUpdates to Waggonway (Wagonway) Research Circle webSite.