Access to all post-1945 material is permitted only with the written permission of the owner
Immediate source of acquisition:
Deposited April 1990
Cranstone family of Hemel Hempstead, Herts
Administrative / biographical background:
Joseph Cranstone (1747-1811) left Horsham in Sussex with his wife Sarah and young family in 1798 and set up an ironmongery business at 25, High Street Hemel Hempstead. After his father's death in 1798 Joseph junior (1794-1878) studied engineering. He then not only took over the family business in 1818 but he extended it by establishing an iron foundry on the land at the back of the shop. Later known as the Phoenix works the iron foundry featured at many trade fairs.
In 1835 Joseph built and owned the town's first gas works in Bury Road. He also formed the Volunteer Fire brigade in 1845 and was the Superindentent for 35 years. Joseph married Maria Lefevre in 1819. Joseph and Maria had 15 children, the second of which Lefevre James (born 1822) became an artist.
When Joseph retired he was succeeded in the business by William Henry (1841-1913), his fourteenth child. In the 1890s William Henry acquired Summerling and Company, a kitchen utensil manufacturer. He married Martha Haughton in 1865 in Ireland. William Henry was also an officer of the Fire Brigade. In 1906 the Cranstone Engineering Works were taken over by Summerling and Company which was itself liquidated in 1984. The Phoenix Works was incorporated into the Hemel Hempstead Engineering Works.
Edgar Arnold Cranstone (1879-1948), the son of William Henry and Martha, married Clarice Edith Impey in 1909. They lived in Birmingham for many years. Their son was Bryan Allan Lefevre Cranstone (1918-1989) who was the father of David Cranstone