William Lucy and Eagle Ironworks, Oxford

Lucey and Lucy Family History Web Site

William Lucy and Eagle Ironworks, Oxford

Logo of Lucy of Oxford

William Carter was an Oxford ironmonger, brazier and tinplater who opened his first shop in the High Street of Oxford in 1812. An early catalogue claims the firm was established in 1760, but the first business records date from 1812. He manufactured agricultural implements in local workshops before setting up his brass and iron foundry in Summertown, which in 1825 he moved to the side of the new canal in Oxford, providing improved transport for raw materials and his finished products. The company specialized in finished cast iron components such as pipes, lamp posts, ovens and fire baskets, plus ornamental ironwork for gates, railings, verandas and balconies.

When William Grafton became a partner they commenced the manufacture of printing machinery. Five years later, in 1830 Carter moved to the Eagle Foundry in Leamington, leaving the business to his three partners, Grafton, Baker and Briggs, and the factory became the Eagle Ironworks in 1838. The ironworks was located on Walton Well Road, at the northern end of Walton Street and backed onto St Sepulchre's Cemetery. On Grafton's death in 1861 his partner, William Lucy, took control and on Lucy's death in 1873 the name Lucy's was adopted for the company and their products. William Lucy (b. 30 October 1837) was the son of William Castle Lucy and Susannah Browne.

During the 1870's and 80's Lucy's prospered providing ornamental and structural ironwork for the expanding suburbs of Oxford. In 1879 Lucy's was taken over via a joint stock company operated by Charles Kelly and partners and production changed to electrical engineering and stainless steel components. This included a library stacking system, electric lighting (including arc lamps) and castings for heavy steam rollers.

During both World Wars Lucy's production was changed to munitions. During the 1930's they reverted back to electrical engineering and switch gear.

The Eagle ironfoundary site was always restricted in size, despite it being extended. Adjacent residential properties constructed in the 1960's began to restrict their commercial activities. In 2002 the foundary was closed and the site redeveloped with apartments. Lucy products are still manufactured, although the company is now based in Dubai.

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This page created on 14th March 2009 as part of the
Lucey & Lucy Family History Website

Published by Norman Lucey
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