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Dales Organ Builder John William Lupton Retires

The following is a transcript of an article which appeared in the Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard, Yorkshire, UK in 1921.

The residents of Linton have learned with regret of the intention of Mr. J. W. Lupton, the well known Upper - Wharfedale organ builder, to remove from the village and take up residence at Longpreston where his eldest son - chauffeur to Mr Walter Morrison, of Malham Tarn resides. Seventy four years of age, Mr. Lupton has lived at Linton for thirty - three years and in the course of his business he has undertaken work of various kinds for many patrons in the district. Although Mr. Lupton's removal will be in the nature of a retirement he will still, when nescessary, give attention to the organs in various parts of the Craven dales.
During the past thirty-three years, Mr.Lupton has built organs for the following churches:
St. Peter's Church, Keighley (three manuals, 46 stops, 2000 pipes); Slack Lane Baptist
Church, near Keighley (three manuals, 36 stops); Higher Broughton Wesleyan Church,
Manchester (three manuals, 28 stops); Skelmanthorpe Wesleyan Church, Huddersfield
(two manuals, 28 stops); St Thomas's Church, Barrowford (three manuals, 36 stops);
Inghamite Church, Wheatley Lane, near Burnley(two manuals 16 stops); West Lane
Primitive Methodist, Keighley (two manuals, 20 stops); Hermit Hole Wesleyan Church,
Keighley (two manuals, 18 stops); Independent Church, Colne (2 manuals, 20 stops)
Linton Parish Church (two manuals, 22 stops)

For a few years between 1877 and 1882 JW operated in partnership, trading as Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders (their advert is posted on a previous journal) and later as Murgtroyd, Driver and Lupton, advert below.

Does anyone have any information regarding any of the above?


Claude Horace Brigg in 1920 U.S. (Indiana) Census, age 37

CLAUDE HORACE BRIGG born 1883 Bradford, Yorkshire, UK.

Son of THOMAS HARGREAVES BRIGG born, 1852 Keighley,Yorkshire, UK., Claude immigrated to the USA in 1904 along with his younger brother ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG born 1886 Bradford, Yorkshire UK.

He took U.S. citizenship and married FLORANCE L.BROWN in 1912 and they had daughter WALDENE E. in 1913. I assume Florance died as he married Aldora in 1913. The 1920 U.S. Census shows Claude, Aldora and Waldene living as a family in Marion Indiana.

The only other information I have regarding Horace is a WW2 draft card from 1942, aged 59, cannot believe he would have been drafted. His given address is 421+1/2 Madison Ave, Indpls, Marion, Indiana.

Brother KENNETH BRIGG, 1339 Longshore Ave, Philadelphia, Pa., is named as a witness to his address, otherwise I have no more information.

ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG died in Wyncote, Montgomery in 1972 aged 86.

Does anyone have any information about any of these people ?

T.H. Brigg - Engineer and Inventor

Born 1852 Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK. Died 18 Aug 1928 South Fulham, London, UK.

Around 1890 Thomas Hargreaves Brigg owned an established Iron Founders and Machine Making business based in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK. He also had a passion for mechanics in particular as applied to Horse Drawn Traction.

Between 1877 and 1924 Thomas Hargeaves Briggs patent applications numbered dozens, possibly hundreds in the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Canada and the USA. The patents, mainly inventions involving textile machinery and horse drawn traction but also included steam locomotion and domestic appliances.

During this period he had many places of residence, several in London including one on Harley Street and one in New York on Broadway. He lived his last years at 14 Colehill Gardens, Fulham, London, where he died of cerebral apoplexy, heart block and chronic mylocarditis on the 18 August 1928. The death certificate shows his occupation as formally Civil Engineer, possibly indicating had been ill for some time prior to death. Present at his death was one J.E.M Woodward of the same address, who was he or she.

In 1894 He set off to the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago. En-route to the exhibition he conducted a lecture tour of London and Chicago. Mainly aimed at the military and civil services the lectures explained the mechanics and advantages of his Briggs Easy Handling and improved Plywel Pole Head traction device for horse drawn carriages.

He won awards at the Chicago exhibition and at least two Royal Agricultural Shows in the UK including Royal approval from the Prince of Wales whose carriages were apparently fitted with his device.

Thomas returned several times to the US and once again as an exhibitor at the 1904 St Louis Worlds Exposition.

In his absence TH Brigg & Co, Bradford was run by younger brother William (my great grandfather)

Below is an advert from the Bradford Postal Directory for his improved pole head.

I would be very interested in hearing from anyone with any information on the above.


TH Brigg & Co (Iron Founders) 1883

TH Brigg & Co (Iron Founders) was established about 1883 At Westholme Works, Westholme Street, Thornton Road, Bradford, Yorkshire, UK.

The company flourished for about 50 years under the management of Thomas Hargreaves Brigg and younger brother William. Specialising in the manufacture of textile machinery the brothers appear to have made a tidy living based on the success of the curiously entitled "Briggs Improved Letting Off Motion". An advert from the 1883 Bradfod Postal Dirctory is pictured below.

William died in 1930, I don't know about Thomas but without their leadership and the UK heading into recession, the company failed sometime in the 30s.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone with any knowledge of this company.


John William Lupton born 1848, Grassington, UK.- Organ Builder

JOHN WILLIAM LUPTON born 1848, son of JACOB LUPTON born 1825, was descended from a long line of lead miners from the Grassington,Hebden and Linton areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.

As a boy John too worked at the mine but opted to follow a career as a cabinet maker(good choice)and possibly served his apprenticeship in Bradford.

According to the UK Census of 1881, JWL was married and living in Keighley, West Yorkshire and a partner in "Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders". By 1891 he was back living in Grassington still working as an organ builder and piano tuner. The latter is particularly odd because he was virtually deaf (I know so was Beethoven).

According to an article in the Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard, JWL retired in 1920 and went to live with his eldest son WILLIAM HENRY LUPTON in Long Preston. William Henry was groom and chauffeur to the famous philanthropist, Sir Walter Morrison of Malham Tarn House.

John had two other sons; FREDERICK LUPTON who was postmaster/postman at Burnsall, Yorkshire and HERBERT LUPTON, my grandfather who was a groomsman on a country estate near Manchester (that's hard to imagine now).

Another article from the Craven Herald in 1930, reported John's death at the age of 82, at High Parrock Farm, Barrowford, Colne, Lancashire.

If anyone has any links or information to this line I would be very interested to hear from them.


JW worked in partnership for a few years while based in Keighey, Wesy Yorkshire. Below is an advert from the 1878 Craven Directory for Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders

Regards, Tony Brigg


Frederick Algernon Brigg born 1882

Am trying to establish links to my ancestry who I believe to have links to Cook County and Philadelphia.

FREDERICK ALGERNON BRIGG was born 1882 in Bradford,Yorkshire, England. My only positive link to Cook is a WW1 draft card from 1912 on www.ancestry.com which I am unable to read with any certainty. I presume since he was drafted, he settled in the US as did his brothers CLAUDE HORACE and ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG.

Both Claude and Alfred took US citizenship and wives and lived in Indiana and Philadelphia respectively. Alfred died and was buried in Wyncote, Montgomery in 1972 aged 86, Claude, who knows?

Father THOMAS HARGREAVES BRIGG had a long standing relationship with the US as a businessman and exhibitor at the 1894 and 1904 Worlds Expositions in Chicago and St Louis. Thomas also conducted lectures on Mechanics and Horse Traction which are documented in 8 articles from the Chicago Tribune. One article covered in detail, his hilarious public denouncement of the Great Gaza, a female strongman act and a $1000 wager by her manager Mr. T Hall. This event was also covered in an article in the New Orleans Daily Picayune on 10 March 1984.

Thomas Hargreaves Brigg was born in 1852, Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK, married twice, initially to Annie Amelia Clelland (mother of Thomas's children)then following Annies's death to Gretchen Lehmann in 1904. He died in London on 18 Aug. 1928.

If anyone has any knowledge of any of the above I would be very grateful to hear from them.

Regards, Tony Brigg, England.