Clayton & Shuttleworth

Clayton & Shuttleworth was an engineering company located at Stamp End Works, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. The company was established in 1842 when Nathaniel Clayton (1811–1890) formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Joseph Shuttleworth (1819–83).


Clayton & Shuttleworth traction engine

Steam engines

In 1845 the company built its first portable steam engine, and in 1849 their first threshing machine. These products became the mainstay of its business. Clayton & Shuttleworth became one of the leading manufacturers in the country at the time. It supplied steam engines and threshing machines to other manufacturers, as well as selling under its own name. In 1851 it sold more than 200 steam engines, boosted by the Great Exhibition. By 1857 it had made a total of 2,400 steam engines, and by 1890 total output had reached 26,000 steam engines and 24,000 threshing machines.


In 1870 the company's workforce in Lincoln was 1,200. The export trade was important to the firm. A branch in Vienna (Austria) was established early on, and other branches followed at Pest (Hungary), Prague (now Czech republic), Cracow (Poland) and Lemberg (now Ukraine). The firm became a limited company in 1901, and Alfred Shuttleworth (1843–1925), son of the founder, became chairman.

Internal combustion engines

1916 Clayton & Shuttleworth tractor

For a short time in the 20th century Clayton & Shuttleworth made tractors. In 1911 it built a four-cylinder oil engine with car-type radiator, sheet metal bonnet and cab roof. This was followed in 1916 by a four-cylinder gas-kerosene engine crawler tractor ("Chain Rail"). This 40 horsepower (30 kW) machine was made until 1929. The company also built a 100 hp (75 kW) gun tractor similar to a Holt tractor. It was the first British company to make a combine harvester.


A Clayton & Shuttleworth-built Sopwith Camel on display at the Musée Royal de l'Armée et de l'Histoire Militaire in Belgium

In 1916 the company made parts for the Supermarine Scout airship for the Admiralty and during the First World War received a number of contracts to build aircraft for both the War Office and Admiralty.[1] The first contract was to build the Sopwith Triplane, although the War Office cancelled the contract, 49 were built for the Royal Naval Air Service with the first Clayton-built aircraft delivered on the 2 December 1916.[1][2] The company built the aircraft in the eastern end of the Titanic works from where they were pushed outside for engine runs, following ground tests the aircraft were dismantled and taken to Robey's Aerodrome at Bracebridge Heath for test flying and delivery.[3]

In March 1917 the company received a contract to build the Sopwith Camel which remained in production at Clayton's until 1919 when more than 500 aircraft had been built.[4] In 1916 a new works was built to enable the company to build the large Handley Page O/400 bomber.[4] When completed the aircraft unlike the smaller Sopwith aircraft were flown out for testing and delivery from a field to the east of the works, the field became known as Handley Page Field.[4] After production of the O/400 a contract was placed to build the Vickers Vimy but only one was built before the Armistice and the contract was cancelled.[5]

Red Baron

One of the most notable aircraft built by Clayton & Shuttleworth was Sopwith Camel B7270 flown by Canadian pilot Roy Brown and officially credited with shooting down the Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen.[6] The company issued a souvenir leaflet after the war to celebrate the success.[6] Modern research indicates that Brown may not have fired the fatal shot.

Aircraft built


1863 Clayton & Shuttleworth horizontal steam engine, installed at a sawmill at Englefield, Berkshire since 1900

The company failed in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and were taken over by Marshall, Sons & Co. of Gainsborough, for its combine harvester technology. The Hungarian branch was acquired by Hofherr-Schrantz Machine Factory in 1912 creating Hofherr-Schrantz-Clayton-Shuttleworth Hungarian Machine Factory. The company survived the Great Depression in Hungary and the Second World War. After the war the Soviet Red Army occupied Hungary, and the newly formed Communist government started nationalising the industry. The factory became state property in 1948 and was renamed to Vörös Csillag Traktorgyár (Red Star Tractor Factory) in 1951. Its independent operation ceased in 1973 when it was attached to Rába. The factory was finally closed in 2010, however many of the hundred-year-old buildings are still in use by smaller companies.[7]



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