WARRELL, Two Waters, Paper maker, early 19th Century

December, 2003


Subject Index

Paper Making

Apsley, Hemel Hempstead

Ted Cooper (tcooper @t sd47.bc.ca) of Powell River, British Colombia, Canada writes that his mother was the daughter of Walter Warrell, a well known paper maker in Britain, in the 1930 - 1940s, who was in turn a direct descendant of  Marchant Warrell. He notes the brief information given on the web page for The Book of Boxmoor and wants to know more.

The Book of Boxmoor is a useful introduction to Boxmoor, and if you want a copy you should follow the guidelines on the secondhand book web page. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that a copy will be available at any particular time. You could also keep an eye open for a copy of the book to appear on ebay or employ a book-finding agency. 

However the information in The Book of Boxmoor, including the picture, is taken from the first edition of a booklet The Early History of Machine Paper-Making which was reissued in a significantly improved form in 2003, and which is still in print. This booklet is essential reading for anyone interested in the early days of the Fourdrinier papermaking machines. It contains the following information on Marchant Warrell:

The paper machine produced a new artisan, the paper-machineman. By family tradition Marchant Warrell holds the title of the world's first paper-machineman. He served an apprenticeship at Frogmore Mill in hand paper-making and later at Two Waters, and is said to have tended the machine installed there in 1805. It can only be assumed he was also involved with the two machines erected at Frogmore Mill. He lived and brought up his family in an "old world timbered brick house on Boxmoor". Marchant Warrell's son Charles was a paper-maker and started work at Two Waters, aged about eight years, and in turn his son Charles commenced paper-making at John Dickinson's Apsley Mill when he was nine years old. Other descendants were in the paper and printing industries.

It is of interest to note that H I (J?) Warrell, who was the manager of John Dickinson's Engineering Department at Apsley Mills (retired in 1964) had a family link with Marchant Warrell. He provided the photograph of a painting of Marchant.

It is on record that the hand paper-makers from mills in the Chess valley reacted against the introduction of machines and were going to make an attempt to destroy the machinery at Two Waters Mill. As a precaution windows were shuttered and carboys of vitriol placed on the roof ready to pour on possible vandals. Apparently the incident passed off without interfering with production. Marchant Warrell was given the credit for keeping the machines running. Be that as it may, it is perhaps relevant that Donkin supplied a paper-machine to Richard Elliot of Chesham in 1810.

There is still a working Fourdrinier machine at Apsley, and is part of "The Paper Trail". At the time of writing the project does not have its own web site but [... see below ...]

[As several members of the Warrell family worked at John Dickinsons you may find the book The Endless Web interesting - three members of the Warrell family are listed in the index. I happen to know that second hand copies of this book are often available.]

April 2004

Paul Warrell (pa_radley @t yahoo.co.uk) writes: You have mentioned the fact that there were other members of the Warrell family (descendants of the 2 Charles') who also worked for Dickinsons.  The records we have, show that they were - Walter C Warrell and Frederick C Warrell, Grandson and Great grandson to the early Marchant Warrell. We also have it on good authority that Two Waters was the scene of riots from neighbouring mills and that numerous attempts were made at it's destruction. The early Marchant has another son (Reuben) who, like Charles also led his family into an era of papermaking.

Ted Cooper (tcooper @t sd47.bc.ca) adds: My mother, Beatrice Emily May Warrell, was Walter C. Warrell's daughter and sister of Fred.  My father and Walter worked in the same papermill & dad married his daughter.  I followed in the "trade" and have been retired for some years.

The photo of Marchant that appeared in a trade journal was taken from a painting which is now in Australia.  I have negatives of same.

June, 2004

Matt Wheeler of the Dacorum Heritage Trust writes: I was interested to read the correspondence on Marchant Warrell. Two Warrells are featured in back copies of "Dickinsons News" - Miss LM Warell in 1950, issue 12 - retiring from Home Park Mills; HI Warrell in 1964, issue No.39 - retiring as an engineer.

January, 2007

Mary Thomas (mary.thomas2 @t tesco.net) writes: I am the great great great grand daughter of Marchant Warrell and have heaps of information about him, his (probable parents) and descendents including all his children, and his brother's family. The original oil painting of Marchant Warrell, painted about 1810, is with my cousin, Ian Warrell in Australia.  I also know that Marchant Warrell worked in France for the Fourdriniers before coming to Two Waters to work the first machine in this country.

Frederick David Warrell (David.chestnuts @t blueyonder.co.uk) writes: I am the grandson of Walter Warrell and of course son of Fred. I also worked in the industry and retired as Technical Director of Smurfit Townsend Hook at Snodland Kent in 2001. I also have a print of the picture of Marchant and some hand made sheets of paper with the watermark of this picture and underneath dated 1810.I suppose I was the last of the Warrell's to be in the industry and as I have only daughters, the name will not go on in the trade.

It is interesting to note that there is now a web site for The Paper Trail at Apsley, which is keeping a old Fouridrinier paper making machine in operation in a historical context.

February, 2007

Rosanne Webster (rosanne_webster @t hotmail.com) of Hornsby Heights, NSW, Australia writes: My father is Laurence Marchant Young born in Watford in 1921. His parents were Charles James Young and Rose Ellen Warrell. His maternal grandparents were Marchant Warrell and Elizabeth Garmonsway. We know there is a link with Marchant Warrell (the world's first paper-machineman) but are not sure what the link is. My father speaks of an Uncle Reuben and an Uncle Harry but is not sure if these were his great-uncles or great-great-uncles. We would be grateful if you could supply the link between my great grandfather, Marchant Warrell and the Marchant Warrell who was the first paper-machinist. All of our current information is from family sources.

There seem to be so many people interested in the family it should be possible to exchange information and get a comprehensive family tree together, I will be interested to see how you all get on.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Page updated February 2007