MAIN SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Much of the information about Henry Cort given in history books is based on nineteenth-century accounts, which are sparse and unreliable.
Since then new information has been unearthed, mainly by Mott and Eric Alexander. A limited amount has been obtained from the International Genealogy Index (IGI), a compilation by the Mormon church that has attempted, with limited success, to copy all parish records of marriages and baptisms.
The online version of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography contains a limited amount of the most recently discovered material.
Among a host of useful contemporary documents, three stand out.
The earliest is the 1790 Watson-Dundas memorandum in the National Archives of Scotland (GD51/2/10/2). It covers the period 1772-89, focusing on financial detail.
Second is Cort's 1796 affidavit, among chancery files at the UK’s National Archives (PRO, C12/218/5), which refers to his business affairs over the period 1761-90.
Third is the Weale collection in the Science Museum Library (MS371/1-4). Most comprehensive, but unreliable: an appraisal is given in Transactions of the Newcomen Society 75, pp 341-358.
Mr Cort's compliments to Mr Weale He'd be happy to see him on Wednesday at a quarter before 5 o'clock to meet Mr Routh a Partner in Mr Crawshay's House - Mr R has promised to get the Returns for Mr Weale from 1795 but does not think he shall be able to procure them from the year 1780. Mr C will thank Mr Weale to put in his Pocket the Paper respecting Mr Cort's Father's Affairs when he favours him with his Company - & if he has done with it
21 Mount Road
near the Marsh Gate Turnpike
Letter of Coningsby Cort, circa January 1808, in Weale collection.
The National Archives, Kew
the Public Record Office (PRO)
an expression I got into
the habit of using
Pedestrian entrance gate
National Archives, Kew
Wrought steel by Alan Evans, 1996
The notches are a historical reference to tally sticks,
Once used to notify taxpayers of their liabilities.
When there was no further use for them, Parliament had them
Burnt. Unfortunately the fire got out of control, and most
Of the Palace of Westminster was burned down.