The History of Molineaux & Webb
This site is a result of two family history researchers discovering that the Webbs in their family tree led back to those who were involved with the setting up the Manchester glass company that eventually became known as Molineaux, Webb & Co. Manchester Flint Glass Works. The information on this site is an expanded version of a presentation given to family members, and deals primarily with the business history of the firm and the people behind it. Further sections have been added on the glass items produced by the company.
All the families behind Molineaux & Webb had roots in the Warrington glass industry. In the 1820s, a number of Warrington glassmen moved to the Ancoats area of Manchester to set up new glass businesses. The company eventually known as Molineaux & Webb opened in 1827, at Kirby Street, Ancoats. The founders were William Maginnis, Thomas Molineaux, Boulton Molineaux, Owen Ellis and Thomas Webb. The partnership spilt in 1831 and after several changes of name and leadership the company was controlled by the Webb family from the 1860s. The company continued until its liquidation in 1929, and passed out of the hands of the Webbs soon afterwards. Thomas Percival, one of the founders of Ancoats glass firm Percival & Vickers, was the nephew of Thomas Webb. There is no family link to the Webbs active in the Stourbridge glass industry.
Company history in ten chapters
A summary of the history section of this website was translated into German in February 2009 by pressglas-korrespondenz - available here
Quick reference showing the important events in the company history
Biographies of the principal names connected to the story of Molineaux & Webb
See how the Warrington glass manufacturers stuck together to the end with the monuments of the Molineaux, Webb, Ellis, Percival and Woolfall families.
Images taken at the Manchester General Cemetery.
A comprehensive list of designs registered by Manchester glass companies
(includes photos and links to images where available)
A discussion of the Molineaux & Webb pattern book covering company designs from approximately 1830 to 1870
Images from our Manchester pressed glass collection
Images from our collection of other Manchester pieces
Contact us / site update information / Copyright Statement
Molineaux & Webb was located on the south side of Kirby Street, Ancoats. It also occupied some locations on Canal Street, adjoining the west end of Kirby Street, and Mill Street, adjoining the east end of Kirby Street. Unfortunately all these roads have since either disappeared or have been renamed after 1970s redevelopment. At present, Google Maps displays the situation circa 2005, after which the whole area was flattened again for further rebuilding. On the Google Map, Canal Street has been renamed Winder Drive. Kirby Street has been renamed Cardroom Road (the part which runs parallel and below Weybridge Road.) Mill Street has been renamed Old Mill Street. Once remodelling of this part of Ancoats is completed, only Old Mill Street is likely to survive in any form. The map peg currently shows the junction of Old Mill Street and Cardroom Road (Kirby Street).
Greek Key pattern on a Molineaux & Webb item