Sir Joseph Verdin, 1st Baronet

Sir Joseph Verdin
Born Joseph Verdin
4 January 1838
Witton, Northwich, Cheshire
Died 28 December 1920
Garnstone Castle, Weobley, Herefordshire
Occupation Salt industrialist
Title Baronet
Spouse(s) Unmarried
Parent(s) Joseph Verdin

Sir Joseph Verdin, 1st Baronet (4 January 1838 - 28 December 1920) was a British salt industrialist, benefactor and the Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and County Alderman for the County of Cheshire. He was elevated to the Baronetage on 24 July 1896 and knighted in 1897. He later became Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire and High Sheriff in 1903.[1][2]


Joseph Verdin (later Sir Joseph Verdin) was born in Witton, Northwich, Cheshire on 4 January 1838 and lived at The Brockhurst; a Regency house in spacious grounds at Leftwich, Northwich, Cheshire with his brother Robert and sister Mary. He was a prominent figure in Northwich's affairs and was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant and County Alderman for the County of Cheshire. He was elevated to the Baronetage on 24 July 1896 and knighted in 1897. When the Salt Union was formed in 1888 resulted in an end to his family salt business. Joseph continued to live in Cheshire for a while but brought Garnstone Castle in Weobley, Herefordshire and eventually moved there with his sister Mary in 1900. He then became a Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire and High Sheriff in 1903. He was unmarried like his brother Robert and died at Garnstone Castle on 28 December 1920.[1][3]

Sir Joseph Verdin and his brothers, Robert and William ran a family salt business known as Joseph Verdin & Sons (formerly Joseph and Richard Verdin), co-founded by their father, Joseph and his brother, Richard. They owned six salt plants in various locations throughout Cheshire, including Marston, Witton, Moulton, Over, Wharton and Middlewich. They employed over 1,000 people and produced approximately 353,000 tons of salt annually; it was the largest salt manufacturer in the United Kingdom by 1881. Having few descendants, they used their wealth to benefit the local community; they gave the Institute in Moulton which "provided facilities for the education of their workforce", the Victoria Infirmary (presented by Robert) and Verdin Park in Northwich. In Winsford, they provided the Albert Infirmary (formerly Highfield House, the home of The Verdin Family) which was presented by William and the first public swimming baths known as Verdin Baths; built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887 and was funded by Joseph and William.[4][1][5]

During the 1880s, salt production was thriving, but due to the increased pumping of brine from beneath the ground led to huge problems of subsidence, particularly in Winsford and Northwich. Fields sank, roads cracked and houses slipped leading to costly repairs. People whose property was affected sought compensation, but the difficulty arose in identifying who was to blame, as pumping can affect an area several miles away.

In 1889, The Verdin Trust was established by Sir Joseph Verdin to compensate people for subsidence caused by brine pumping. However, in 1891 the Brine Pumping (Compensation for Subsidence) Act was introduced to provide compensation for owners of property, thereby rendering the Trust redundant. As a result, Joseph decided to use the money in other ways which includes the construction and development of the Verdin Technical Schools in Winsford and Northwich - the one in Winsford which is known as Verdin Technical School (later closed and developed into the present The Winsford Academy) was a prototype for a second and larger one in Northwich, that eventually opened in 1897 as Verdin Technical Schools & Gymnasium (latterly in use as Cheshire School of Art and Design, which closed in 2012). Some money was used to endow the two schools and the remainder was to be used by the Trustees to "provide for technical and manual instruction and the establishment and maintenance of gymnasiums, infirmaries, hospitals, museums, or other charitable institutions of a like character".[6][7]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Doane, Stephen L; Milnes, Cynthia; Farrer, Stephen; Farrer, Barbara; Verdin, Graham; Knight, Peter; Verdin, John N; Verdin, Donald. "Verdin Family History". Jobar16 - Tripod. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27534. p. 1671. 13 March 1903. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  3. "Down Your Way". Mid-Cheshire Independent. Paul Hurley. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  4. Kindon, Frances (14 April 2008). "120 years in town's deep end". Winsford Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. "Victoria Infirmary, Northwich". The National Archives. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. "Former Verdin Technical Schools & Gymnasium, Northwich". Historic England. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  7. David Cogger (1995). Verdin School Winsford 1895 -1995. Verdin High School. ISBN 0-9523370-0-2.

Further reading

Honorary titles
Preceded by
George William Marshall
High Sheriff of Herefordshire
Succeeded by
William Theodore Barneby
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Brocklehurst and Wimboldsley)
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