Richard Arkwright
Richard Arkwright

Celebrity Profile

Name: Richard Arkwright
Occupation: Inventor
Gender: Male
Birth Day: December 23, 1732
Death Date: 3 August 1792(1792-08-03) (aged 59)
Cromford, Derbyshire, England
Age: Aged 59
Birth Place: Preston, Lancashire, British
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Weight: in kg - N/A
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Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright was born on December 23, 1732 in Preston, Lancashire, British (59 years old). Richard Arkwright is an Inventor, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Find out Richard Arkwrightnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Does Richard Arkwright Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Richard Arkwright died on 3 August 1792(1792-08-03) (aged 59)
Cromford, Derbyshire, England.

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Biography Timeline


Richard Arkwright was born in Preston, Lancashire, England on 23 December 1732, the youngest of seven surviving children. His father, Thomas, was a tailor and a Preston Guild burgess. Richard's parents, Sarah and Thomas, could not afford to send him to school and instead arranged for him to be taught to read and write by his cousin Ellen. He was apprenticed to a Mr. Nicholson, a barber at the nearby town of Kirkham, and began his working life as a barber and wig-maker, setting up a shop at Churchgate in Bolton in the early 1760s. It was here that he invented a waterproof dye for use on the fashionable periwigs of the time, the income from which later funded his prototype cotton machinery.


Lewis Paul had invented a machine for carding in 1748. Arkwright made improvements to this machine and in 1775 took out a patent for a new carding engine, which converted raw cotton to a continuous skein prior to spinning. The machine used a succession of uneven rollers rotating at increasingly higher speeds to draw out the roving, before applying a twist via a bobbin-and-flyer mechanism. It could make cotton thread thin and strong enough for the warp threads of cloth.


Arkwright married his first wife, Patience Holt, in 1755. They had a son, Richard Arkwright Junior, who was born the same year. Patience died in 1756, and then in 1761 Arkwright, aged 29, married Margaret Biggins. They had three children, of whom only Susannah survived to adulthood. At some time after the death of his first wife, Arkwright became interested in the development of carding and spinning machinery to replace hand labour in the conversion of raw cotton to thread for weaving.


In 1768, Arkwright and John Kay, a clockmaker, returned to Preston, renting rooms in a house on Stoneygate (now called Arkwright House), where they worked on a spinning machine. In 1769 Arkwright patented the spinning frame, a machine which produced twisted threads (initially for warps only), using wooden and metal cylinders rather than human fingers. This machine, initially powered by horses (see below), greatly reduced the cost of cotton-spinning, and would lead to major changes in the textile industry.


Arkwright and John Smalley set up a small horse-driven factory at Nottingham. To obtain capital for expansion, Arkwright formed a partnership with Jedediah Strutt and Samuel Need, wealthy nonconformist hosiery manufacturers. In 1771, the partners built the world's first water-powered mill at Cromford, which covered both carding and spinning operations and employed 200 people.


To strengthen his position in relation to his many competitors and emulators, Arkwright obtained a "grand patent" in 1775, which he hoped would consolidate his position within the fast-growing cotton industry. Public opinion, however, was bitterly hostile to exclusive patents, and in 1781 Arkwright initiated legal proceedings to assert his rights. The case dragged on in court until 1785, when it was finally settled against him on the grounds that his specifications were deficient: the court had also heard assertions that the spinning frame was actually the invention of Arkwright's employee John Kay, or of Thomas Highs, Kay's previous employer.


In 1776 Arkwright built a second, larger mill at Cromford and, soon afterwards, mills at Bakewell, Wirksworth and elsewhere (see below). His success as a businessman and innovator was widely recognized in his own time. The spinning frame was a significant advance over Hargreaves's spinning jenny, in that very little training was required to operate the machinery, which produced a strong yarn suitable for warp threads.


After establishing the mill at Cromford, Arkwright returned to Lancashire and took up a lease of the Birkacre mill at Chorley, which was to become a catalyst for the town's growth into one of the most important industrialised towns of the Industrial Revolution. In 1777 Arkwright leased the Haarlem Mill in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he installed the first steam engine to be used in a cotton mill (actually this was used to replenish the millpond that drove the mill's waterwheel rather than to drive the machinery directly). He was invited to Scotland, where he assisted David Dale in establishing cotton mills at New Lanark. A large mill of Arkwright's at Birkacre in Lancashire, was destroyed in the anti-machinery riots of 1779.


Arkwright served as high sheriff of Derbyshire and was knighted in 1786.


He also built Willersley Castle, now a Grade II* listed building, in 1791; after a fire in 1792, it was rebuilt and occupied by his son Richard Arkwright junior starting in 1796. Arkwright died at Rock House, Cromford, on 3 August 1792, aged 59, leaving a fortune of £500,000. He was buried at St Giles' Church, Matlock. His remains were later moved to the family chapel near the castle, now St Mary's Church, Cromford.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Richard Arkwright junior Children N/A N/A N/A
#2 Susanna Arkwright Children N/A N/A N/A
#3 Ellen Hodgkinson Parents N/A N/A N/A
#4 Thomas Arkwright Parents N/A N/A N/A
#5 Patience Holt Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#6 Margaret Biggins Spouse N/A N/A N/A

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Richard Arkwright is 290 years, 3 months and 4 days old. Richard Arkwright will celebrate 291st birthday on a Saturday 23rd of December 2023. Below we countdown to Richard Arkwright upcoming birthday.


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