Henry Archer

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Henry Archer
Born 1799
Died 1863
Wikipedia entry Henry Archer
Official positions held:
FR Co. Exec 1832 - 1837
FR Co. Director 23.05.1832 - 1837
FR People | WHR People

Henry Archer was the principal founding shareholder of the Festiniog Railway Company, and from 1832 - 1837, was Managing Director under the Act of Incorporation

He was the son of a Dublin City Treasurer and was the inventor of the first postage stamp perforating machine.

It is recorded that his interest in what became the FR Co., existed as far back as 1829, when in December that year he met Samuel Holland Jnr.

He left actively running the company after a split with other directors in 1836, though he continued to have a shareholding. It seems possible that the major dispute was over the Moelwyn Tunnel; Archer was in favour of the inclines which were built, but the expense of them was such that it might have been cheaper to have built the tunnel in the first place; in any event it was built 1839-42.

It may also have been Archer who induced Robert Stephenson to visit in 1832 and see the site. It has been plausibly argued that it was at this visit that the confined horse-and-cart loading gauge of the FR was settled.

The original silver trowel (now held in the Archives) for the first stone laying by William Gruffydd Oakeley in 1833 has a Dublin hallmark of 1828 and one may imagine Archer buying it in Dublin and having it engraved for the occasion.[1][2]
It has been used on a number of occasions since then, the latest of which was at the "Golden Bolts" ceremony, on 28th February 2009 for the ceremonial joining of the newly re-built WHR and the FR.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Some early references entered into this wiki, were unspecific as to which publications were being quoted. This is one and relates to the works of M J T Lewis
  2. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549.