The End of Another Partnership

Ebenezer Healey had been a brick maker before he went into partnership with Thomas Messenger. In 1875[1], he was living at No. 8, Aylestone Street, Leicester. He was still there three years later, although by 1880[2] he had moved to Saffron Lane (now Saffron Road) to be next to the brick works. Ebenezer Healey was active in the local community being a member of the Leicester District Highway Board[3] and the Leicestershire Chamber of Agriculture[4].

Messenger and Healey’s enterprise was quite a substantial operation for in 1881[5] they were employing 45 men and 20 boys. However, two years later the partnership dissolved “by mutual consent” on 29th January 1883, leaving Ebenezer Healey to run the business alone[6]. What brought about the split is unclear but it was not formally announced until more than six months later on 13th August.

Whether Thomas Messenger sold the South Wigston site to Ebenezer Healey or merely leased it to him is unknown. Healey continued with the business changing the name initially to Healey and Co.,[7] and then to The Wigston Junction Brick and Tile Co. Ltd. The venture eventually failed in 1888[8] and the business was voluntarily wound up.

The works was subsequently purchased by local entrepreneur Orson Wright (1853-1913), who was variously a builder, contractor, iron founder, stonemason, blacksmith, wheelwright, joiner; boot and shoe, hosiery and elastic web manufacturer; electrical engineer, hotel proprietor and hat and cap maker[9]. It has been suggested that Orson Wright bought the works in order to obtain a ready source of bricks for his building firm. He was responsible for the original layout of South Wigston, building most of the houses in the 1880s (see below). The works was subsequently taken over by Constone Concrete Products and when they had finished with the site it a levelled and is currently (2012) occupied by industrial units.



  1. Commercial & General Directory and Red Book of Leicester 1875.

  2. Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1880.

  3. The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, 10th February 1883.

  4. The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, 9th April 1887.

  5. 1881 Census.

  6. The London Gazette, 17th August 1883.

  7. Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire, 1887-88.

  8. The London Gazette, 11th May 1888.

  9. Official Guide to Wigston and District