Richard Arkwright Junior - entrepreneur

Sir Richard Arkwright senior invented the machinery for large scale cotton spinning, established his mills in the Cromford area and is rightly hailed as the inventor of the factory system. 


However he placed his only son, Richard junior, at Bakewell in order to build his first mill on a true river and to manage the process by which many more mills were built in the next 20 years.  The Bakewell mill, Lumford mill, was the Arkwrights' third mill and was almost as big as the two Cromford mills put together. 

Richard Arkwright junior learnt the mill trade by managing the building of the Bakewell mill in 1777/8 and its operation thereafter.  Whereas his father excelled at technical and operational matters, Richard looked after commercial and financial matters and the strategy by which their empire expanded.  So successful was large scale cotton spinning that today cotton clothing is worn by most people in most countries of the world.

Richard junior built his own house near the mill, married in 1780 and raised eight children before his father died in 1792. Richard's family then went to Willersley Castle, Cromford.  Richard's house, Lumford House, Bakewell, is still there much as he built it. Richard placed his own son Robert at Bakewell who installed a pioneering 100 horse power iron wheel at Bakewell in 1827. The remains of this wheel are built into a display at Bakewell Museum.

Richard Arkwright Junior nominated by Bakewell and District Historical Society