Circular Saw invented in Notts

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Circular Saw invented in Notts' page

By Joseph Murray of Mansfield

Joseph Murray worked as a wood and iron turner at the Rock Valley Mills in Mansfield.

He is said to have been the son of Byron's servant, "Old Joe Murray" who served the poet at nearby Newstead Abbey.

In 1850, an anonymous booklet published in Mansfield (1) credited Joseph Murray with the invention of the circular saw noting that the original item, (then still preserved) took the form of "a plain iron plate, measur[ing] four inches in diameter".

The date given for the invention is 1790 (2).

(1) A Visit to Sherwood Forest (Anon.) (Mansfield: Collinson, 1850) p.24

(2) GUILFORD, Everard L. Nottinghamshire (London: Methuen & Co., 1910) p.114

This page was added by Website Administrator on 30/01/2014.
Comments about this page

My Grandmother Sarah Ann Marriott Shead died in 1945 and in her Obituary it mentioned her ancestor had invented the Circular Saw and when I found a mention of the invention in a book in my local Library called the ENVIRONS of MANSFIELD reprint dated 1803 which reinforced the claim I was convinced it was true.

By Tom Shead
On 30/06/2015

My Great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Marriott Shead died in 1945 and in her obituary it mentioned that her ancestor had invented the Circular Saw in Rock Valley, Mansfield. However it came to my family that his name was James Murray, son of 'Old Joe Murray', valet to Lord Byron at Newstead. It was for this reason we won a competition to name a new housing development in Rock Valley, Mansfield with the nomenclature, " James Murray Mews. " Thanks, also to Cousin Tom for his information supplied in 2015.

By Charlie Wheatman
On 16/11/2020

Old Joe Murray was actually the Butler at Newstead Abbey (his valet was William Fletcher from South Muskham). He was more or less retired by the time the poet arrived, though he had worked for the previous Lord Byron, apparently having to sail boats on the lake which the 5th Lord liked to shoot at! Joe Murray lived to a great age, being a source for Washington Irving's 1830 book 'Abbotsford & Newstead Abbey'. 

By Ralph Lloyd-Jones
On 09/12/2020

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.