A PROFESSOR at the University of Bolton has penned a new book documenting the history of James Kay, a key figure in the industrial revolution and the refurbishment of Turton Tower.

Professor Richard Horrocks said that his book attempts to place James Kay "into his rightful place within the industrial pantheon of the 'great names'" of the revolution.

Kay was born in Entwistle and after learning his skills within the cotton trade turned to flax spinning and invented the wet spinning process, which was able to spin the finest linen yarns by steam driven machinery.

The invention was taken up in Ireland and drove the growth of what became the world famous Irish linen industry.

Professor Richard said: "His name is revered in Ireland but forgotten in England. This is because John Marshall, one of the richest textile manufacturers of his time, was determined not only to use his patented process without paying any royalties, but also, was able to invalidate the patent in 1841.

"In doing so, Kay's name was "forgotten" in England. His wealth not only allowed him to purchase but also completely refurbish the Tower to the state in which it exists to this day - a not insignificant legacy, but very few visitors to the Tower know about the origin of his wealth and his contribution to the industrial revolution.

"The book is the culmination of over two years research carried out independently of my research role at the University. "

James Kay of Turton Tower is available for purchase on Amazon.