The Class J13 were introduced in 1897 designed by Henry Ivatt based on the earlier domeless GNR Class J14 (LNER Class J53). Eighty-five J13s were built up to 1909. Several J14s were rebuilt as J13s from 1922.
The LNER reclassified the J13 as J52. They also introduced two subclasses, J52/1 for the rebuilt engines and J52/2 for the originals. Forty-eight J52/1s and 85 J52/2s passed to British Railways in 1948 and they were numbered 68757–68889.
One, 8846 was privately preserved by Captain. Bill Smith in 1959 and became the first locomotive to be privately preserved from BR. In 1980 it was donated to the National Railway Museum and made regular visits to other preserved railways and museums on its two Boiler Ticket durations in preservation.