Chronology of non-ferrous metal smelting.


Swansea Bristol Warrington, Cheadle, Greenfield, Anglesey, St Helens
1584 Mines Royal Society started smelting in Aberdulais.    
1598  Mines Royal Society moved down river to Neath Abbey.  
  1694 John Lane (1678-1841), a doctor of the City of Bristol, Dealer in Copper and Lead and John Pollard his father-in-law invested in the Neath Abbey smelter but without success and the partnership was dissolved in 1716.  
  1702 The Bristol Brass Company at Baptist Mills was established by a partnership of Bristol Quakers.  
    1704 Gadlys, London Lead Company.
1717 Lane & Pollard tried again and established the Llangyfelach copper works, Landore in the Tawe valley. There were commercial advantages of being in the swim near the largest coal exporting port of Swansea.   1717 thomas patten (1690-1772) erected a copper works at Bank Quay, Warrington.
    1719 The Cheadle Company in Staffordshire was formed including associates Thomas Patten & Thomas Barker (-1739) a Holywell man, who was the brains behind the pioneering lead smelting manufactory in Gadlys. The company took the lease on the Alton Mill which they converted and established a new joint stock company for making wire.
1720 Cambrian Works was set up near the mouth of the river and continued in production until 1745.    
1724 Robert Morris (-1768) moved from Shropshire to manage the Llangyfelach copper works at Landore near Swansea    
1726 Llangyfelach copper works went bankrupt, victim of the South Sea bubble. The Morris family took over.    
    1734 Cheadle Copper & Brass Company was formed by Patten to use copper mined in the Staffordshire Moorlands, for making brass pins.
  1737 Thomas Coster (1686-1739) from the Bristol Company, an MP, a mine adventurer, a dealer in copper and brass builds The White Rock works. Thomas had been involved in the Baptist Mills partnership. The focus of copper production was on the slave trade.  
  1738 William Champion (1709–1789) after 8 years of experimentation, perfected the technique for smelting zinc.  
1754 copper smelting began in Camborne, Cornwall and John Vivian formed a partnership to develop this enterprise, they moved to Hayle to be close to the new coal quay.    
1755 Middle Bank copper works established by Chauncey Townsend from Temple Mills, Marlow. Thomas Williams acquired the works in 1787.   1755 The Warrington Company was a partnership formed to take over the copper works that Patten had set up in the Greenfield Valley in Flintshire.
    1756 charles roe (1715-81) established The Macclesfield Copper Company, an off shoot of Charles Roe & Co, merchants and silk throwsters.
1757 Upper Bank copper works established by Chauncey Townsend. Thomas Williams acquired the works in 1782.    
1758 Cornish Copper Company formed by John Vivian at Copperhouse, Hayle. 1758 William Champion of Bristol opened a calcining plant in the Greenfield Valley.  
  1758 Bristol Brass Company bought Thomas Costers Copper Works in South Wales which produced until about 1820.  
1759 The Miners Bank of Truro.    
  1761 William Champion leaves the Bristol company and establishes in the Warmley Company.  
    1764 Brass wire manufactory was also set up at Greenfield.
    1767 All of the various factories were reorganised within the Patten partnership, including the works at Warrington.
    1768 copper discovered Parys Mountain, Anglesey.
  1769 die stamping patent for brass in Birmingham.  
    1771 Roe & Co move to Toxteth, Liverpool.
    1772 Patten builds a smelter in Stanley, St Helens on the Lancashire coal fields
    1774 thomas williams (1737-1802) from Llanidan, starts to exploit the Anglesey ores and established the Parys Mine Company
    1774 Thomas Williams bought into The Cheadle Company after the death of Patten.
    1779 Williams builds a smelter at Ravenhead, St Helens on the Lancashire coal fields.
1780 Copper works at Cheadle was absorbed. Around the same time the Neath Abbey Copper Works was acquired.    
  1781 direct alloying of copper and zinc for brass was patented by James Emerson. 1781 Williams opens a copper forge, wire drawing & rolling mill in Greenfield.
    1782 The Bank Quay works was closed.
    1783  Williams opens a hammer mill  in Greenfield.
1785 Cornish Metal Company formed which attempted to resolve the intense competition between Cornwall & Anglesey by sharing of the market, but the company failed and by 1792 Williams was in almost total control. Vivian, Williams and john wilkinson of Bersham were partners.   1785 Williams opened his smelter at the Mona Mine.
  1787 Williams forced the closure of the Bristol Brass Company. 1787 Williams opened The Meadow Mill in Greenfield producing copper sheets.
  1788 Bristol Brass Company was reconstituted it under the name of Harfords & Bristol Brass & Copper Company.  
1790 Harfords transferred their smelting facilities to South Wales.    
1790 Smelting works erected at Penclawdd in South Wales became the Cheadle Brass Wire Co.   1792 Roe & Co moved from Toxteth and build their smelter very close to Neath Abbey & The Mines Royal works.
    1792 Pascoe Grenfell (1761 - 1838) founded Pascoe Grenfell & Sons in the Greenfield Valley.
1794 Pascoe Grenfell (1761-1838) who had worked with Thomas Williams as his agent and later he became a shareholder in the Williams business, went into partnership with Thomas' son Owen Williams, buying Cornish ores for the Upper Bank smelting works in Swansea.    
1795 The Bristol Brass & Copper Company followed the earlier and moved to the Swansea coalfields.    
1800 John Vivian, the Cornish copper mining entrepreneur and the company's agent in Swansea, became a partner of the Cheadle Brass Wire Co, at the copper smelting works at Penclawdd.    
1802 Following the death of Thomas Williams, Pascoe Grenfell and Owen Williams took over the Swansea works.    
1806 John Henry Vivian was appointed manager of the Penclawdd copper works where his father was a partner.    
1808 John Vivian and sons, Richard Hussey Vivian and John Henry Vivian, established Vivian & Sons at Hafod.    
1808 John Vivian withdrew from the Cheadle company.    
    1811 Thomas Williams' heirs sold the Mona & Parys mines to Lord Uxbridge, Vivian became involved until 1816.
1812 Vivian bought the Roe & Co works near Neath Abbey on the bank of the Clydach River, which had been established in 1792.    
    1814 Williams and Grenfell bought out the Greenfield manufacturing operation.
1824 Neath Abbey Iron Co took over the works of Cheadle Copper Co and converted the buildings for ship-building and engineering.    
    1835 John Budd secured a patent for zinc printing cylinders.
1838 Vivian & Sons acquired The English Copper Company's works at Margam, Port Talbot.    
1839 Vivian founded the Swansea Coal Co, both to supply the Hafod smelting works and to trade independently.    
1844 zinc smelting at Hafod.    
1855 H H Vivian & Co Ltd. Nickel & Cobalt and the Murray Mine.    
1924 British Copper Manufacturers was formed by the amalgamation of the major copper smelting firms in Swansea, Vivian & Sons and Williams, Foster & Co and Pascoe Grenfell & Sons.    


back to John Budd