The History of the Iron, Steel, Tinplate and Other Trades of Wales

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More About This Textbook


Charles Wilkins (1831–1913) was a Welsh postmaster and librarian who had a deep interest in local and regional history, especially of the town of Merthyr Tydfil where he lived. He wrote prolifically for many of the local newspapers, and produced histories of the town, Welsh literature, and the region's coal trade before tackling this work, published in 1903, which examines the rise of the iron and steel industries across the region, and gives a lively account of the notable families who were behind this industrial expansion from the eighteenth century onwards. Wales was a hub of steel, iron and tin production, which became much in demand during the Industrial Revolution. Wilkins also considers the workers' lives, devoting space to the riots of 1831, and paints a broad social and economic portrait of Wales at a time of great transition.

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Table of Contents

1. History of the iron, steel, and tinplate trades; 2. Aberdare in old days; 3. The beginning of Dowlais; 4. The first guest in his exile at Dowlais; 5. Anthony Bacon and the beginning of Cyfarthfa; 6. The Homfrays of Penydarren; 7. The Crawshay family; 8. Favourite poem of Richard Crawshay; 9. William Crawshay, the Iron King; 10. The riots at Merthyr Tydfil; 11. Sir John Josiah Guest, M.P., the Iron King; 12. Sir John Josiah Guest, Bart.; 13. The Homfrays, Formans, and Alderman Thompson, of Penydarren; 14. Sir John J. Guest; 15. Penydarren works; 16. The eminent men of Penydarren; 17. The Plymouth ironworks and the Hill family; 18. Plymouth works; 19. Abernant works; 20. Sir Richard Fothergill as M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil; 21. Tredegar; 22. The Rhymney works; 23. Ebbw Vale; 24. Blaenavon ironworks; 25. Beaufort iron works; 26. Manors of Miskin, Rhondda, etc.; 27. The Chain and Anchor works at Pontypridd; 28. Melingriffith and Pentyrch; 29. The leading men of early iron days; 30. Men of the iron age; 31. Dowlais after the death of Sir John J. Guest; 32. Farthfa after the death of William Crawshay; 33. Tinplate; 34. Aberavon and district; 35. The Llynvi Valley; 36. Maesteg works and neighbourhood; 37. Neath; 38. Briton Ferry; 39. Landore; 40. Swansea; 41. Carmarthenshire iron works and Mr. Raby; 42. Sir John Jones Jenkins; 43. Visit to a Morriston works; 44. Llanelly and its note-worthy men; 45. Cardiganshire tinplate works; 46. Bessemer and Siemens; 47. Dates of interest in connection with the tinplate industry in Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire; 48. Wales the teacher; 49. The social life of our workers; 50. Old, and also extinct iron works; Appendix; List of subscribers; Index.

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