Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Chance and Hartley

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of Smethwick

1834 James and John Hartley were taken into partnership by the Chance Brothers (William Chance and Robert Lucas Chance); the firm became Chance and Hartley.

1835 Chance and Hartley of Smethwick bought land in Oldbury, Worcestershire for making saltcake. They had begun chemical manufacture at Smethwick when analyst Richard Phillips invented a new method of making saltcake. To develop the process and to provide more space at Smethwick for glassmaking, chemical manufacturing was moved to Oldbury, which was to become Oldbury Chemical Works, the largest chemical works in the Midlands.

1836 The Hartley brothers left Chance and Hartley (which then became Chance Brothers and Co) and moved north to Sunderland to set up their own business James Hartley and Co.

1837 Partnership change. '...the Partnership or joint trade lately subsisting and carried on by and between the undersigned, Robert Lucas Chance, William Chance, James Hartley, and John Hartley of Smethwick, in the parish of Harborne, in the county of Stafford, Glass and Alkali Manufacturers, under the firm, of Chance and Hartleys, was dissolved, by mutual consent, on and from the 18th day of November last. All debts due and owing to and from, the said dissolved partnership, will be received and paid by the said Robert Lucas Chance and William Chance, by whom in future the trades will be carried on...'[1]

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