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British Industrial History

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Hanbury family

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John Hanbury (1664?–1734), landowner and ironmaster, was born at Gloucester, eldest son of Capel Hanbury (d. 1704) and his first wife, Elizabeth.

John was sole heir to the family's estate in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and also to property in Monmouthshire, on which the family had operated several ironworks since the 1570s.

Early 1680s John settled at Pontypool, where his father built a mansion and created a park close to the ironworks.

c.1685 John took control of the family's iron interests; the rolling mill was invented by his agent, Thomas Cooke from Stourbridge, which provided the basis for the tin-plating industry[1]

Between 1695 and 1697, a water-powered rolling mill was introduced at Pontypool, to roll iron into thin uniform sheets, an essential step towards making tinplate

1701 John married Albinia, daughter of Major-General William Selwyn of Matson, Gloucestershire. She died in 1702.

1701 John was elected MP for Gloucester, which seat he held until 1708.

1703 John remarried, to Bridget (d.1741), the daughter of Sir Edward Ayscough of South Kelsey, Lincolnshire.

1704 After his father's death, John concentrated operations closer to Pontypool.

1720 John Hanbury established tinplate making at the Pontypool Ironworks[2]

Early 1720s Pontypool produced tinplate on a commercial scale for the first time in Britain. Edward Allgood (1681-1763) was John Hanbury's principal agent in the ironworks and responsible for many improvements, including in japanning which formed the basis for his own business.

1720 MP for Monmouthshire,

1734 Died at Trevethin, Pontypool. The iron-works passed to John's third son Capel (1707 - 1765),

Ironworks later passed to Capel's eldest son, John Hanbury III (1744 - 1784), who took full advantage of his grandfather's process improvements.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. About Pontypool[1]
  2. The Engineer 1931/05/08
  • Biography of John Hanbury, ODNB [2]
  • Welsh Biography Online [3]