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Henry Cadell

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Henry Cadell (1812-1888), mining engineer

of Bridgeness Iron Works

1888 Obituary [1]

Mr. HENRY CADELL, of Grange and Banton, was the chief of a family which for more than a century has been associated with the iron industry of Scotland. He was a grandson of William Cadell, of Banton, in Stirlingshire, who, in partnership with Dr. John Roebuck and others, established the Carron Ironworks in 1760, and held the post of managing partner during the first twenty struggling years of the life of that celebrated concern.

The late Mr. Cadell was born on his paternal estate of Grange, near Bo'ness, in Linlithgowshire, in 1812, and received his education in Edinburgh. He was for many years engaged in coal and iron works in Fife and elsewhere, and acted as manager to the East of Scotland Malleable Iron Company at Dunfermline for some time. He was afterwards appointed manager of the Duke of Buccleuch's Dalkeith Collieries; and his skill and energy, inherited from his enterprising ancestors, enabled him to turn the balance, and convert what had hitherto been a losing concern into a prosperous business. In 1855, he left Dalkeith to reside at Grange, and spent the rest of his life in working the minerals on his own estate, to which he succeeded on the death of his father in 1858.

In 1862 his energies were spent in erecting on his property the Bridgeness Ironworks, where the black- and clay-band ironstone from Grange was smelted for some time. The works, however, did not turn out so remunerative as he had expected, and were discontinued for about ten years. One of the two furnaces was again blown in, when about 1872 the good times for ironmasters once more came round. When prices began to decline, however, the furnace was again blown out, and it has not since been in operation.

Mr. Cadell had an inventive and mechanical turn of mind, and he published the results of his experiments in various periodicals and papers. Among his inventions was an improved graduated steelyard, made in 1856, which gave absolutely correct readings from zero upwards. He also introduced improved kilns, which were used with advantage in his own brickworks and elsewhere. Several of Isis papers were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, and were awarded prizes by the Society, which, in 1880, elected him as president. The last paper he wrote was a description of a method of preventing the deposit of silt in harbours, and for this he received the Society's honorary silver medal in 1885.

Mr. Cadell was a very worthy and public-spirited "laird" of the old school, and was much esteemed by the tenants and workpeople on his estates, to whom he had long been a kind-hearted and indulgent landlord and employer.

He died in his seventy-sixth year, on the 8th of January last.

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