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British Industrial History

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Henry Seymour Berry

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(Henry) Seymour Berry, Baron Buckland (1877–1928), financier and coal industrialist

1877 Born in Merthyr Tudful, the eldest of three sons of John Mathias Berry, JP, estate agent and valuer, and his wife, Mary Ann.

Educated locally at Caedraw higher grade school and (as a pupil teacher) at Abermorlais School.

Joined his father's business where he stayed for two decades.

1901 Supplied the capital, by loan, for his brother William's first newspaper-owning venture

1907 he married Gwladys Mary Sandbrook; they had five daughters.

1916 First connection with coal industry. Over the next two years he rapidly became a major star in South Wales as a protégé of Lord Rhondda.

1918 After Rhondda's death, Berry came into his own, flourishing especially in visualizing and negotiating mergers and acquisitions.

1920s Expansion continued - at one stage he was on the boards of more than sixty companies. The process was one of financial engineering, but the motivation seems to have been production-orientated: consolidating the coal holdings of various undertakings and, especially, negotiating sales and distribution.

1926 Raised to the peerage; Berry wished that his title would be Baron Bwlch, but the authorities refused him this and he settled for Baron Buckland of Bwlch.

Not only he but his two brothers, William Ewert Berry and (James) Gomer Berry (later Viscount Camrose and Viscount Kemsley, respectively), attained peerages, probably a record for a non-aristocratic family from an unfashionable industrial town.

1927 Chairman of Guest Keen and Nettlefolds

1928 Died from an injury sustained whilst riding a horse on his estate. at the time of his death Berry still held a position on about twenty of the larger companies

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Henry Seymour Berry, ODNB