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British Industrial History

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John Mackay (1724-1783)

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John Mackay (1724–1783), coal owner and industrialist

1724 December 16th. Born the only son of John Mackay of Inverness, merchant, and his wife, Jean Barbour, of Aldourie.

1759 May 12th. Moved to London and married at St Andrew's, Holborn to Millicent Neate, who brought him £3,000. They had at least one son and a daughter.

1761 Joined with Jonathan Greenall of Parr in a patent for an improved method of salt refining and was later involved with him in a steam engine project.

c1762 Moved to Belfield, Cheshire

Introduced a new process for the manufacture of stained and enamelled glass in Liverpool

Had coal rights at Croxteth, and interests in the large collieries at Parr, in proximity to the Sankey Canal, and at St Helens, where he was in partnership with Thomas Leigh.

1763 Proposed to supply Dublin by a Sankey cartel in which he would provide twice as much coal as other coal masters but the proposal failed.

Mackay built a large mansion in the new Gothic style at Ravenhead, to which the canal was extended in 1773.

His son John died before him and his businesses passed to Colonel James Fraser of the East India Company, who married Mackay's daughter, Millicent, in 1783; the businesses were administered for Fraser after 1787 by Mackay's brother-in-law, Admiral Philip Affleck, also of the East India Company.

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