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Sir Joseph Cowen (1800-1873), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, chain maker and retort manufacturer.
1800 Born in Durham
1861 Fire brick and clay retort manufacturer, widower, was staying in Chertsey
1863 Presented on fire-clay ware at the British Association
1865-1873 Radical MP for Newcastle upon Tyne
1871 Joseph Cowen 71. MP, JP, Brick manufacturer, etc, lived in Durham with William Cowen 37
1873 Obituary 
Death of Sir Joseph Cowen, M.P.
Sir Joseph Cowen, one of the members for Newcastle-on-Tyne died at his residence Stella Hall, on Friday night. The deceased gentleman who was 78 years of ags, was the architect of his own fortune. From being a chain-maker - the trade of his father - he gradually raised himself to a distinguished position. After working as a chain-maker in Winlaton he removed to Blaydon-on-Tyne, where he started a small factory and brick works. Devoting himself to the study of heat, he introduced great improvements in the manufacture of fireclay and gas retorts, and acquired a great reputation. While he became wealthy he spent a large portion of his time in public business. Mainly instrumentnl in establishing the River Tyne Commission, he was appointed a life member and was elected chairman of that body. In 1871, in acknowledgment of the public service which he had rendered for so long a time and with so much ability as chairman of the River Tyne Commssioners, the honour of knighthood wae conferred upon him. It is probable that his son, Mr. Joseph Cowen, will be a candidate for the vacant seat caused by the death of Sir Joseph.