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Joseph Rathbone (1746-1790) of Liverpool, ironmaster
Married Mary Darby, daughter of Abraham Darby (1711-1763)
1784 William Fawcett joined the management of the Liverpool foundry
1785 Large-scale iron-making began with a furnace at Donnington Wood constructed by William Reynolds and Joseph Rathbone on land leased from Earl Gower, on the north side of the Donnington Wood Canal. Gower contributed £2,000 to the enterprise.
1790 August. Died
Joseph Rathbone's executors were his widow Mary of Coalbrookdale and William Rathbone, merchant, of Liverpool.
In his will he bequearthed William Fawcett £2,500 and his Five Shares in Iron Bridge across the Severn. Fawcett was then granted a lease on Phoenix Foundry for seven years by the Darbys of Coalbrookdale.
1807 Death of his wife. ' On the 17th inst at Coalbrook-dale, aged 57, Mrs. Mary Rathbone, relict of Mr. Joseph Rathbone, formerly a merchant in Liverpool, and one of the people called Quakers.'