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Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn

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Dillwyn, Lewis Llewelyn (1814–1892), industrialist and politician

Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (19 May 1814 – 19 June 1892) was a Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician who served as MP for Swansea for 37 years.

Dillwyn was born in Swansea, Wales, the fourth of six children of Lewis Weston Dillwyn and Mary Dillwyn (formerly Adams, née Llewellyn). He had two brothers and three sisters. His grandfather, William Dillwyn, was an American Quaker, who, alongside others such as William Wilberforce had campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade.

His father had been sent to Swansea by his father William, to take over the management of the Cambrian Pottery, and lived at Sketty Hall. He was educated at Kilvert's Academy in Bath but, following his father's election to Parliament as one of the two members for Glamorgan in 1832 he and chose to follow a business career by taking over the management of Cambrian Pottery, rather than enter Oriel College, Oxford as had been intended.

His father was a friend of the geologist Henry De la Beche and Dillwyn and De la Beche carried out experiments on china clays and granites with the aim of improving the production of earthenware.

On 16 March 1838, Dillwyn married de la Beche's daughter Elizabeth and, with his wife's artistic guidance, the pottery produced a range of beautiful Etruscan ware which is today a collector's item. They had four children, the best known of whom was Amy Dillwyn and lived at the newly built Hendrefoilan House in Sketty.

Dillwyn followed his father and his Quaker antecedents in pursuing industry and commerce and radical politics, and played a major part in the industrial development of Swansea. He was head of the firm of Dillwyn and Richards at the Landore spelter-works and began to expand his industrial activities to include silver refining.

Later, he formed a partnership with William Siemens to establish the Landore Siemens Steel Co., and by 1874 this company had become one of the four largest producers in the world, employing some 2,000 workers.

In the 1880s, following a slump in the steel industry slumped, Dillwyn concentrated his manufacturing activities on his spelter works at Llansamlet, Swansea, and soon became one of the major zinc producers in the country.

Dillwyn was also for many years an active director of the Great Western Railway and Chairman of the Glamorganshire Banking Co

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