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Richard Taylor (1810-1883)

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Richard Taylor (1810-1883)

1810 Born in Devon on 4 March 1810; baptized in Tavistock 29 April 1810; son of John and Ann[1]

Brother of John Taylor (1808-1881)

1862 Richard Taylor, Mining Engineer, 6 Queen Street Place, Upper Thames Street, London.[2]

1883 December 28th. Died.[3]


1884 Obituary [4]

RICHARD TAYLOR, born at Holwell near Tavistock on 4th March 1810, was the second son of Mr. John Taylor, at that time managing engineer of Wheal Friendship copper mine and other mines in the Tavistock district.

After receiving their education at the Charterhouse School, and at Manchester College, York, he and his elder brother, of whom a memoir is given in the Institution Proceedings 1882, p. 13, acquired much knowledge of practical mining in the mines under their father's management in this country; they subsequently spent nearly the whole of the year 1828 in Germany, visiting the principal mines of the Rhenish provinces, of the Hartz Mountains, of Freiberg in Saxony, and of Hungary, South Austria, and Bavaria.

On returning from Germany, he took the management of the Consolidated Mines and the United Mines at Gwennap, Cornwall, and of other mines in that county. He there effected many important practical improvements, especially in the dressing of the ores: for which he first introduced the crusher, for the reduction of the rough ores; soon afterwards the jigging machines, for treating larger quantities and so facilitating and cheapening the cost of dressing; and still later, at Tywarnhayle in 1847, the circular buddle, which, though of minor value in the treatment of copper ores, has since been universally adopted for tin dressing, and found of the greatest value.

He also received the appointment of mineral agent to the Duchy of Cornwall, which he held for many years.

In 1851 he came to London, and was admitted into partnership with his father and brother in the firm of John Taylor and Sons.

In 1853 they took the management of the Linares lead mines in Spain, and soon afterwards became connected with other mines in Spain, Portugal, and France, and subsequently in the colonies; the Cape Copper Mines were started and successfully developed under their direction. In the management of all of these Mr. Richard Taylor took an active part, particularly in the direction of the extensive lead mines and smelting works at Pontgibaud, Puy de Dome, France, of which he was engineer-in-chief to the end of his life.

He had also a large share in establishing the Coueron lead smelting works and rolling mills on the Loire, which were amalgamated a few years ago with the Pontgibaud establishment. In his management of these French works and of the Panther lead smelting works in Bristol, the close attention which he paid to the condensation of the lead fumes led to great improvements, resulting in a proportionate diminution of the loss by volatilisation.

He was specially interested in the successful re-working during the past seven years, under his own management, of the Melanear copper mine near Hayle, previously known as Wheal Alfred; and he continued to the last to take a warm interest in the mining industries of Cornwall and Devon.

He was one of the founders of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, of which he was honorary secretary for thirty-seven years, and president in 1877 and 1878.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1862; and in connection with the summer meeting held in Cornwall in 1873 he took a very prominent part in the discussions upon mining subjects, and in escorting the members in their excursions to the numerous mines and works visited on that occasion (see Proceedings 1873, pp. 87-248).

His death took place at his residence in London on 28th December 1883, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, after a few days' illness from an acute attack of bronchitis.



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1862 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  3. 1862 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  4. 1884 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries