Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Samuel Fereday

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1811 one penny token
1811 one penny token

of Bilston. Owner of Priestfield Furnaces[1]

Sometimes known as Samuel Ferriday

1758 Born

Fereday started out as a coal hewer.

Eventually he and his partners controlled a dozen blast furnaces. He was said to have issued over 2 million trade tokens. He went bankrupt in 1816 after failing to obtain a French import licence for 200 miles of pipe for Paris. After failing to get his bankruptcy papers in 1821, he went to France.[2]

John Wilkinson, in his 1806 will, nominated Samuel Fereday (of Ettingshall Park) as one of several Trustees, to carry on his works at Bradley, Brymbo, and elsewhere. Fereday soon relinquished his trust. Wilkinson's nephew, Thomas Jones Wilkinson laid claim to the whole property. After protracted legal proceedings Thomas Jones Wilkinson became bankrupt, as did Samuel Fereday who had backed him.[3]

1811 Fereday issued an enormous number of one penny tokens featuring Priest Field/Priestfield furnaces. See photos. The tokens show three blast furnaces, and an intriguing large air reservoir is indicated between one of the furnaces and the blowing engine house. The engine house and an adjacent building have early examples of curved roofs. In the foreground are what are presumably ore calcining ovens.

1814 'Last week the work people employed in the various works of Messrs. Fereday and Co. amounting to about 5000, were plentifully regaled at Ettinghall Park, in commemoration of Peace.'[4]

1821 Priestfield Furnaces were taken over by William Ward after Fereday's bankruptcy in 1821 [5]

1823 'Mr. Ferriday, who was, formerly a considerable iron-master in England has projected a manufactory for plate-iron in Paris, which has been taken up so warmly by the French, that the subscriptions are already filled, and bear a premium. Mr. F. calculates that the Advantage to subscribers will be at least 60 per cent., as he proposes to manufacture from old iron, which is, comparatively, very cheap - a mode of process unknown to the French iron-masters.'[6]

1839 Death notice: 'March 30, at Capelle, near Boulogne-sur-Mer, aged 73, Mr. Samuel Fereday, late of Ettingshall Park.'[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Black Country History - Priestfield Furnaces/ William Ward's Iron Works, Bilston
  2. 'J. C. Fischer and his Diary of Industrial England 1814 - 1851' by W O Henderson, Frank Cass & Co., 1966
  3. [2] 'John Wilkinson - Ironmaster Extraordinary by Ron Davis, 1987' - extract on Broseley Local History Society website
  4. Worcester Journal - Thursday 14 July 1814
  5. [3] Black Country History - Priestfield Furnaces/ William Ward's Iron Works, Bilston
  6. Hull Packet, 6 January 1823
  7. Staffordshire Gazette and County Standard, 10 April 1839