Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Gibbons (1730-1813)

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Thomas Gibbons (1730–1813) of The Oaks, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton.

1730 Born, one of the sons of John Gibbons (1703–1778) and his wife Grace

1775 he married Mary Moseley (d. 1833)

They had three sons:

1778 After his father's death, responsibilities for the business he had built up in iron and coal were divided between his 3 sons - one son, William, ran the family's merchant house at Bristol, buying pig iron for the midland forges and overseeing the export of metalwares to the American market. Another of John's sons, Benjamin, was entrusted with management of the iron business around Kingswinford. The eldest son, Thomas, took charge of the merchant house at Wolverhampton which was subsequently developed as a bank.

1813 Thomas Gibbons died at Teignmouth - his share in the family banking and ironmaking businesses in the Midlands passed to his three sons.

Gibbons' family continued to be innovative in the next generation, being one of the earliest south Staffordshire iron partnerships to adopt J. B. Neilson's patent hot-blast technology when it became widely available in the mid-1830s. However, there was little they could do to overcome the declining competitiveness of south Staffordshire as a pig iron-producing region, in the face of competition from the Scottish and Cleveland iron industries in the middle of the nineteenth century. The family's problems in the iron trade were for a long time compensated for by the resilience of their coal interests. The long-established Gibbons habit of buying land stood them in good stead, for it furnished them with a good deal of mineral-rich real estate in south Staffordshire. The Corbyns Hall estate proved a consistent source of wealth in this respect.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Gibbons family, ODNB