Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,111 pages of information and 233,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
18th Century: Members of the Baldwin family had developed iron forges at Shrewsbury.
1788 One of their descendants, Thomas Baldwin (1751-1823), moved from Shrewsbury down the River Severn to Stourport in Worcestershire, to take advantage of its location on the emerging canal system. At some point, Thomas established the company Baldwin, Son and Co
1832 Mr.Lewty employed about fifty men; a friendly society was set up, caring for workers in sickness and for holidays, but demanding strict standards of behaviour.
1845 W. T. Lewty was referred to as "of Wilden Ironworks" in 1845; he was also director of railway companies.
1854 E. P. and W. Baldwin acquired the wrought iron and tin plate works at Wilden in 1854.
1863 Following the founders' deaths the company passed to the control of Alfred Baldwin and his two surviving older brothers, George (1826–1881) and Stanley (1828–1907). However, the latter's bad management and drinking, combined with a trade depression, brought the firm close to bankruptcy in the late 1860s.
1870 Matters improved only after 1870 when, in September, Alfred Baldwin raised £20,000 and bought out his brothers to take sole control of E. P. and W. Baldwin, located at Wilden Ironworks. Alfred and his family moved from Bewdley to Wilden House overlooking the forge.
1871 Alfred was described as tinplate and iron founder, worsted spinner and landowner, employing 400 hands.
1886 Alfred registered a separate company, Alfred Baldwin and Co Ltd, to erect and operate a tin-plate works near Pontypool, Monmouthshire. Shares issued.
1886 Because of the depression of trade, not least due to the wider use of steel, and the better transport links to the new works in South Wales, notices of dismissal were given to all employees of Wilden Ironworks in order to re-arrange the workforce. The forge would close and manufacture of coke iron for tinplate would cease at Wilden but all other parts of the works would remain open (i.e. manufacture of steel tin plates, button plates and other special brands); coke and charcoal iron sheets, as well as steel sheets, would continue to be made at Swindon.