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William France (1840-1887)
1888 Obituary 
WILLIAM FRANCE, the chief mining engineer in Cleveland of the well-known firm of Messrs. Pease and partners, of Darlington, Cleveland, and South Durham, was born in Yorkshire, in 1840, and died at the Westminster Palace Hotel, London, on Friday, the 3rd day of September 1887. The deceased gentlemen had for some twenty years occupied the responsible post of engineer of some of the largest mines in the Cleveland district, unitedly producing over a million tons of ironstone per annum. In that capacity, he maintained for the mines of his employers the high reputation of successful administration and efficient working which they have so long enjoyed.
At the time of his decease, which happened very suddenly, Mr. France was in London for the purpose of seeing the Home Secretary relative to the Mines Regulation Bill, as one of a deputation from the Cleveland district. Mr. France occupied a prominent position in his own locality, being chairman of the Loftus Local Board, and a guardian of the poor. He also took a keen interest in educational matters.