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British Industrial History

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William Henry Dawes

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William Henry Dawes (1804-1878)

c.1804 Born in Birmingham[1]

1805 Will Henry Dawes, son of Jno Dawes and Maria Dawes, was baptised in St Philip, Birmingham[2]

1841 William Dawes 35, iron master, lived in Handsworth with Elizabeth Dawes 20, Joshua Dawes 2[3]

1860 William Henry Dawes, Bromford Iron Works, West Bromwich.[4]

1861 William Henry Dawes 57, coal and iron master, J.P., lived in Kings Norton with Elizabeth Dawes 42, Elizabeth Sophia Dawes 19, William Henry Dawes 17, iron master, Louisa Maria Dawes 16 George Augustus Dawes 15 , Lucy Ann Dawes 12, Emelia Agnes Dawes 10, Kate Isabel Dawes 9, Chas Willm Evans Dawes 7, Ada Beatrice Dawes 5, Harry Ernest Dawes 3, Amy Bertha Dawes 2, Mary Gertrude Dawes 1[5]

c.1862 William Henry and George Dawes built 3 furnaces for processing ore on land east of Scunthorpe, the Trent Iron Works.

1866 Formation of W. H. and G. Dawes Ltd

1878 of The Hall, Kenilworth when he died. His widow, Elizabeth, was executor[6]


1878 Obituary [7]

MR. W. H. DAWES.— Mr. W. H. Dawes of Bromford Iron Works, West Bromwich, died on the 11th of April. Mr. Dawes was one of the oldest and most influential ironmasters in Staffordshire. His interest in the iron trade was not, however, confined to that district, for he was also the owner of the Trent Iron Works in Derbyshire, and was partner with his brother George in the well-known Milton and Elsecar Iron Works, Barnsley.

Mr. Dawes had a love of scientific and art studies, and devoted a considerable portion of his leisure time to their pursuit, while he was also devoting so much attention to his own business that he has made the Bromford Works one of the most successful in the country. It is due to his constant supervision that the brands produced there attained the renown they have, and that in the production of nailrods the firm stands almost unrivalled.

The Bromford Works were started three generations ago, by the grandfather of the deceased, but the most prosperous portion of their career has been under the supervision of the late Mr. Dawes, which has extended over forty years. A contemporary says of the deceased:—

"William Dawes was a man of few words; what he said was always to the purpose; his arguments were pointed and short, but logical; his manner was urbane and gentlemanly, and he listened with patience and attention to the opinions, and respected the feelings and motives, of those who thought differently from. himself."

Mr. Dawes was conspicuous for his ready and unostentatious benevolence to his work-people, as well as to sufferers wherever he found them. His purse was ever open for the needy and deserving - indeed, the extent of his charity will never be known, as he was not a man to parade acts of this nature. By his workmen, with whom he was always on the best of terms, he was greatly revered. Mr. Dawes took little part in public affairs outside the requirements of his magisterial position.

Three of his sons succeed him in the business, Mr. William and Mr. George carrying on the Bromford Works, and Mr. Joseph the Trent Works.

Mr. Dawes was one of the oldest members of the Iron and Steel Institute.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 census
  2. Parish records
  3. 1841 census
  4. 1860 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  5. 1861 census
  6. National Probate Calendar
  7. 1878 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries