Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Williams Family

From Graces Guide

The Williams were one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Cornwall. Their involvement with the mining industry began with James Williams (d. 1673) and his brothers Davey and Richard, who came to Cornwall from Shropshire to profit from the developing metal mines.

1685 James's grandson John (1685–1761) made a major contribution to the development of the Cornish mining industry[1].

1714 Birth of John Williams. He became a leading figure in a dynasty of businessmen involved in the Cornish mining industry

c.1740 John Williams was manager of the Poldice Mine; he conceived the Great County Adit

1753 Birth of John Williams (1753-1841), the eldest son of Michael Williams (1730-1775) and his wife, Susanna (1732–1814); John further developed the business

1785 Birth of John's youngest son Michael Williams (1785–1858), who continued to develop the business and later became an M.P.

1811 United Mines were taken over by the Williams of Scorrier.

The North Downs Mine was opened and worked by Messrs. Williams and Sons (date unknown).

1812 With members of the Fox Family of Falmouth, John Williams contracted with the government to build the breakwater at Plymouth, employing John Rennie (the elder).

1812 Messrs. Williams, of Scorrier, made Richard Trevithick a present of £300, in acknowledgment of the benefits arising to their mines from the improved efficiency of his improved engine.

1813 The Fox Family of Falmouth, in partnership with the Williams Family, developed the harbour at Portreath and a trackway to the mines from there. Portreath became of strategic importance in the trade of copper ore and coal between Cornwall and south Wales.

1816 An agreement was made between Richard Trevithick and William Sims, who worked for Mr. Michael Williams, in consideration of £200/. paid by Sims, he was to have a moiety of Trevithick's high pressure engine patent for Cornwall and Devon.

1819 Treskerby Mine and Wheal Chance had been managed by John Williams of Scorrier[2]

The Perran Foundry was operated by the Fox Family in partnership with the Williams Family for a time.

1828 Letter from the late Michael Williams M.P., the "most experienced of Cornish mine workers", in support of Richard Trevithick[3]

Michael Williams became the leading partner in Williams, Foster and Co, with business activities in both England and Wales.

1840 The Taylor's lease of Consolidated Mines expired; "not being able to agree with the owners for a renewal they picked the eyes out of the mine", which then passed back to the Williams.

1858 Acquired the whole of the Perran Foundry

1860 There were Williams as purser at Wheal Prosper and reporting agent at Wrey Prosper and Wheal Kitty[4]

c.1895 Michael Henry Williams was chairman of Dolcoath Mine

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Michael Williams, and of John Williams, ODNB