Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,526 pages of information and 233,954 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Charles Roe and Co

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1791 Macclesfield halfpenny, proclaiming that 'Charles Roe Established the Copper Works 1758
1791 Macclesfield halfpenny

of Macclesfield

1756 Charles Roe (1715–1781), a silk producer, started mining at Coniston in the Lake District and at about the same time at Alderley Edge, near Macclesfield, trading as Charles Roe and Copper Company.

1758 Roe built a copper smelter on Macclesfield Common

Roe entered a lifelong partnership with Brian Hodgson, of Buxton, who had coal-mining interests at Disley.

The company built rolling mills for copper sheets, using copper from Staffordshire mines

1763 Built a brass-wire mill at Havannah, in Eaton, near Congleton. Mining started at Penrhyn-Du in north Wales.

1764 Mining started on Parys Mountain on Anglesey

1765 Started to purchase Cornish ore

1766 Built brass battery and rolling mills at Bosley, south of Macclesfield.

1767 Supported by John Walker of Liverpool, built a copper smelter on Liverpool's south shore.

1767 Successfully petitioned Parliament with other major brass and copper concerns, against a royal charter being granted to the Warmley Brass Co.

1768 Roe's mining agent, Jonathan Roose, made a large find of copper ore at Parys Mountain.

1770 Smelting was moved further along the Mersey estuary to Toxteth Park.

1774 A new partnership, the Macclesfield Copper Company, was created.

1781 Charles Roe died in Macclesfield; his eldest surviving son from his first marriage, William Roe (1747–1827), took on responsibility for the business

By 1782 the Macclesfield Co had profits of £15,000 per annum.

1790 As Roe and Co the company moved from Liverpool and Macclesfield to Neath Abbey where labour costs were lower and coal cheaper. Erected copper works close to the Mines Royal Works on the bank of the Clydach River[1].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Copper Industry in the Neath Valley[1]
  • Biography of Charles Roe, ODNB [2]