John Taylor (1808-1881)
John Taylor, Junior (1808-1881), mining engineer, 6 Queen Street Place, Upper Thames Street, London, E.C (1862)
1846 A mining engineer, of Bayswater, when joined the Inst of Civil Engineers
1851 Living at 80 Kings Road, Brighton: John Taylor (71 born Norwich), Proprietor and Manager of Tin and Lead Mines, with his wife Ann Rowe Taylor (age 71 born Awliscombe, Devon), and their married son John Taylor, Junior, Proprietor and Manager of Tin and Lead Mines (born Whitchurch), and their daughter Ann Unsty with her son. Two servants..
1861 A civil engineer, living in Longnor, Shropshire; his family was in London on census day
1862 Elected a member of the Inst Mech Engineers, mining engineer, of Upper Thames St., London
1863 Civil engineer, of Upper Thames St., London on the death of his father
1881 April 20th. Mining engineer, of St Albans when he died.
1882 Obituary 
MR. JOHN TAYLOR, born at Holwell, near Tavistock, on the 11th of August, 1808, was the eldest son of Mr. John Taylor, who resided there while managing engineer of the Wheal Friendship copper-mine and other mines in the Tavistock district, and who was subsequently well known, while a member of this Institution, as a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Geological Society, as Treasurer of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and as a Member of the London University.
The subject of this memoir, and his brother Richard, began their education at Charterhouse School, and completed it at the Manchester College, York. No institution for special mining instruction existing in England in those days, Mr. Taylor, senior, after giving his sons opportunities of acquiring much knowledge of practical mining in the mines under his management in this country, sent them to Germany, where they spent nearly the whole of the year 1828 in visiting the principal mines of the Rhenish provinces, the Hartz, Freiberg in Saxony, Hungary, Southern Austria, and Bavaria.
Soon after his return from Germany at the end of that year, Mr. John Taylor, junior, was appointed by his father to a position in the management of lead mines in Flintshire, which were then in great activity. Eventually he took the chief management of the Great Mold Mines and of the Halkyn Mines in the same county. He remained at this work for many years, during which time he, under his father’s direction, took an active part in the opening out of some of the long-abandoned mines of Cardiganshire, and soon brought them into a very prosperous condition. His attention was not, however, confined to Flintshire and Cardiganshire, but embraced also the Grassington mines in Yorkshire and the Minera Mine in Denbighshire, where he employed a water-pressure engine of immense power, designed by the late Mr. Darlington, then an engineer in Mr. Taylor’s service.
In the year 1845 he was admitted into partnership by his father, and in 1853 the management of the Linares Mining Company came into the hands of Messrs. John Taylor and Son, and the knowledge which the junior member of the firm had acquired by his visits to Linares led subsequently to the formation of the Fortuna and Alamillos Companies, which may be regarded as the pioneers of English enterprise in that part of Spain.
The remarkable discovery of silver at Hien del Encina, in the province of Guadalaxara, about this time engaged the attention of Messrs. John Taylor and Son and offered an opportunity for the application of the most improved process for the reduction of the ores of that metal. Having, from their connection with the mines of Mexico, been led to study the German processes, and having gained a complete knowledge of the practical working of those processes, they formed the Bella Raquel Company. A leading part in the planning of the Fabrica La Constante for this company was taken by the subject of this memoir. This establishment, in which the Freiberg process of amalgamation was carried out, with the advantage of improved English machinery, with great success, yielded to the company large profits as long as the mines of the district, which were all worked by Spanish companies, continued to supply a sufficient quantity of ore for their employment,
Contemporaneously with these enterprises Mr. John Taylor organised the machinery and plan of working the mines of Palhal and Carvalhal in Portugal, which, during many years, yielded a considerable produce of argentiferous copper ores with ores of cobalt and nickel. The attention of the firm was not confined to Europe ; they had undertakings in Central America, in Canada, and in Western Africa. In the year 1851, Mr. Richard Taylor joined the firm from Cornwall, and the business of Messrs. John Taylor and Sons has, since that date, been continued on a constantly increasing scale, including the Cape Copper Mines, and numerous other metallic mines of every description.
In 1853 Mr. John Taylor made an inspection of the argentiferous lead mines of Pontgibaud, which led to an Anglo-French company being formed under the auspices of his firm, Messrs. John and Richard Taylor holding the position of chief engineers and conducting the entire practical management of the mines and smelting works.
“The Mining World and Engineering Record,” of the 23rd of April, 1881, thus refers to the subject of this memoir:-
“At the periodical meetings of his companies Mr. John Taylor was a welcome and a fluent speaker. No gathering was considered complete which was not addressed by him or by his brother. He had the peculiar faculty of being able to explain mining operations with an absence of technicalities which must often have been welcome to those whom he addressed. His descriptions of plans and sections were singularly clear and gave to the most uninitiated in the mysteries of mining a clear notion of what was going forward. He was most careful in his statements, and never led his hearers to indulge hopes which events were unlikely to realise. His forecasts of the probable results of mining operations were often surprisingly accurate, and no shareholder ever left his meetings who could truly say that all the information he asked for had not been forthcoming. In fact, the public learned to rely greatly upon him, and so it came to pass that the name of John Taylor and Sons upon the face of a prospectus went a long way towards the successful floating of new enterprises. “
In his business relations Mr. John Taylor was not merely as open as the day, but united to his other qualities a kindly, courteous, and genial manner, which endeared him to all who knew him, and particularly to his numerous staff. The service they rendered him was the service of love, and not that of which mere pecuniary emolument is the reward. By them he will be sorely missed, whilst to his brother his loss is simply irreparable.”
Mr. Taylor was elected a Member of the Institution in April 1847, and occasionally took part in the discussions. He was also it Fellow of the Geological Society, and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the British Association. He died at his residence at St. Albans on the 20th of April, 1881, at the age of seventy-two.
1882 Obituary 
JOHN TAYLOR was born at Holwell, near Tavistock, on 11th August 1808, and received his education at the Charterhouse, and subsequently at Manchester College, York.
After acquiring much practical knowledge in the mines sunder the management of his father, Mr. John Taylor, he was sent with his brother Richard to Germany, and spent nearly the whole of the year 1828 in visiting all the principal mines of that country and of Austria.
Soon after his return Mr. John Taylor was appointed by his father to a position in the management of lead mines in Flintshire, which were then in great activity.
Eventually he took the chief management of the great Mold mines and of the Halkyn mines in that county; and also took an active part in the opening out of many of the long-abandoned mines of Cardiganshire. During the same period he was also occupied with the Grassington mines in Yorkshire, the great mine of Minera in Denbighshire, and the Allport mines in Derbyshire, where he employed a water-pressure engine of enormous power, designed by the late Mr. Darlington.
In 1845 he came to London to join his father as a partner.
In 1853 the management of the Linares lead mines in the province of Andalusia, Spain, came into the hands of Messrs. John Taylor and Son; and this led subsequently to the formation of the Fortuna and Alamillos companies for working other lead mines in the same district.
The discovery of silver at Hien del Encina, in the province of Guadalaxara, Spain, engaged the attention of the firm, and they formed the Bella Raquel Mining Company working these ores. A leading part was taken by Mr. John Taylor, in the planning of the Fabrica la Constants for that company. In this establishment the Freiberg process of amalgamation was carried out with great success, with the advantage of improved English machinery.
At the same time he developed the mines of Palhal and Carvalhal in Portugal, yielding argentiferous copper ores together with ores of cobalt and nickel.
The firm had undertakings also in Central America, in Canada, in Western Africa, and at the Cape of Good Hope.
In 1853 Mr. John Taylor made an inspections of the argentiferous lead mines of Pontgibaud, Puy de Dome, France, which led to an Anglo-French company being formed for working them: Messrs. John and Richard Taylor (the latter having now joined the firm) conducting the entire practical management of the extensive mines and smelting works.
In addition to those mentioned, the firm were connected with many other metalliferous mines of almost every description.
Mr. John Taylor's death took place at St. Albans on 20th April 1881, at the age of seventy-two.
He became a Member of the Institution in 1862.
Note from a correspondent in 2019.
"John (1808-81) actually lived at Coed Du, near Mold, in North Wales. In fact he lived there for most of his life and was probably born there. He inherited the estate from his father John Taylor FRS and the directorships of the companies mining lead in the Peak District."
Sources of Information
- 1876 Civil Engineer Lists
- 1851 census
- 1861 census
- Mechanical engineer records
- National probate calendar
- 1881 Census
- National probate calendar
- 1882 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
- 1882 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
- J D-F 2019/08/14