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British Industrial History

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Richard Smith (of Dudley)

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The following information is condensed from an informative entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography [1]:-

Richard Smith was a mining engineer and administrator, industrialist, and politician. b. 30 Jan. 1783 at Tipton, Staffordshire, son of Thomas Smith and Mary Morris; d. 21 July 1868 near Lichfield, Staffordshire. Studied at the Royal School of Mines. Married Elizabeth Fereday, daughter of Samuel Fereday, 12 June 1811. He and Fereday suffered financial disaster in the collapse of the coal and iron boom at the end of the Napoleonic wars. The London mining branch of Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell hired Richard Smith to establish their coal mining operations in Nova Scotia, in 1827. It had a 20-horsepower steam engine, probably the first in Canada, for pumping water and raising coal. The Halifax Mechanics’ Institute voted him an honorary member; and Howe noted that Smith had "in very trying and difficult circumstances displayed intelligence, activity and a copiousness of scientific resource, very rarely combined in the same individual – and that have seldom, if ever, been witnessed in Nova Scotia." He left Canada and returned to England in 1834, where he managed the Earl of Dudley’s coal, iron, and limestone holdings from 1836 to 1864. In 1857 he opened the Round Oak Ironworks.

1841 Mine agent of Dudley Port, to the trustees of the late Earl of Dudley[2]. Living in Himley, Staffordshire[3]

1844 Richard Smith founded the Round Oak Works for Lord Dudley, having earlier established the Dudley works for him. Smith continued to manage them for many years, eventually being succeeded by his son, Frederick, assisted by Mr. Smith Casson, as manager of the mills.[4]

1851 Agent, of Priory, Dudley[5]

1860 Richard Smith, The Priory, Dudley.[6]

Leading engineer (Chief agent) at the Round Oak Works.

1868 His sons were George Samuel Fereday Smith (1812-1891) a barrister, of Parkfield Swinton near Manchester, and Frederick Smith of The Priory, Dudley[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Richard Smith entry
  2. 1842 Pigot's Directory of Staffordshire
  3. 1841 census
  4. The Engineer 1868/03/20
  5. 1851 White's Directory
  6. 1860 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  7. National Probate Calendar