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William Keates was a key figure in establishing copper smelting in Lancashire.
1801 Born at Cheadle, Staffs
Employed by Cheadle Copper and Brass Co at their works
1821 Given the task of closing the company's Neath smelter
1822 Appointed manager of the Whiston Copper Works near Cheadle
c.1824 On behalf of James Shears and Sons of London, he restarted the disused copper works at Spitty in Carmathenshire
1829 Left South Wales, moved to Lancashire
1830 Keates started the Ravenhead Copper Works, smelting copper ore from Arosa in Venezuela.
Married Miss Andrew of Redruth.
1848 John Bibby and Sons bought the Ravenhead Copper Works from Keates
1860 Ran the lead smelter and roller at Bagillt, Flintshire.
Lived at Greenfield Hall, Holywell, where he directed the 3 rolling and wire mills in that valley
Retired to Devon
c.1889 Died at Leamington. His only son, Joseph Andrew Keates, continued the business