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British Industrial History

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William Sargeant Roden

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William Sargeant Roden (1829-1882)

1882 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SARGEANT RODEN was born at Wolverhampton in 1829, and was educated at Bristol, after which he was placed with his uncle, the late Mr. Thomas Brown, at the Ebbw Vale Ironworks, in South Wales.

In 1857, he joined the Shelton Bar Iron Company and became the managing partner. Under his management, which continued until about eight years ago, very extensive additions were made to the Company's works, and the large ironworks at Etruria, which are amongst the finest in Staffordshire, were erected under his personal supervision.

Soon after his connection with the Potteries, Mr. Roden manifested an interest in public matters, and took an active part in the formation of the Hanley Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1859. In 1871 he became Hon. Colonel of the Staffordshire and Shropshire Artillery Volunteers.

He also identified himself with the municipal life of the borough of Hanley, becoming a member of the Town Council in 1863. He served the office of Mayor from 1866 to 1868.

Soon after Mr. Roden came into the district in 1857 there was a parliamentary election, when he took an active part in promoting the return of Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Gower for Stoke-upon-Trent; and for many years he was an ardent and powerful supporter of Liberal candidates for that borough. In November 1868, a general election took place, and Colonel Roden was elected, with Mr. Melly, without opposition to represent Stoke-upon-Trent. While he was an attentive member generally, he devoted special attention to the wishes of his constituents, and his persistent efforts, in conjunction with the present Lord Norton and Mr. Melly, largely contributed to the rejection of the Trent Purification Bill, which was at that time regarded as inimical to the interest of the Potteries district. At the dissolution in 1874, Mr. Melly and Colonel Roden were again candidates for the representation of Stoke, but through the split occasioned by the candidature of Mr. Walton, the latter was defeated.

Colonel Roden was a J.P. and D.L. of the county of Stafford, and J.P. for the county of Monmouth and the borough of Hanley. He married in 1860 Theodora, daughter of Mr. Samuel Butcher, of Sheffield, who died in February 1867, leaving one son, now nineteen years of age.

Colonel Roden was an original member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and in 1871 was elected a member of the Council. 'He died at his residence in Paddington on the 25th April 1882.

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