(31 March 1824 – 23 April 1890) was a British colliery owner, lay preacher and Liberal
politician who was active in local government and sat in the House of Commons
from 1885 to 1890.
Cossham was born in High Street, Thornbury
, in a house where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were also born. His father Jesse Cossham, a carpenter and builder, named his son after the composer of Messiah
, George Frederic Handel
. A plaque at his birthplace describes him as a "non-conformist Preacher, Industrialist, Geologist, Politician, Educationalist and Public Benefactor".
Cossham began his involvement in the coal industry in 1845 at Yate
colliery. In 1848 he married Elizabeth Wethered and through a partnership with her family, began Parkfield Colliery
at Pucklechurch in 1851. As a caring employer, Cossham also built houses and a school for his colliery workers at Parkfield. The partnership opened several other coal pits, initially under the name of Cossham and Wethered Ltd and from 1867, the Kingswood Coal and Iron Company Ltd. The business came under control of Handel Cossham and Charles S. Wills after 1879... Read More