Robert Thompson Crawshay

Robert Thompson Crawshay

Robert Thompson Crawshay

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Robert Thompson Crawshay (3 March 1817 – 10 May 1879) was a British ironmaster.


Crawshay, youngest son of William Crawshay by his second wife, Bella Thompson, was born at Cyfarthfa Ironworks. He was educated at Dr. Prichard's school at Llandaff, and from a very early age manifested interest in his father's ironworks, and spent much of his time among them. As years increased he determined to learn practically the business of an ironworker, and in turn assisted in the puddling, the battery, and the rolling mills; he carried this so far that he even exchanged his own diet for that of the workmen. On the death of his brother William by drowning at the old passage of the Severn he became acting manager of the ironworks, and at a later period when his brother Henry removed to Newnham he came into the working control of the entire establishment.

In 1864 he married Rose Mary Yeates of Berkshire, England. In the same year the original lease of Cyfarthfa lapsed, and was renewed at Crawshay's earnest entreaties. On the death of his father, the active head of the business, in 1867 he became the sole manager, and not only considerably improved the works, but opened out the coal mines to a greater and more profitable issue.

At this time there were upwards of five thousand men, women, and children employed at Cyfarthfa, all receiving good wages, and well looked after by their master. Crawshay was often spoken of as the "Iron King of Wales". His name...
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