Skip to main content

Copper Works in the Lower Swansea Valley, opened in 1737 by John Hoblyn of Cornwall and Joseph Percivall of Bristol. The former had married Jane Coster, daughter of Thomas Coster of Bristol mentioned above and heiress to the family fortune of some £ 40,000. Joseph Percivall was a merchant dealing in copper and he soon became the leading partner of the concern, which until the 1760s was called Joseph Percivall and Copper Co., and which operated the White Rock concern in association with its copper refining, rolling and "battery" establishments in the Bristol area[4]. (b) Established 1750-1860. The most prominent group of entrepreneurs and investors in the period before the mid-nineteenth century were drawn from the side of non-ferrous-ore mining. Apart from occasional Cornish investors like John Pollard, Robert Corker and John Hoblyn in the period before 1750, the first of this powerful group to become involved in smelting in Glamorgan were the two Anglesey-based partnerships, the Parys Mine Co. and the Stanley Co. The former took over the Upper Bank (or Plas Uchaf) Copper Works by the Tawe in 1782, and the Stanley Co. operated the nearby Middle Bank (or Plas Canol) Copper Works from 1787 onwards. Half the shares of the Parys Mine Co. were owned by the Rev. Edward Hughes, whose marriage had brought him a considerable portion of the rich ore deposits of the Parys Mountain, north Anglesey, which were exploited on a large scale from the mid-1770s. A further third of the holdings appears to have been acquired by Thomas Williams, a lawyer and land agent who became briefly the supreme controller of the British copper trade; and the remaining one-sixth belonged to John Dawes, a London banker. The Stanley Co., on the other hand, was a subsidiary of the Mona Mine Co. a partnership which also mined in the Parys Mountain. This auxiliary firm was owned by the Earl of Uxbridge with a half of the holdings, Thomas Williams with a quarter, together with John Dawes, Michael Hughes (Edward Hughes's brother), Thomas Harrison (Lord Uxbridge's agent) and John Wilkinson (the ironmaster). The Parys Mine Co. smelted its ores at its Ravenhead (St. Helens, Lanes.) and Upper Bank Works, while the Mona ores were reduced by the Stanley Co. at the Stanley Works (St. Helens) and in Glamorgan at Penclawdd and Middle