THE BROGDEN PIONEERS OF THE EARLY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IN MID-GLAMORGAN THESE Brogdens, an enterprising Furness father and his eldest sons, already important railway contractors in the Midlands and the North, acquired iron and coal undertakings in Mid-Glamorgan in the middle of the last century and became the pioneers of its early industrial development. The failure of their plan to survive during the depression in the South Wales iron and coal trade in the late 70s was the first of the misfortunes that ultimately ruined them financially. John Brogden, the father, was born on the 2nd of February 1798 on a farm in the Furness district of Lancashire, and he worked with his father on the farm until, when a young man, he left home to make his way in the world. In 1822 he married Sarah Hannah, only daughter of Alexander McWilliam of Hazelhurst near Ashton- under-Lyne, and they made their home in Manchester, where they remained for many years. Their family consisted of five sons and two daughters. The eldest of the sons, John, was born in Manchester in 1823, and he died very suddenly at his home, Lightburn House, Ulverston, on the 6th of November 1855 at the early age of 32. The second son, Alexander, was born in Manchester on the 3rd of November 1825, and in its Cathedral on the 6th of September 1848 he married Ann, daughter of James Garstang of the same city. During the 1860s they resided at Woodlands, Holme Island, Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire, and in 1868 he was elected the first member of Parliament for Wednesbury, Staffordshire. He died in Croydon in November 1892. Henry, the third son, was born in Manchester in 1827 and died in Hale, near Altrincham, Cheshire in 1913. James, the fourth son, was born on the 7th of April 1832, also in Manchester, and spent most of his adult life in Mid-Glamorgan, at first at Ton-du and later at Porthcawl, where he died in January 1907. The fifth son, George William Hargreaves Brogden, known as George within the family and amongst his friends, was born in 1842 and died at his home in London in 1892. John Brogden's elder daughter, Sarah Hannah, married Samuel Budgett, son of a well-known Manchester merchant. His younger daughter, Mary Jane, referred to as Jenny in the family correspondence, married William Billing in Manchester Cathedral on the 18th of December 1867, and at one time they lived at Dunham Grange, Bowdon, Cheshire. The four sons, John, Alexander, Henry and James, in turn when their education had been completed, assisted their father in his many undertakings and later became his partners in the family firm, John Brogden & Sons, which he formed. This partnership of father and sons constructed, promoted, owned and worked railways in the Midlands and the North, mined and exported Furness haematite ore, owned ironworks and collieries in South Wales and invested in a number of bold and important enterprises. It ultimately became insolvent and was wound up in 1880. The youngest son, George, was too young to join the family partnership, and therefore he was not involved in either its early success or its ultimate failure.