Llanhilleth Collieries – Proprietors

Llanhilleth Collieries – Proprietors.
Mr Reginald James Blewitt Esq.
Mr Reginald James Blewitt was born in 1799, though sadly not a lot is known about his early life!

The Monmouthshire Merlin Newspaper.
In 1829 Mr Reginald James Blewitt went into partnership with Mr Charles Hough and set up the newspaper printing company the Monmouthshire Merlin.

In 1831 Reginald James Blewitt became the sole proprietor of the newspaper after the co-owner Mr Charles Hough became bankrupt.

The Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire Banking Company.
In July 1836 Mr Reginald James Blewitt along with Mr John Owen, Mr Phillip Jones, Mr Thomas Fothergill, Mr William Towgood, Mr John Jones and Mr Henry Wyborne Jones Esq set up the Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire Banking Company.

The Monmouthshire Boroughs.
In July 1837 Mr Blewitt was elected to the post of the M.P. for the Monmouthshire Boroughs taking over the post vacated by Sir Benjamin Hall. He defeated the Conservative Mr Crawshay Bailey in the elections by 172 votes to 117. Seen (left) is a Parliamentary Free-Front from the 20th of March 1839, signed by Mr Reginald James Blewitt.

In 1843 Mr Blewitt was the owner of the Cwmbran Works and Collieries and in 1845 was the proprietor of the Blaendare Iron and Coal Works.

In 1846-47 Mr Reginald James Blewitt opened the Old Llanhilleth Colliery

The Death of Mr R. J. Blewitt.
In 1878 Mr Reginald James Blewitt sadly passed away. Surprisingly I found there were hardly any news reports, or any mention of his death in any known paper that was available.  

The Powell Family.
Mr Thomas Powell Snr
Mr Thomas Powell senior was born in 1779, at the Gaer, Newport. Mr Powell started off as a timber merchant at Bassaleg, Newport and he later turned his attention towards the mining industry. Mr Thomas Powell became a colliery owner and the largest coal exporter in the coalfield, his sons were Messrs Thomas, Henry and Walter Powell, the latter two brothers later being the owners of the Lanhilleth and Aberbeeg Collieries. At the time of Mr Powell’s death he owned sixteen collieries and employed 6,000 men under the name of the Powell Duffryn Company, in one year it was reported he had exported over 700,000 tons of coal.

The Death of Mr Thomas Powell Snr.
On Tuesday 24th of March 1863, Mr Thomas Powell Snr sadly passed away.

After the death of Mr Thomas Powell Snr at the Gaer, Newport, his home was burgled and his will was stolen. Months later, after one of the most intriguing investigations of its type, the burglar was caught and sentenced to twelve years Penal Servitude, this sentence of Penal Servitude replaced the old charge of “Transportation” to Australia. After the will was recovered it was reported that Mr Powell had left £200,000 the equivalent to 23.2 million in today’s money.

Mr Thomas Powell Jnr.
Mr Thomas Powell Jnr, born in April 1834 was the elder of the three sons, he had Coldra Hall, Newport built for him (where the Celtic Manor is today) as his family residence. After the death of his father Mr Thomas Powell Snr he took over his father’s interests in the company.

In 1869 Mr Thomas Powell Jnr took his wife Mrs Julia Powell nee Jenkins aged 31 and their son Master John Powell at just 7 years of age to Africa with a hunting party to shoot elephants, along the way at Abyssinia (Kenya) they encountered a native tribe. There was a hatred towards British subjects following the recent war in that part of the world and the whole party was massacred except for the servant who had been ill and had followed the party a few days later. The servant after recovering from the illness had found the slaughtered family and sent word back to South Wales of their fate.

The Death of Mr Thomas Powell Jnr.
It was reported that Mr Thomas Powell Jnr his family and hunting party were sadly killed in Africa in July 1869.

Mr Henry Powell.
Mr Henry Powell was born in 1838 at Newport, South Wales.

The Death of Mr Henry Powell.
In December 1894 Mr Henry Powell sadly passed away.

Mr Walter Powell.
Mr Walter Powell was born in April 1842 at Newport, Monmouthshire, South Wales, though later moved to Wiltshire where he became involved in politics. Mr Walter Powell was elected M.P. for Malmsbury, Wiltshire in 1868, he was a keen aviator and did many experimental hot-air balloon flights.

In December 1881 he was on one of these experimental flights in a hot-air balloon called “Saladin” with Captain Templar and a close friend by the name of Mr A. Gardner. They took off from Bath, travelled across Somersetshire and Devonshire. After encountering a few problems, they tried to land near Bridport in Dorset though had an accident upon landing with which his two co-aviators were thrown out of the carriage. Mr Powell held on to the basket hoping to regain control the balloon but got blown out to sea over the English Channel and was never seen or heard of again.

The Death of Mr Walter Powell.
It was reported that Mr Walter Powell died in December 1881.

The Powell Families.
There was no connection between the Powell Duffryn family and the Powell’s Tillery Coal Company family.

Partridge Jones & Co Ltd.
The Partridge Jones and Company was set up in December 1864 at the Varteg, Pontypool when Messrs J. & C. Bailey leased the Varteg Works to Partridge Jones & Co Ltd. The directors of the company were Mr William Bailey Partridge and Mr Edward Jones, with Mr Charles Herbert and William T. Henley as the co-directors. Mr John Paton joined as a major shareholder in 1895 but wasn’t amalgamated into the company until 1920.

Partridge, Jones and John Paton Ltd.
The Partridge, Jones and John Paton Ltd was set up in 1920 to acquire and amalgamate the undertakings of the Partridge Jones & Co Ltd and seven other companies. Their industries included the Steel Works at Pontymister, Pontnewynydd Sheet & Galvanising Works. Three Tin-Plate Works at Pontypool and similar works at Caerleon and Machen. Llanerch and Blaenserchan Collieries. Llanhilleth and Navigation Collieries and under the same wing were Hafodyrynys and the Crumlin Valley Collieries.

In October 1936 the company were to expand into the Western Valley, Ebbw Vale and Cwm and also the Eastern Valley.

The National Coal Board.
In 1947 the collieries were taken over by the N.C.B.

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