Mr Thomas Brown and the Monmouthshire Hills Iron Masters.
The Monmouthshire Hills Iron Masters.
The image shows the signatures and official seals of the Monmouthshire Hills Iron Masters. They are on a legal document from 1860 for the purchase of land at Ebbw Vale by the Ebbw Vale Company to which the signatories are the Directors. The signatures are of – Mr Abraham Darby III; Mr Henry Dickinson; Mr William Tothill; Mr Thomas Brown Esq (Cwmtillery Colliery founder); Mr Joseph Robinson and Mr John Powell:
Thomas Brown Esq
Mr Thomas Brown was born at Merthyr in 1802, the son of Mr Richard Brown. The Brown family later came to Ebbw Vale and Thomas worked along side his father and brother James for the Ebbw Vale Company. In 1818 Mr Thomas Brown was in Nantyglo and in 1820 he and his father was in partnership with Messrs Brewer, they set up the Coalbrook Vale Iron Works, Nantyglo. In 1923 they established the Blaina Iron Works and a few years later the Cwmcelyn Works.
Mr Thomas Brown later went into partnership with Mr John Russell Esq of Risca and they were the proprietors the Risca Collieries. He came back to the district to be part of the Ebbw Vale Co in the late 1830s and also had a position in the Blaina and Cwmcelyn Works. Later he set out on his own and purchased land in the Cwmtillery valley at Tyr-Nicholas and sunk Cwmtillery Colliery during 1840-42. In 1847 he sold the Cwmtillery Colliery to his ex-partner John Russell of Risca.
In August 1861 Mr Thomas Brown Esq purchased Hardwick House, Chepstow, the former residence of Fenton Hort Esq and Bishop Coppleston.
In March 1864 Mr Thomas Brown joined the board of the South Wales Colliery Company, he also had a place on the board of The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company. Later in the year Mr John Russell sold the Cwmtillery Collieries to The South Wales Colliery Co.
In November 1876 Mr Thomas Brown had undertaken the Management of the Blaina and Nantyglo Works and has taken up residence in Nantyglo House (former residence of Mr Crawshay Bailey). He took over from Mr Spencer.
Between 1820 and 1868 Mr Thomas Brown had been instrumental in bringing into the valley several millions of pounds in money, paying on average between £10,000 and £12,000 per week in wages to his workforce connected with the iron and coal trade, at Ebbw Vale, Cwmtillery and Abersychan.
On Thursday 4th December 1884, Mr Thomas Brown Esq passed away at his residence at Eversham Lawn, Pittville, Cheltenham. He was 82 years of age and was the last of the gang of The Monmouthshire Hill Iron Masters!