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The ironmasters, ironworks and people of the North West Monmouthshire area, 1780-1850. /

Swansea University Author: Davies, Thomas Eric

Abstract

This thesis describes how the industrial revolution arrived in the North West Monmouthshire area in the form of a coke based iron industry in the late eighteenth century and how this iron industry grew in the first half of the nineteenth century such that the district became one of the major iron pr...

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Published: 2008
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Master of Philosophy
Degree name: M.Phil
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42759
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Abstract: This thesis describes how the industrial revolution arrived in the North West Monmouthshire area in the form of a coke based iron industry in the late eighteenth century and how this iron industry grew in the first half of the nineteenth century such that the district became one of the major iron producing areas of Britain. Over this period there was a transformation of the area from thinly populated farmlands into an industrial area consisting of a number of ironworks and associated coal and iron ore mines with towns emerging around the iron manufacturing centres. The catalysts for the developments described above were a group of industrialists who came to the area mostly with experience of the iron industry elsewhere. The thesis describes how these industrialists and their successors dealt with an array of difficulties over the period. These difficulties included poor communications, shortages in capital at times and fluctuations in demand for iron products. The ironmasters also had to attract and retain their workforces. The thesis explains how the ironmasters dealt with changes in technology and how they improved productivity such that iron output increased considerably over the period. It will be shown that the consequence of the development of a vibrant iron industry in the area was that the population of these iron districts grew at a truly dramatic rate. Two points should be mentioned on the approach taken to the thesis. Firstly an attempt has been made to see the events that occurred in the context of the time and locality hence there has been considerable concentration on nineteenth century writers and especially on local newspapers. Secondly much information is presented in tabular form in keeping with the background of the author.
Keywords: European history.;Economic history.
College: College of Arts and Humanities