Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Chauncey Townsend

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Chauncy Townsend (23 February 1708 – 28 March 1770) was a businessman and a Member of Parliament.

He started his business career as a London linen draper, before becoming a merchant in about 1740. He developed extensive interests in coal mines in the Swansea area of Wales, as well as mining, smelting and refining copper, lead and zinc.

From 1744, as a government contractor, he supplied military and settlers's needs in Nova Scotia.

He developed deep mines at Llansamlet, Landore and Llanelli to supply coal for his smelters and for export, and mineral mines in mid Wales for non-ferrous ores (mainly lead and zinc). He smelted lead and zinc at Llansamlet (Upper Bank Works) and produced copper at Middle Bank Works (immediately north of White Rock Copper Works). The smelter at Llansamlet was opened in 1757, undertaken in partnership with his son-in-law, John Smith [1]

Townsend was a regular supporter, in the House of Commons, of whatever government the King appointed. He represented Westbury between 1748 and 1768. He was elected for Wigtown Burghs in 1768 and sat for this constituency until his death in 1770. He was the second Englishman to be elected and the first to actually sit in Parliament, for any Scottish constituency. Despite being a Member of Parliament for 22 years, he is not recorded as ever having spoken in the House. James Townsend MP was his son

1770 By the time of his death, most of his money had been consumed by the mining business.

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Sources of Information

  1. p. 25 and p.61, 'Copperopolis: Landscapes of the Early Industrial Period in Swansea' by Stephen Hughes, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 2000