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British Industrial History

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Richard Reynolds

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Richard Reynolds (1735-1816), ironmaster and philanthropist, was son-in-law of Abraham Darby (1711-1763).

1735 born on 1 November in Corn Street, Bristol, the only son of Richard Reynolds (senior) (d. 1769), iron merchant of Bristol, and his wife, Jane.

1756 moved to Shropshire as representative of Thomas Goldney, who had investments in the ironworks at Coalbrookdale and Horsehay.

1757 Married Hannah Darby (1735-1762), daughter of Abraham Darby (1711-1763), with whom he had 2 children, one of whom was William

1757 Reynolds took a one-third share of a new ironworks at Ketley, 4 miles from Coalbrookdale, together with Darby and Goldney.

1763 moved to Coalbrookdale on the death of his father-in-law. Thomas Goldney installed him as manager at Coalbrookdale.

1763 Married Rebecca (d. 1803), daughter of William Gulson of Coventry, with whom he had three children, one of whom was Joseph

1768 returned to Ketley

By 1777 Richard Reynolds was lessee of Ketley Iron Works.

1786 William Rathbone married Hannah Mary Reynolds, the only daughter of Richard Reynolds; they had four sons and one daughter.

1789 returned to Coalbrookdale. Reynolds passed his interests in Ketley to his sons, William and Joseph, who continued to carry them on.

Gradually he acquired the Shropshire interests of the Goldney family, as well as buying the manor of Sutton Maddock in 1776, and the manor of Madeley in 1780. In consequence he became the principal landlord of the Coalbrookdale Co. In 1789 that partnership owed him £20,000

1793 December he advanced a further £4000 to keep the Coalbrookdale company in business.

1794 the name of the Coalbrookdale partnership was changed from Richard Reynolds & Co. to William Reynolds & Co.

1816 died during a visit to Cheltenham

The Reynolds Commemoration Society was formed in Bristol to continue his philanthropic works.

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