Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Morris

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Morris, Robert (c1701-1768), industrialist

c.1701 Born in Shropshire

c.1724 Moved to the Swansea area attracted by the copper-smelting activities

1725 Married Margaret Jenkins in Swansea

1726 Dr John Lane, operator of the Landore Works, became bankrupt; Morris took over the works as receiver until he eventually secured sufficient capital to buy the works in 1727.

1728 Morris became a partner, as Lockwood, Morris and Co

Morris was soon mining his own coal, after disputes with the existing suppliers.

1733 He was granted a lease to build a dock for coal ships; over the following years he improved facilities at the port included bringing in better horses to haul coal and attempting to improve postal facilities.

By 1735 he was the biggest exporter from Swansea.

1748 The works at Llangyfelach ceased to operate and were moved further up the valley to Fforest.

Disputes about mineral property continued for twenty years or more.

His interests in the lead mines of Cardiganshire, an area in which his wife had family ties, also brought him into contact with like-minded families such as the Powells of Nanteos. This probably aided the process by which he became largely accepted into the gentry circles of Glamorgan, becoming a justice of the peace by the 1760s and acting as high sheriff of the county in 1763.

His son John Morris gave his father's name to the industrial suburb of Morriston on the outskirts of Swansea.

1768 Morris died in Swansea

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Robert Morris, ODNB