Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Crawshay

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William Crawshay (1764 – August 11, 1834), was a South Wales industrialist.

The son of Richard Crawshay, he was entrusted with running the firm's merchant house in London, while his father remained at Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

About 1784 Crawshay married Elizabeth Couzens (1760-1825); they had three sons, Richard (1786-1859), William Crawshay (1788-1867), and George (1794-1873), and two daughters, Elizabeth (1790-1877) and Mary (1793-1881).

1809 After a quarrel, William Crawshay was replaced as his father's executor and residuary legatee by Benjamin Hall (1778-1817), his brother-in-law. Eventually he inherited only a three-eighths share in the Cyfarthfa works.

For much of the next decade Crawshay strove to reverse this and make himself the master of Cyfarthfa.

1813 He bought out his cousin, Joseph Bailey (1783-1858), who had inherited one quarter share in the works.

1814 Acquired the interest of Anthony Bacon II, illegitimate son of the founder of Cyfarthfa

1817 Benjamin Hall died; Crawshay obtained his shares in the works.

After his father's death in 1810, he left the running of the works mostly in the hands of his own son, William. However the younger William had major differences with the London merchant about how the to conduct the iron trade which was not resolved until William senior's death in 1834.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of William Crawshay, ODNB [1]
  • [2] Wikipedia