Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Thomas (1752-1827)

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1828 Memorial to John Thomas on the Dundas Aqueduct.

John Thomas (1752-1827), a Quaker, was Superintendent of Works on the construction of the Kennet and Avon Canal. He had made his money as a grocer (John Thomas, Sons & Co), a firm which continued trading as late as 1938, at 17 and 18 Redcliffe Street, Bristol. He owned the prestigious Prior Park near Bath from 1809 until his death in 1827. His grandfather, John Thomas (c.1690-1760), had worked with Abraham Darby (1678-1717), playing a key role in perfecting sand casting of iron pots.[1]

John Thomas (c.1690-1760), married Grace Zeane in Bristol in 1714. Their son Samuel Thomas settled at Keynsham as a wire drawer, and married Esther Derrick in 1746. Their son John was born in 1752, and commenced business as a grocer. In 1776 he married Elizabeth Ovens, of Bristol and they had ten children.

John Thomas (1752-1827) was a keen promoter of waterways, in particular the Somersetshire Coal Canal and the Kennet and Avon Canal. John and Elizabeth Thomas's fifth son, George Thomas, born 1791, was a noted Bristol Quaker Philanthropist. He died in 1869.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'John Thomas – the forgotten man of Prior Park'
  2. [2] 'JOHN THOMAS, OF WELSHPOOL and BRISTOL, INVENTOR AND IRONMASTER', transcribed from various sources by Welsh Journals Online