Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Hawks, Senior

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William Hawks, Senior (1708–1755), was a foreman smith at the iron manufactory established by Sir Ambrose Crowley (1658-1713) at Swalwell, 2 miles to the west of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Hawks and his wife, Jane, had 3 sons, the eldest of whom was William Hawks.

Late 1740s: Hawks Senior decided to start work on his own account and established a set of workshops on waste ground along the river foreshore at Gateshead. He exploited the availability of cheap scrap metal, which was carried up the Tyne as ballast by returning collier vessels. From this he made nails, bolts, chains, shovels, and tools for which there was a brisk demand in the local coal industry and shipping trade.

1755 Hawks died intestate at the age of 46 on 23 February. The works passed to the eldest son, William.

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