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British Industrial History

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Benjamin Gibbons (1815-1863)

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Benjamin Gibbons, Junior (1815-1863), ironmaster

1816 Born in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, son of William Gibbons and his wife Anne[1]

1840 Developed fire-clay mines at Sedgley

1846 He leased the Hallfields furnace in the Black Country

1847 Leased the Tipton Green ironworks.

Benjamin Gibbons worked the Millfield Furnaces and the Hallfields furnaces at Bradley; along with other members of his family he was prominent in the Brierley Hill and Pensnett districts where they were actively engaged in the manufacture of refractories.

1851 Anne Gibbons 62, Maryann Gibbons 40, Emma Gibbons 37, Elizabeth Gibbons 33, Benjamin Gibbons 31, ironmaster, coal master, fire brick manufacturer[2]

mid-1850s he took over the Millfield works, only a short distance from the now derelict Bilston furnace which his family had built in 1788

1856 Purchased the Soudley Iron Works in the Forest of Dean

1859 Gave up both the Hallfields and Tipton Green works.

1860 Benjamin Gibbons, Junior, Millfield Iron Works, West Bromwich.[3]

Although he retained the Millfield works, his attention was directed to the Forest of Dean.

1861 Ironmaster and JP, living in Kingswinford, with Emily Gibbons 31, Benjamin Gibbons 9, John Hall Gibbons 6, William P Gibbons 5, Mary E Gibbons 3, Emma M Gibbons 1, Elizabeth C Gibbons 3 mo, Emma Gibbons 53[4]

1863 Birth of son George

1863 September 3rd. Died.[5].

His widow, Emily, continued the firebrick business, in which her elder son, Benjamin, was employed as manager[6]

1864 Obituary [7]

Benjamin Gibbons, Jun., was born on 20th May 1815 at Redland near Bristol, and was the youngest son of the late William Gibbons, who was largely connected with the iron and shipping interests of that port.

He commenced business in the South Staffordshire iron district about 1840 by developing some of the fire-clay mines at Sedgley, and about 1844 began making the cinder pig iron for foundry purposes at the Corbyn's Hall Furnaces near Dudley, and afterwards continued to do so at the Milfield Furnaces.

He subsequently carried on also many successful mining operations both in Staffordshire and Derbyshire, and in 1856 established the Soudley Furnaces in the Forest of Dean, where he made the Soudley brand of pigs.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1860; and died at his residence, Birmingham, on 3rd September 1863, at the age of forty-eight, from the results of a slight accident.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of the Gibbons family, ODNB