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Corbyn's Hall Colliery and Ironworks

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1779 The Gibbons family purchased the Corbyn's Hall estate

1824 The Gibbons brothers - John, Benjamin and Thomas - were in business together at the Corbyn's Hall Collieries and Blast Furnaces, built by them about 1824.

1829 The Shutt End Railway was opened, to carry coal from the Corbyn's Hall Colliery to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

1837 31 Dec: Lease by the Trustees of the late Earl of Dudley to John Gibbons and Benjamin Gibbons, both of Shut End, Staffordshire, coal masters and co-partners of thick coal/ten yard coal under Lady Leasowe and Southalls Close, parish of Kingswinford, Staffordshire for 7 years, with plan

1838 1 Aug: Lease by John Gibbons of Edgbaston, Warwickshire ironmaster and Benjamin Gibbons of Corbyns Hall, ironmaster and James Taylor of Moseley, parish of Kings Norton, Worcestershire, Esquire and others (mortgagees) to William Mathews & John Dudley of Corbyn's Hall, ironmasters and copartners, of the Corbyns Hall Estate, minerals and blast furnaces (reserving certain other furnaces and works) for 63 years, with plan. Supplementary deed, 5 November 1842. 2 August: Mortgage by Mathews and Dudley to Messrs. Gibbons and William Gibbons the elder of leasehold mines and lands in the parish of Kingswinford to secure £9995.

1830s The Gibbons were amongst the earliest of the south Staffordshire iron partnerships to adopt J. B. Neilson's patent hot-blast technology when it became widely available in the mid-1830s. However, there was little they could do to overcome the declining competitiveness of south Staffordshire as a pig iron-producing region, in the face of competition from the Scottish and Cleveland iron industries in the middle of the nineteenth century. The family's problems in the iron trade were for a long time compensated for by the resilience of their coal interests. The long-established Gibbons habit of buying land stood them in good stead, for it furnished them with a good deal of mineral-rich real estate in south Staffordshire. The Corbyns Hall estate proved a consistent source of wealth in this respect.[1]

1841 28 Mar: Conveyance to Mathews and Dudley of minerals under a piece of land near Corbyn's Hall.

1845 29 Apr: Agreement for renting a blast furnace at Corbyns Hall by Mathews and Dudley to Gibbons junior

1846 14 Jan: Deed dissolving the partnership between Mathews and Dudley and mutal releases of partnership estate.

1847 1 Jan: Lease by William Mathews of Edgbaston esquire to William Malins of Mansion House Place, Londonand George and Charles Rawlinson of Newton Nottage, Glamorgan, iron and coalmasters, of the Corbyns Hall estate, 4 blast furnaces with foundaries, casting houses and related buildings (with specified reservations), and thick coal/ten yard coal, heathen coal and brooch coal,and ironstone, etc., etc. plus other adjacent lands and minerals (specified), for a term of 56 years paying various fixed rentals and royalties detailed breakdown of the Corbyns Hall and Tansey Green Estates and other lands (125a. 0r. 39p) with plan.

1849 Pneumatic lift to raise ore, fuel and limestone for charging four blast furnaces at Corbyn's Hall New Furnaces near Dudley described by its designer, Benjamin Gibbons (1783-1873), in The Practical Mechanic's Journal. It was worked by air pressure from the blowing engine.[2]

1852 23 Mar: Mortgage by Mathews to the Birmingham Banking Company of leasehold mines and ironworks at Corbyns Hall [ for a term of 51 years]

1853 31 Jan: Counterpart lease by William Mathews to Samuel Holden Blackwell of Dudley, ironmaster of a mill, forge and premisies at Corbyns Hall, with surrender endorsed. 4 August: Surrender by William Chance et. al., Trustees for the Birmingham Banking Company to William Mathews of Corbyns Hall of a term of 51 years in the estate, mines and ironworks there upon redemption of a mortgage (£8,750). 13 August: Original and counterpart lease by the Trustees of the will of William Hughes of Kingswinford, gentleman (Alexander Brodie Cochrane the yr of Kingswinford, ironmaster amongst them) to William Mathews of Edgbaston and George Hickman Bond of Tiled House, parish of Kingswinford, coalmasters and copartners, of coal and ironstone under the Kettleys Estate (35a. 3r.) for a term of 14 years

1862 9 Jan: Counterpart lease by William Mathews of the Leasowes near Birmingham, Warks., Esq. to Henry Sparrow of Woodfield House, Wordsley, parish of Kingswinford, ironmaster, of a mill and forge at Corbyns Hall for 6 years, with plan and schedules of fixtures, machinery, etc.

1862 'Boiler Explosion and Loss of Four Lives.
—A fearful boiler explosion occurred at about six o'clock on the 27th ult. at the Corbyns Hall Malleable Iron Works (Messrs. Blackwell and Sparrow), situated about two miles from Dudley, which resulted in the death of four men and serious injuries to about ten others. The exploded boiler was about 30 horse-power, and was heated by the flues of the puddling furnaces. At six o'clock number of men were at work in the puddling furnaces, when a fearful explosion took place. The roof of the furnaces was immediately broken through by a mass of falling debris, and the whole place presented a scene of wreck. The bodies of four men were speedily found in the debris, all of them being employed the works. Ten or twelve others were found to be seriously injured, some of them so seriously that no hopes are entertained of their recovery. The cause of the explosion at present remains a mystery.'[3]

1865 29 Jun: Memoranda and notices to mortgagees re further borrowings by William Mathews from John Simpson Rutter and John Neve of Wolverhampton, gentlemen

1867 25 Jun: Counterpart lease by William Mathews of Corbyns Hall, ironmaster and mortgagee to Paul Robinson of Sedgley, Staffs., coalmaster, Gabriel Jones of Kingswinford, coalmaster, George Glaze of Brockmoor, parish of Kingswinford, ironfounder & Daniel Parsons of Pensnett, same parish, engineer, of mines under Tiled House Estate, Kingswinford, with plan

1868 20 Aug: Duplicate agreement between William Mathews of Great Malvern, Worcs., ironmaster and Samuel Hingley of Cradley, Staffs., ironmaster for an annual tenancy of the Corbyns Hall Estate, with plan and detailed schedule of buildings, fixtures and machinery

1869 25 Feb: Agreement Mathews/Hingley for renting No. 1 blast furnace at Corbyns Hall

1870 3 Feb: Counterpart lease by William Mathews of Parkfield, Great Malvern, Esq. to Hingley of the ironworks at Corbyns Hall for 7 years, with plan and detailed schedule of buildings, fixtures and machinery. 3 Feb: Counterpart lease by Mathews to Hingley of No. 1 blast furnace for 7 years, with plan and schedules

1872 7 Mar: Counterpart underlease by Benjamin St John Mathews of Kingswinford, gentlemen to Benjamin Williams, Benjamin Williams the younger and George Williams, all of Kingswinford, iron manufacturers, of the ironworks at Corbyns Hall, for 7 years, with plan and schedules of buildings, fixtures and machinery

1903 21 Mar: for the sale of Benjamin St John Attwood Mathews of Pontrilas Court, Herefords., Esq. to Caleb William Roberts of Stourbridge, Worcs., colliery proprietor of the Tiled House and Common Side Estates, parish of Kingswinford (75.248a.) and mines under 97.009a. of land there, with plans and schedules

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of the Gibbons family, ODNB
  2. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, 1849, pp.161-2
  3. Chelmsford Chronicle, 7 March 1862
  • [1] National Archives