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British Industrial History

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Evan Matthew Richards

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Evan Matthew Richards (1821-1880)

1821 November 17th. Born at Swansea the son of Richards Richards and his wife Catherine Thomas

Married Maria

His sons were William Frederic Richards and James Richards

1880 August 21st. Died

1880 Obituary [1]

Mr. EVAN M.RICHARDS died suddenly in August last at his residence, Brooklands, Swansea. The deceased was one of the original members of the Iron and Steel Institute. He was also, from the formation of this Institute to the day of his death, one of its trustees, his co-trustees until 1878 being the late Mr. H. W. F. Bolckow, M.P., and Mr. John Hartley of Wolverhampton; and since that year Mr. J. W. Pease, M.P., and Mr. Hartley.

Swansea owes much to Mr. Richards. It was to him and Mr. Dillwyn, M.P., that the Landore-Siemens Steel Works chiefly owed their establishment. At these works, as is generally known, Siemens or open-hearth steel was first manufactured on a large commercial scale; and Mr. Richards, who acted for several years as their general manager, had much to do with the success that has attended their operations, and has enabled the open-hearth steel trade, since they were commenced in 1872, to develop from a few thousand tons to about 200,000 tons per annum in the United Kingdom alone.

But Mr. Richards did not limit his business connections to the steel trade. He was concerned in the ownership of several collieries in South Wales, and a shareholder and director of other works in that district. No one probably has done more to develop the natural and acquired resources of Swansea. In dock construction and in the promotion of railway enterprise he was always to the front, and in these respects he has laid Swansea under many obligations. Mr. Richards was a member of the corporation of Swansea, and twice served as mayor of the borough.

In 1868, he was elected member of Parliament for Cardigan, and occupied that position for a period of six years. At the time of his death, which was due to apoplexy, he was in his sixtieth year.

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