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British Industrial History

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John Knowles

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John Knowles (1828-1893)

1894 Obituary [1]

JOHN KNOWLES, of Westwood, Pendlebury, near Manchester, was born on the 1st of November, 1828, and was the son of Mr. Thomas Knowles, of Clively Rank, Clifton, near Manchester, and a grandson of Mr. Andrew Knowles, who about the beginning of the century founded the firm of Andrew Knowles and Sons, colliery proprietors.

After being educated at the Shaw Street College, Liverpool, he became a pupil of the late John G. Blackburne, civil engineer, of Oldham.

On the completion of his apprenticeship in 1846 he was appointed surveyor and engineer of the collieries at Pendlebury, Pendleton, Radcliffe and Bolton, belonging to Messrs. Andrew Knowles and Sons. From that time he devoted himself almost entirely to the extension and development of those collieries, a work in which he was eminently successful. In 1874 the undertaking was converted into a limited company with a capital of £1,250,000 and employing 3,600 work-people. Mr. Knowles retained a large interest, and at the time of his death was chairman and managing director of the company.

He was also engaged in cotton-spinning, having built a large mill at Pendlebury, thoroughly equipped with the most modern machinery....[more]

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