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British Industrial History

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Joseph Tregelles Price

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Joseph Tregelles Price (1784-1854) of the Neath Abbey Co, near Swansea

1784 Joseph Tregelles Price born, son of Peter Price

1816 With several other Quakers he founded the Peace Society in London.

1818 Joseph Tregelles Price (1784–1854) succeeded his father, Peter Price, as managing partner of the Neath Abbey Iron Co.

Joseph Tregelles Price's activities were recorded by one Quaker poet in the following way:

Joseph Price, Joseph Price, Thou are mighty precise, Methought t'other night in a dream That thou really walked Slept, ate, drank and talked, And prayed every Sunday by steam. (Diaries of Edward Pease, 390)

1830s Price took out two patents for improvements to boilers and steam engines.

1842 The works built its first iron ship, the first iron vessel launched in Wales.

Stationary steam engines were built at the Neath Abbey ironworks; some of the world's largest pumping engines were built there for the Cornish mines. Met the local need for engines in the growing South Wales coal and iron industries.

Price was more than simply an industrialist for he was well known for humanitarian acts and for the prominent position he took in the affairs of the Society of Friends. One of his well-known acts was his attempt to intervene in the case of Richard Lewis. Lewis had been condemned to death for his part in the Merthyr riots of 1831. Price was convinced of Lewis's innocence and rode to London to talk about the case with the Home Secretary. A reprieve was granted for a time but Lewis was not saved from the gallows. Price was also active in campaigning for the end of wars of all kinds.

1843 Price played an important part as chairman of one of the sessions of the international peace conference held in London.

1854 Joseph Tregelles Price died unmarried on 25 December at Glynyfelin, Cadoxton, Glamorgan

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Joseph Price, ODNB [1]