Saltford Brass Mill Project
Copyright (C) 2010 Saltford Brass Mill Project. All Rights Reserved
Bristol Brass Company
Bristol Brass Company
1702: Bristol Brass Company formed with its headquarters at Baptist Mills. The partners in the
company were a group of Quaker merchants and businessmen:
ˇ Edward Lloyd
Quaker Wine Merchant & Cider Maker
ˇ Benjamin Coole
ˇ Arthur Thomas
ˇ John Andrews
The company was later joined by:
ˇ Abraham Darby Quaker 'Active Man' (Manager) of the company
ˇ Nehemiah Champion (elder) Quaker Merchant
ˇ John Coster Industrialist and Copper Smelter
ˇ Thomas Coster Merchant Venturer and Copper Smelter
c.1704: Abraham Darby travels to Low Countries.
1706: Join-Stock Company formed. Chew
Mill, Keynsham acquired.
Bristol Brass & Wire Company
c.1708: Abraham Darby moves to Coalbrookdale to pursue iron smelting.
Partnership established with the Esher Brass Wire Company. Bristol company renamed Bristol Brass & Wire Company.
Company found copper works at Conham - The Cupolas
c.1711: Company found copper works at Crews Hole, under the control
of John & Thomas Coster.
1711: Baptist Mills (Headquarters & Brass Melting); Chew Mill (Battery); Woodborough Mill(Battery);
Weston Mill (Battery) in operation.
1721: Saltford Mill acquired (Battery Mill).
1724: Nehehiah Champion (elder) patents
process for manufacture of brass.
c.1730: Avon Mill, Keynsham, established as a Wire Drawing Mill.
1746: William Champion leaves the Bristol company and founds rival 'Warmley Company' to 'make
copper and brass, spelter and various utensils of copper and brass'. Partners in the company:
ˇ William Champion Quaker Merchant
ˇ Thomas Goldney Quaker Merchant Venturer.
ˇ Sampson Lloyd Quaker
ˇ Thomas Crosby Quaker Step-father
of Joseph Harford
1768: Warmley Company attempts expansion which is challenged
as it would create a monopoly, threatening the industry, which is upheld by the Lord's Committee of the Privey Seal. William
Champion attempts to withdraw his investment, is dismissed the company and declared bankrupt. Warmley company auctioned.
Harfords' & Bristol Brass Company
1777: Partners in the Bristol company were:
ˇ Sir Jarrit Smith, Merchant
ˇ Edward Harford the elder Quaker Merchant
ˇ Mark Harford the elder Quaker Merchant
ˇ Edward Harford the younger Quaker Merchant
ˇ Mark Harford the younger Quaker Merchant
ˇ Joseph Harford Quaker Merchant
ˇ Harford Lloyd Quaker Merchant
ˇ George Champion Quaker Merchant
ˇ William Battersby Quaker Merchant
1786: Shares in the United Brass Battery, Wire and Copper Company of Bristol sold. Company restructured
and renamed as Harfords' & Bristol Brass Company; managed by Mark Harford the younger.
1789: Harfords' & Bristol
Brass Company buys Warmley works.
1790s: Woodborough Mill derelict.
1796: Mark Harford retires. Joseph Harford
(cousin) takes over as manager. Company known as Joseph Harford & Bristol Brass Company
Harford, 2nd son of Mark Harford (younger), takes over as manager.
1809: Manufacture of copper and brass ceases at
1811: Weston Mill sold.
1814: Baptist Mills abandoned.
1820: Company ceases copper production.
Bitton Battery Mill sold.
Charles Ludlow Walker
1833: Harfords & Bristol Brass Company cease manufacturing.
Premises leased to Charles Ludlow Walker.
Donald & David Bain
1865: Premises bought by Donald and David Bain who
continue brass battery and wire manufacture.
1903: Donald Bain dies. Alfred Davies, a Cornish mining engineer who
had joined the company in the 1880s, takes over as manager.
1925: Alfred Davies takes over company on
death of Donald Bain's nephew who had inherited the mill in 1903. Operations cease at Saltford.
cease at Keynsham.
The history of Saltford Brass Mill is inextricably linked with the fortunes of the Bristol Brass Company, the key events in it history
being summarized in the following notes:
c.1680: Arthur Coster, erects a reverberatory furnace at Rownham on the river Avon for the smelting of metals.
Redbrook Copper Works
1691: John Coster & partners establish a copper works at Redbrook on Wye, on the Welsh border in Gloucestershire.
1691: Sir Joseph Herne establishes English Copper Company at Lower Redbrook
Conham Copper Works
Elton, a Merchant Venturer, founds a copper works on the River Avon at Conham.
Manufacture of Brass
1700: Group of five Bristol
Quakers petition Privy Council for a Charter of Incorporation to manufacture brass. Group includes:
Lloyd Quaker Wine Merchant & Cider Maker
Shipham, Calamine Mines
Calamine mined at Shipham, on the Mendip, on land owned by:
A. The Resources, Products and Industrial History of Birmingham and the Midland Hardware District.
Samuel Timmins. 1866
B. Annals of the Harford Family. Alice Harford. 1909C. Quakers in Science and Industry: Quaker Contributions
to Science and Industry in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Arthur Raistrick. 1950
D. Bristol Brass: A History of the
Industry. Joan Day. 1973
'All the foregoing works were carried on by Joseph Loscombe and Brass Works Company for nearly fifty years, they were then taken on
by a new firm, composed of three or four of the family of the Harfords, a Sir Jarret Smith and a Mr Battersby, who styled themselves
"Harfords' and Bristol Brass Battery and Wire Company".
Industrial History of Birmingham, 1866
United Brass Battery, Wire and Copper Company of Bristol, Esher, Upper Redbrook and Barton Regis
1734: Bristol Brass & Wire
Company take over John Coster's company at Redbrook on Wye. Redbrook is closed in favour of Crews Hole and Conham.
William Champion, son of Nehemiah (elder) patents process for zinc smelting.
1749: Partners in the Bristol company were:
Hawksworth Quaker Merchant
ˇ Edward Harford Quaker Merchant
ˇ Trueman Harford Quaker Merchant
ˇ Harford Lloyd Quaker Merchant
ˇ Andrews Lloyd Quaker Merchant
ˇ Richard Champion Quaker Merchant
ˇ Nehemiah Champion (younger) Quaker Merchant
ˇ Henry Swymmer Merchant
ˇ Joseph Loscomb Quaker Merchant
In his history of the brass industry, Samuel Timmins observed: