Saltford Brass Mill Project
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Bristol Brass Company
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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                      Quaker    Merchant

ˇ       Arthur Thomas                       Quaker    Pewterer

ˇ       John Andrews                        Quaker    Merchant

 
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.
 
c.1709: Partnership established with the Esher Brass Wire Company.  Bristol company renamed Bristol Brass & Wire Company.
 
1710:  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.
 
1721Saltford 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.
 
 
 
 
Battery Mill
Rolling Mill
Warmley Company  
 
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   Birmingham Iron-founder
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.
 
1789Harfords' & 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 
 
1802:  Mark Harford, 2nd son of Mark Harford (younger), takes over as manager. 
 
1809:  Manufacture of copper and brass ceases at Warmley.
1811:  Weston Mill sold.
1814:  Baptist Mills abandoned.
1820:  Company ceases copper production.
1825:  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.
 
Alfred Davies
 
1925:  Alfred Davies takes over company on death of Donald Bain's  nephew who had inherited the mill in 1903.  Operations cease at Saltford.
 
1927:  Operations 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:
Related Events
Rownham 'Cupiloe'
c.1680: Arthur Coster, erects a reverberatory furnace at Rownham on the river Avon for the smelting of metals.
 
Upper Redbrook Copper Works
1691: John Coster & partners establish a copper works at Redbrook on Wye, on the Welsh border in Gloucestershire. 
 
English Copper Company
1691: Sir Joseph Herne establishes English Copper Company at Lower Redbrook
 
Conham Copper Works
1696: Abraham 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: 
ˇ      Edward Lloyd      Quaker    Wine Merchant & Cider Maker 
ˇ      Charles Harford   Quaker
 
Shipham, Calamine Mines
Calamine mined at Shipham, on the Mendip, on land owned by:
ˇ      Abraham Elton                     Merchant Venturer.
Bibliography:
 

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. 1909

C.  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.
 
1738:  William Champion, son of Nehemiah (elder) patents process for zinc smelting.
 
1749:  Partners in the Bristol company were:
 

ˇ    Walter 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: