Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ezra Riley 1871 Wales

I was searching the internet today for more information on Ezra Riley.  I knew he lived in Pontnewynydd Wales in 1871 and was listed on that census as the Manager of Pontnewynydd Iron Works and the employer of "437 men and boys".  As I discussed a couple of weeks ago, he had been living in North Woolwich and was working for Henley.  I wondered why he moved to Wales and today I think I found the answer:

 at Pontnewynydd John Lawrence and William Morgan of
Llanfoist in 1837 set up more furnaces; in 1845 these were bought by William Williams of Beaufort who had formerly kept the Company's shop for Crawshay Bailey but now owner of the Golynos works at Abersychan and living at Snatchwood House. He manufactured bars and rails but failed when the Mon. and Glamorgan Bank collapsed in 1851 and W. T. Henley, a London speculator, bought them for conversion into wire mills. Henley is said to have rolled the Atlantic Cable there, but they were soon closed down and remained idle for many years. 

So it looks like he moved there to roll cable for W.T. Henley!  On the Census, he is listed as living at Snatchwood House that is mentioned above.  I don't know how long the family was in Wales but by 1891, they are in Birmingham.

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