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(By His Special Permission.)
IS HUMBLY DEDICATED
HIS OBLIGED AND GRATEFUL SERVANT,
HE First Edition of this Work, issued in
the year 1867, was limited to a very small impression. It was presented in its entirety to friends and Public Institutions, and was thus exhausted within a week or two of its publication.
The Author continues his History of the Industry through the earlier parts of the present century to our own day, sketching the establishment of individual works, describing their localities and furnishing the names of promoters, partners, and ground landlords, with other information of a like nature.
Here, too, will be found the names of those Nobles, Knights, and others, who joined in starting that grand old Company, the "Mines Royal," in 1580, as well as the strange powers granted by the Crown to those Associations from which such great results sprung and have continued to this time. In addition to those from Elizabeth's reign, charters of the like nature are quoted down to the period of Queen Anne, and most interesting extracts taken from the private day-books and ledgers of those eras are given in elucidation of the text.
An Appendix supplies much matter of cognate interest; eg., the Copper, brass, and silver coinage of the "Token" period, carefully
registered from originals belonging to the Author, and by him presented to the Royal Institution Museum at Swansea.
The Author having commenced his search in the Public Record Office, found himself rewarded by a mass of evidences from which he has given verbatim transcripts of a most valuable character of what he may justly term proofs direct from Queen Elizabeth's Customer, Smythe, and the Founders of this important Industry, of their relations with their Employés, which, he believes, had not before been made public, embracing details of the most interesting nature in a social and mercantile sense, together with much that is extremely curious in reference to the manipulation of mines, furnaces, and the chemistry in practice, during the active reign of that Queen. In these days of disagreement between masters and men, much may be gathered of lively interest from these original letters, illustrative of the confidence with which the employers and workmen then co-operated-"in the trust that the Mynes may prospere, that good greement may exist to set the work forward, whereby they may all have profitt, and the commonwealth be maintained to God's honer."
Evidence is also produced, derived (amongst other sources) from the letters of Mr. Secretary Walsingham, showing how greatly the English of those early days of the trade were indebted to the "Germans," or Dutch," from their then skilled knowledge in metallurgy.
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
For some years past the early history of the Metal manufactures of this country has received considerable attention from topographers, antiquaries, and metallurgists, and it cannot be denied but that the germ, growth, and final settlement of any great staple trade must be a subject of considerable interest to a numerous class of readers amongst "a nation of shopkeepers"; more especially so to the District in which the particular manufacture has proved a settled
When years ago compiling the materials for my "History of Neath and its Abbey," the manufacture of Copper in that locality naturally attracted my serious attention, and I gave to the public in that work such information as I had then obtained; the accounts however were meagre, the result unsatisfactory. Since that period I have never ceased my searching, and when Dr. Percy prepared the first volume of his admirable work on Metallurgy in 1861, I placed at his disposal all the materials I had up to that time accumulated, and much of which may be there perused (vide page 289 et seq.) Still the result was unsatisfactory. Carew, the Cornish historian, had left it as a fact that "copper ore was, in the early part of the 17th century, sent into Wales to be refined," and it has been inferred that the art had attained considerable development at or near Neath long prior to its introduction into Swansea. The learned Dr. concludes by saying "It must however be left to future antiquarian researches to elicit more precise evidence on this subject than we at present possess."