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Swansea University
Crawshay, Robert Thompson

Reference code(s): GB 0217 LAC/20

Held at: Swansea University

Title: Crawshay, Robert Thompson

Short Title: Crawshay, Robert Thompson

Creation date(s): 1827-1883

Level of description: fonds

Extent: 9 boxes

Name of creator(s):


Administrative/Biographical history: The Crawshay family of Cyfartha was one of the greatest families of iron-masters in the 19th century. Richard Crawshay (1739-1810) was a Yorkshire-man who bought the lease of the ironworks at Cyfartha near Merthyr Tydfil. He became the sole owner of the works in 1794. His son William Crawshay I (1764-1834) had less interest in the works and instead oversaw the company's selling agency in London. However, his son William Crawshay II (1788-1867) expanded the works at Cyfartha and became manager of both the Cyfartha and Hirwaun works. He also bought other ironworks at Treforest and the Forest of Dean. He built the family home Cyfartha Castle in 1825 and also a mansion at Caversham Park in Berkshire. He was known as the 'Iron King'.
When William Crawshay II died in 1867 he left the Treforest Ironworks to his son Francis; the Forest of Dean to his son Henry and the Cyfartha Works to his youngest son Robert Thompson Crawshay.
Robert Thompson Crawshay was born in 1817 at Cyfartha and was the son of William Crawshay II and his second wife Elizabeth Thompson. He took a great interest in the works and on the death of his brother William he became acting manager of the works. On the death of his father in 1867 Robert Thompson Crawshay became the sole manager of the business. He extended and improved the works and the coal-mines.
However, the business began to decline in the face of the revolution of the iron industry with the growth of steel production and in the last two years Robert Thompson Crawshay took little interest in the works. He died in 1879.
After his death Cyfartha changed from iron production to steel production. Robert Thompson Crawshay left the business to his three sons William Thompson, Richard and Robert who continued under the name Messrs. Crawshay Bros. until their absorption by Messrs. Guest, Keen and Nettlefold in 1902.
The archive concerns the settlement of the estate of Robert Thompson Crawshay. The executor was William Jones, personal manager and financial agent of Robert Crawshay.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers, correspondence and account books relating to the settlement of the estate of Robert Thompson Crawshay of Cyfarthfa (died 1879), including : account-books of William Jones, personal manager and financial agent of Robert Crawshay detailing annual income and expenditure 1868-1878; household account books of R.T. Crawshay 1876-1879; household and family bills with some receipts 1863-1879; household bills with some executorship bills and receipts 1879-1883; ledger: inventory of R.T. Crawshay's investments 1865-1879; R.T. Crawshay's 'Private balance and profit and loss, year ending 31st March 1877' 1877; business letters received by R.T. Crawshay and William Jones 1864-1878; letters regarding the appointment of Dr. Henry Thomas as R.T. Crawshay's medical attendant with medical bills 1878-1879; list of employees at Cyfartha with note on funeral arrangements 1879; copy will and codicils of R.T. Crawshay 1877-1879; memorandum of executors meeting 1881; valuation and rental of R.T. Crawshay's real property 1879; copy title deeds and settlements 1827-1880; inventories and valuations of personal effects, household furniture, stocks and crops, wine and garden plants of R.T. Crawshay 1879-1882; accounts and financial papers 1879-1882; statements, lists, valuations and draft accounts of R.T. Crawshay's investments 1875-1882; lists of bonds, notices of sale and miscellaneous calculations relating to R.T. Crawshay's investments 1858-1881; letter book : copies of letters by William Jones as executor of R.T. Crawshay 1879-1883; letters received by William Jones relating to the executorship affairs of R.T. Crawshay 1879-1883; papers relating to the Caversham estate 1872; Ordnance Survey Map of Cardiff suburbs, marked with proposed housing developments in ?Cathays area on the property of W.T. Crawshay 1880.


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access: Accessible to all researchers by appointment. Please note that some collections contain sensitive information and access may be restricted.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply

Finding aids:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:



Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines

Date(s) of descriptions: Prior to 16-11-2004

Family archives | Wales | Merthyr Tydfil
Inheritance and succession | Wales, South
Iron-works | Wales, South
Personal archives | Wales | Merthyr Tydfil
Steel-works | Wales, South

Personal names
Crawshay , Robert Thompson , 1817-1879

Corporate names
Cyfarthfa Iron Works

Cyfarthfa (Wales)

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