John Wilkinson (1728-1808), English Ironmaster and Inventor

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John Wilkinson is considered by many to be the world’s first great ironmaster. His career includes pioneering developments in the Staffordshire iron trade and inventions of what has been the first modern tool that bored true barrels for cannon. He constructed the first iron boat and pulpit. He played an important role in the British munitions industry and construction of the Paris waterworks. Even more fascinating was the role he played in coining his own currency, and his financial assistance to Joseph Priestley, Matthew Boulton, and James Watt. This first modern biography examines his creative, business, and private lives, using previously undiscovered papers from the Boulton and Watt Collection.

Table of Contents

Table of contents: Preface I by Dr. Gerald Straka; Preface II by Dr. Reed Geiger; Preface III by Dr. Donn Riley
Foreword, Significant Dates, Introduction
1. Family Origins: Isaac Wilkinson, Nurturing Father and His Rise from Caster to Master.
2. John Builds His Iron Empire: Bersham, New Willey, Bradley, Brymbo, Hadley, Armaments, Trade Associations and Lobbying
3. Beyond the Iron Business: A Passion for Perfection, The Boring Machine and Steam Engine
4. Ironbridge, Iron Boat, Coins, Canals and Labour Relations
5. Business Overseas: The French Connection
6. Intercorporate Conflict 18th-century Style: The Brothers Dissolve the Partnership
7. The Ironmaster’s Mineral Kingdom: Tin, Copper and Lead
8. The Improving Landlord: Castlehead, Brymbo Lands and Lawns
9. Conclusion: Contemporary Opinion on Wilkinson and What Became of His Legacy

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