Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HANBURY family, of Pontypool , industrialists ;

HANBURY , JOHN , II ( 1664 - 1734 ), industrialist ,

of the Worcestershire family of Hanbury ; he was christened at S. Nicholas , Gloucester , in 1664 . He was the son of Capel Hanbury ( 1625 - 1704 ), the third son of John Hanbury I of Pursall Green .

John Hanbury II is acknowledged as the pioneer of the tin-plating industry ; he inherited the Pontypool estate with its iron-works on the death of his father who was buried at Kidderminster , Jan. 1704 . His first wife was Albina , daughter of John Selwyn , Gloucestershire (she d. without issue in 1702 ). Soon after his marriage ( 1701 ) he began to enlarge Park House , Pontypool , which his father had built in 1659 . He founded the rolling mill and started a tinplating industry — ‘ reinvented the method of rolling iron plates by means of cylinders and introduced the art of tinning into England .’ In these improvements, his agent Thomas Cooke , of Stourbridge , was the inventor of the rolling mill ; William Payne is accredited with the improvements in the production of a more malleable kind of iron ; while Edward Allgood 's name (see Allgood ) is associated with improvements in wire-drawing and in the tinning of plates .

In July 1703 John Hanbury II m. Bridget , the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Ayscough , of Stallingbough, Lincs. , and with her obtained a fortune of £10,000. Her friendship with Sarah Churchill , duchess of Marlborough , brought him into friendship with the Churchill family and into prominence in political circles. He was one of the executors of the will of the duke of Marlborough , and for his services the widow presented him with a service of plate, and his wife with pearls. In 1720 he benefited to the extent of £70,000 by the legacy of his friend Charles Williams of Caerleon (q.v.) . With a part of this money he bought Colbrook House , near Abergavenny (the ancient mansion of the Herberts ) for his fourth son Charles Hanbury , afterwards called Charles Hanbury Williams (q.v.) .

John Hanbury was first elected M.P. for Gloucester in 1701 , and represented that city in three successive Parliaments. He was defeated in the election of 1715 . He represented Monmouthshire from March 1720 until his death in 1734 . On the reconstruction of the South Sea Company after its crash, he was elected one of the new directors . At first he was an ardent supporter of the Whig party , but later opposed Walpole on a number of important bills. He d. 14 June 1734 and was buried in Trevethin church, Pontypool . The iron-works passed to his third son CAPEL HANBURY ( 1707 - 1765 ), and after him to JOHN HANBURY III ( 1744 - 1784 ), the eldest son of the latter. It was this John Hanbury who took full advantage of his grandfather's improvements. The grandfather's widow d. 26 Sept. 1741 , and was buried in Trevethin church, Pontypool ; her letters show that she took a keen and personal interest in the tinplate industry at Pontypool .

[The third John Hanbury 's third son CHARLES ( 1777 - 1858 ), took the additional surname TRACY in 1798 , and in 1838 was created baron S UDELEY . That branch of the Hanburys is associated with Montgomeryshire , for Charles Hanbury Tracy 's wife inherited Gregynog ( see Blayney family ); several members of the family became prominent in the public life of the shire — see Williams , Mont. Worthies , 300-2.]


  • D. Williams , Hist. of Monmouthshire ;
  • W. Coxe , An historical tour in Monmouthshire (1801) ;
  • D. Walkinshaw , ‘Pontypool and the Hanbury family’ in Local register or, chronology of Pontypool and the neighbourhood from the earliest period , 1875 ;
  • Bradney , A History of Monmouthshire ;
  • A. A. Locke , The Hanbury Family (1916) ( 1916 );
  • G. S. H. Fox–Strangways (Earl of Ilchester) and Mrs. Langford Brooke , The Life of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, poet, wit and diplomatist , (1928) ( 1928 );
  • [ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Hanbury, John ( 1664-1734 )].


Robert Stephen, M.A., (1878-1966), Colwyn Bay

Published date: 1959