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Iron Workers and Tool Makers
by Samuel Smiles

From the 1863 first edition


"God of his Infinite goodness (if we will but take notice of his goodness unto this Nation) hath made this Country a very Granary for the supplying of Smiths with Iron, Cole, and Lime made with cole, which hath much supplied these men with Corn also of late; and from these men a great part, not only of this Island, but also of his Majestie’s other Kingdoms and Territories, with Iron wares have their supply, and Wood in these parts almost exhausted, although it were of late a mighty woodland country." - DUDLEY’s Metallum Martis, 1665.

The severe restrictions enforced by the legislature against the use of wood in iron-smelting had the effect of almost extinguishing the manufacture. New furnaces ceased to be erected, and many of the old ones were allowed to fall into decay, until it began to be feared that this important branch of industry would become completely lost. The same restrictions alike affected the operations of the glass manufacture, which, with the aid of foreign artisans, had been gradually established in England, and was becoming a thriving branch of trade. It was even proposed that the smelting of iron should be absolutely prohibited: "many think," said a contemporary writer, "that there should be NO WORKS ANYWHERE - they do so devour the woods."

The use of iron, however, could not be dispensed with. The very foundations of society rested upon an abundant supply of it, for tools and implements of peace, as well as for weapons of war. In the dearth of the article at home, a supply of it was therefore sought for abroad; and both iron and steel came to be imported in largely-increased quantities. This branch of trade was principally in the hands of the Steelyard Company of Foreign Merchants, established in Upper Thames Street, a little above London Bridge; and they imported large quantities of iron and steel from foreign countries, principally from Sweden, Germany, and Spain. The best iron came from Spain, though the Spaniards on their part coveted our English made cannons, which were better manufactured than theirs; while the best steel came from Germany and Sweden.

Under these circumstances, it was natural that persons interested in the English iron manufacture should turn their attention to some other description of fuel which should serve as a substitute for the prohibited article. There was known to be an abundance of coal in the northern and midland counties, and it occurred to some speculators more than usually daring, to propose it as a substitute for the charcoal fuel made from wood. But the same popular prejudice which existed against the use of coal for domestic purposes, prevented its being employed for purposes of manufacture; and they were thought very foolish persons indeed who first promulgated the idea of smelting iron by means of pit-coal. The old manufacturers held it to be impossible to reduce the ore in any other way than by means of charcoal of wood. It was only when the wood in the neighbourhood of the ironworks had been almost entirely burnt up, that the manufacturers were driven to entertain the idea of using coal as a substitute; but more than a hundred years passed before the practice of smelting iron by its means became general.

The first who took out a patent for the purpose was one Simon Sturtevant, a German skilled in mining operations; the professed object of his invention being "to neale, melt, and worke all kind of metal oares, irons, and steeles with sea-coale, pit-coale, earth-coale, and brush fewell." The principal end of his invention, he states in his Treatise of Metallica, is to save the consumption and waste of the woods and timber of the country; and, should his design succeed, he holds that it "will prove to be the best and most profitable business and invention that ever was known or invented in England these many yeares." He says he has already made trial of the process on a small scale, and is confident that it will prove equally successful on a large one. Sturtevant was not very specific as to his process; but it incidentally appears to have been his purpose to reduce the coal by an imperfect combustion to the condition of coke, thereby ridding it of "those malignant proprieties which are averse to the nature of metallique substances." The subject was treated by him, as was customary in those days, as a great mystery, made still more mysterious by the multitude of learned words under which he undertook to describe his "Ignick Invention" All the operations of industry were then treated as secrets. Each trade was a craft, and those who followed it were called craftsmen. Even the common carpenter was a handicraftsman; and skilled artisans were "cunning men." But the higher branches of work were mysteries, the communication of which to others was carefully guarded by the regulations of the trades guilds. Although the early patents are called specifications, they in reality specify nothing. They are for the most part but a mere haze of words, from which very little definite information can be gleaned as to the processes patented. It may be that Sturtevant had not yet reduced his idea to any practicable method, and therefore could not definitely explain it. However that may be, it is certain that his process failed when tried on a large scale, and Sturtevant’s patent was accordingly cancelled at the end of a year.

The idea, however, had been fairly born, and repeated patents were taken out with the same object from time to time. Thus, immediately on Sturtevant’s failure becoming known, one John Rovenzon, who had been mixed up with the other’s adventure, applied for a patent for making iron by the same process, which was granted him in 1613. His ‘Treatise of Metallica’ shows that Rovenzon had a true conception of the method of manufacture. Nevertheless he, too, failed in carrying out the invention in practice, and his patent was also cancelled. Though these failures were very discouraging, like experiments continued to be made and patents taken out,--principally by Dutchmen and Germans, but no decided success seems to have attended their efforts until the year 1620, when Lord Dudley took out his patent "for melting iron ore, making bar-iron, &c., with coal, in furnaces, with bellows." This patent was taken out at the instance of his son Dud Dudley, whose story we gather partly from his treatise entitled ‘Metallum Martis,’ and partly from various petitions presented by him to the king, which are preserved in the State Paper Office, and it runs as follows: --

Dud Dudley was born in 1599, the natural son of Edward Lord Dudley of Dudley Castle in the county of Worcester. He was the fourth of eleven children by the same mother, who is described in the pedigree of the family given in the Herald’s visitation of the county of Stafford in the year 1663, signed by Dud Dudley himself, as "Elizabeth, daughter of William Tomlinson of Dudley, concubine of Edward Lord Dudley." Dud’s eldest brother is described in the same pedigree as Robert Dudley, Squire, of Netherton Hall; and as his sisters mostly married well, several of them county gentlemen, it is obvious that the family, notwithstanding that the children were born out of wedlock, held a good position in their neighbourhood, and were regarded with respect. Lord Dudley, though married and having legitimate heirs at the time, seems to have attended to the up-bringing of his natural children; educating them carefully, and afterwards employing them in confidential offices connected with the management of his extensive property. Dud describes himself as taking great delight, when a youth, in his father’s iron-works near Dudley, where he obtained considerable knowledge of the various processes of the manufacture.

The town of Dudley was already a centre of the iron manufacture, though chiefly of small wares, such as nails, horse-shoes, keys, locks, and common agricultural tools; and it was estimated that there were about 20,000 smiths and workers in iron of various kinds living within a circuit of ten miles of Dudley Castle. But, as in the southern counties, the production of iron had suffered great diminution from the want of fuel in the district, "though formerly a mighty woodland country; and many important branches of the local trade were brought almost to a stand-still. Yet there was an extraordinary abundance of coal to be met with in the neighbourhood - coal in some places lying in seams ten feet thick - ironstone four feet thick immediately under the coal, with limestone conveniently adjacent to both. The conjunction seemed almost providential - "as if." observes Dud, "God had decreed the time when and how these smiths should be supplied, and this island also, with iron, and most especially that this cole and ironstone should give the first and just occasion for the invention of smelting iron with pit-cole;" though, as we have already seen, all attempts heretofore made with that object had practically failed.

Dud was a special favourite of the Earl his father, who encouraged his speculations with reference to the improvement of the iron manufacture, and gave him an education calculated to enable him to turn his excellent practical abilities to account. He was studying at Baliol College, Oxford, in the year 1619, when the Earl sent for him to take charge of an iron furnace and two forges in the chase of Pensnet in Worcestershire. He was no sooner installed manager of the works, than, feeling hampered by the want of wood for fuel, his attention was directed to the employment of pit-coal as a substitute. He altered his furnace accordingly, so as to adapt it to the new process, and the result of the first trial was such as to induce him to persevere. It is nowhere stated in Dud Dudley’s Treatise what was the precise nature of the method adopted by him; but it is most probable that, in endeavouring to substitute coal for wood as fuel, he would subject the coal to a process similar to that of charcoal-burning. The result would be what is called Coke; and as Dudley informs us that he followed up his first experiment with a second blast, by means of which he was enabled to produce good marketable iron, the presumption is that his success was also due to an improvement of the blast which he contrived for the purpose of keeping up the active combustion of the fuel. Though the quantity produced by the new process was comparatively small - not more than three tons a week from each furnace - Dudley anticipated that greater experience would enable him to increase the quantity; and at all events he had succeeded in proving the practicability of smelting iron with fuel made from pit-coal, which so many before him had tried in vain.

Immediately after the second trial had been made with such good issue, Dud wrote to his father the Earl, then in London, informing him what he had done, and desiring him at once to obtain a patent for the invention from King James. This was readily granted, and the patent (No. 18), dated the 22nd February, 1620, was taken out in the name of Lord Dudley himself.

Dud proceeded with the manufacture of iron at Pensnet, and also at Cradley in Staffordshire, where he erected another furnace; and a year after the patent was granted he was enabled to send up to the Tower, by the King’s command, a considerable quantity of the new iron for trial. Many experiments were made with it: its qualities were fairly tested, and it was pronounced "good merchantable iron." Dud adds, in his Treatise, that his brother-in-law, Richard Parkshouse, of Sedgeley, "had a fowling-gun there made of the Pit-cole iron," which was "well approved." There was therefore every prospect of the new method of manufacture becoming fairly established, and with greater experience further improvements might with confidence be anticipated, when a succession of calamities occurred to the inventor which involved him in difficulties and put an effectual stop to the progress of his enterprise.

The new works had been in successful operation little more than a year, when a flood, long after known as the "Great May-day Flood," swept away Dudley’s principal works at Cradley, and otherwise inflicted much damage throughout the district. "At the market town called Stourbridge," says Dud, in the course of his curious narrative, "although the author sent with speed to preserve the people from drowning, and one resolute man was carried from the bridge there in the day-time, the nether part of the town was so deep in water that the people had much ado to preserve their lives in the uppermost rooms of their houses." Dudley himself received very little sympathy for his losses. On the contrary, the iron-smelters of the district rejoiced exceedingly at the destruction of his works by the flood. They had seen him making good iron by his new patent process, and selling it cheaper than they could afford to do. They accordingly put in circulation all manner of disparaging reports about his iron. It was bad iron, not fit to be used; indeed no iron, except what was smelted with charcoal of wood, could be good. To smelt it with coal was a dangerous innovation, and could only result in some great public calamity. The ironmasters even appealed to King James to put a stop to Dud’s manufacture, alleging that his iron was not merchantable. And then came the great flood, which swept away his works; the hostile ironmasters now hoping that there was an end for ever of Dudley’s pit-coal iron.

But Dud, with his wonted energy, forthwith set to work and repaired his furnaces and forges, though at great cost; and in the course of a short time the new manufacture was again in full progress. The ironmasters raised a fresh outcry against him, and addressed another strong memorial against Dud and his iron to King James. This seems to have taken effect; and in order to ascertain the quality of the article by testing it upon a large scale, the King commanded Dudley to send up to the Tower of London, with every possible speed, quantities of all the sorts of bar-iron made by him, fit for the "making of muskets, carbines, and iron for great bolts for shipping; which iron," continues Dud, "being so tried by artists and smiths, the ironmasters and iron-mongers were all silenced until the 21st year of King James’s reign." The ironmasters then endeavoured to get the Dudley patent included in the monopolies to be abolished by the statute of that year; but all they could accomplish was the limitation of the patent to fourteen years instead of thirty-one; the special exemption of the patent from the operation of the statute affording a sufficient indication of the importance already attached to the invention. After that time Dudley "went on with his invention cheerfully, and made annually great store of iron, good and merchantable, and sold it unto diverse men at twelve pounds per ton." "I also," said he, "made all sorts of cast-iron wares, as brewing cisterns, pots, mortars, &c., better and cheaper than any yet made in these nations with charcoal, some of which are yet to be seen by any man (at the author’s house in the city of Worcester) that desires to be satisfied of the truth of the invention."

Notwithstanding this decided success, Dudley encountered nothing but trouble and misfortune. The ironmasters combined to resist his invention; they fastened lawsuit’s upon him, and succeeded in getting him ousted from his works at Cradley. From thence he removed to Himley in the county of Stafford, where he set up a pit-coal furnace; but being without the means of forging the iron into bars, he was constrained to sell the pig-iron to the charcoal-ironmasters, "who did him much prejudice, not only by detaining his stock, but also by disparaging his iron." He next proceeded to erect a large new furnace at Hasco Bridge, near Sedgeley, in the same county, for the purpose of carrying out the manufacture on the most improved principles. This furnace was of stone, twenty-seven feet square, provided with unusually large bellows; and when in full work he says he was enabled to turn out seven tons of iron per week, "the greatest quantity of pit-coal iron ever yet made in Great Britain." At the same place he discovered and opened out new workings of coal ten feet thick, lying immediately over the ironstone, and he prepared to carry on his operations on a large scale; but the new works were scarcely finished when a mob of rioters, instigated by the charcoal-ironmasters, broke in upon them, cut in pieces the new bellows, destroyed the machinery, and laid the results of all his deep-laid ingenuity and persevering industry in ruins. From that time forward Dudley was allowed no rest nor peace: he was attacked by mobs, worried by lawsuits, and eventually overwhelmed by debts. He was then seized by his creditors and sent up to London, where he was held a prisoner in the Comptoir for several thousand pounds. The charcoal-iron men thus for a time remained masters of the field.

Charles I. seems to have taken pity on the suffering inventor; and on his earnest petition, setting forth the great advantages to the nation of his invention, from which he had as yet derived no advantage, but only losses, sufferings, and persecution, the King granted him a renewal of his patent in the year 1638; three other gentlemen joining him as partners, and doubtless providing the requisite capital for carrying on the manufacture after the plans of the inventor. But Dud’s evil fortune continued to pursue him. The patent had scarcely been securedere the Civil War broke out, and the arts of peace must at once perforce give place to the arts of war. Dud’s nature would not suffer him to be neutral at such a time; and when the nation divided itself into two hostile camps, his predilections being strongly loyalist, he took the side of the King with his father. It would appear from a petition presented by him to Charles II. in 1660, setting forth his sufferings in the royal cause, and praying for restoral to certain offices which he had enjoyed under Charles I., that as early as the year 1637 he had been employed by the King on a mission into Scotland, in the train of the Marquis of Hamilton, the King’s Commissioner. Again in 1639, leaving his ironworks and partners, he accompanied Charles on his expedition across the Scotch border, and was present with the army until its discomfiture at Newburn near Newcastle in the following year.

The sword was now fairly drawn, and Dud seems for a time to have abandoned his iron-works and followed entirely the fortunes of the king. He was sworn surveyor of the Mews or Armoury in 1640, but being unable to pay for the patent, another was sworn in in his place. Yet his loyalty did not falter, for in the beginning of 1642, when Charles set out from London, shortly after the fall of Strafford and Laud, Dud went with him. 

He was present before Hull when Sir John Hotham shut its gates in the king’s face; at York when the royal commissions of array were sent out enjoining all loyal subjects to send men, arms, money, and horses, for defence of the king and maintenance of the law; at Nottingham, where the royal standard was raised; at Coventry, where the townspeople refused the king entrance and fired upon his troops from the walls; at Edgehill, where the first great but indecisive battle was fought between the contending parties; in short, as Dud Dudley states in his petition, he was "in most of the battailes that year, and also supplyed his late sacred Majestie’s magazines of Stafford, Worcester, Dudley Castle, and Oxford, with arms, shot, drakes, and cannon; and also, became major unto Sir Frauncis Worsley’s regiment, which was much decaied."

In 1643, according to the statement contained in his petition above referred to, Dud Dudley acted as military engineer in setting out the fortifications of Worcester and Stafford, and furnishing them with ordnance. After the taking of Lichfield, in which he had a share, he was made Colonel of Dragoons, and accompanied the Queen with his regiment to the royal head-quarters at Oxford. The year after we find him at the siege of Gloucester, then at the first battle of Newbury leading the forlorn hope with Sir George Lisle, afterwards marching with Sir Charles Lucas into the associate counties, and present at the royalist rout at Newport. That he was esteemed a valiant and skilful officer is apparent from the circumstance, that in 1645 he was appointed general of Prince Maurice’s train of artillery, and afterwards held the same rank under Lord Ashley. The iron districts being still for the most part occupied by the royal armies, our military engineer turned his practical experience to account by directing the forging of drakes of bar-iron, which were found of great use, giving up his own dwelling-house in the city of Worcester for the purpose of carrying on the manufacture of these and other arms. But Worcester and the western towns fell before the Parliamentarian armies in 1646, and all the iron-works belonging to royalists, from which the principal supplies of arms had been drawn by the King’s army, were forthwith destroyed.

Dudley fully shared in the dangers and vicissitudes of that trying period, and bore his part throughout like a valiant soldier. For two years nothing was heard of him, until in 1648, when the king’s party drew together again, and made head in different parts of the country, north and south. Goring raised his standard in Essex, but was driven by Fairfax into Colchester, where he defended himself for two months. While the siege was in progress, the royalists determined to make an attempt to raise it. On this Dud Dudley again made his appearance in the field, and, joining sundry other counties, he proceeded to raise 200 men, mostly at his own charge. They were, however, no sooner mustered in Bosco Bello woods near Madeley, than they were attacked by the Parliamentarians, and dispersed or taken prisoners. Dud was among those so taken, and he was first carried to Hartlebury Castle and thence to Worcester, where he was imprisoned. Recounting the sufferings of himself and his followers on this occasion, in the petition presented to Charles II. in 1660, he says, "200 men were dispersed, killed, and some taken, namely, Major Harcourt, Major Elliotts, Capt. Long, and Cornet Hodgetts, of whom Major Harcourt was miserably burned with matches. The petitioner and the rest were stripped almost naked, and in triumph and scorn carried up to the city of Worcester (which place Dud had fortified for the king), and kept close prisoners, with double guards set upon the prison and the city."

Notwithstanding this close watch and durance, Dudley and Major Elliotts contrived to break out of gaol, making their way over the tops of the houses, afterwards passing the guards at the city gates, and escaping into the open country. Being hotly pursued , they travelled during the night, and took to the trees during the daytime. They succeeded in reaching London, but only to drop again into the lion’s mouth; for first Major Elliotts was captured, then Dudley, and both were taken before Sir John Warner, the Lord Mayor, who forthwith sent them before the "cursed committee of insurrection," as Dudley calls them. The prisoners were summarily sentenced to be shot to death, and were meanwhile closely imprisoned in the Gatehouse at Westminster, with other Royalists.

The day before their intended execution, the prisoners formed a plan of escape. It was Sunday morning, the 20th August, 1648, when they seized their opportunity, "at ten of the cloeke in sermon time;" and, overpowering the gaolers, Dudley, with Sir Henry Bates, Major Elliotts, Captain South, Captain Paris, and six others, succeeded in getting away, and making again for the open country. Dudley had received a wound in the leg, and could only get along with great difficulty. He records that he proceeded on crutches, through Worcester, Tewkesbury, and Gloucester, to Bristol, having been "fed three weeks in private in an enemy’s hay mow." Even the most lynx-eyed Parliamentarian must have failed to recognise the quondam royalist general of artillery in the helpless creature dragging himself along upon crutches; and he reached Bristol in safety.

His military career now over, he found himself absolutely penniless. His estate of about £200. per annum had been sequestrated and sold by the government; his house in Worcester had been seized and his sickly wife turned out of doors; and his goods, stock, great shop, and ironworks, which he himself valued at £2000, were destroyed. He had also lost the offices of Serjeant-at-arms, Lieutenant of Ordnance, and Surveyor of the Mews, which he had held under the king; in a word, he found himself reduced to a state of utter destitution.

Dudley was for some time under the necessity of living in great privacy at Bristol; but when the king had been executed, and the royalists were finally crushed at Worcester, Dud gradually emerged from his concealment. He was still the sole possessor of the grand secret of smelting iron with pit-coal, and he resolved upon one more commercial adventure, in the hope of yet turning it to good account. He succeeded in inducing Walter Stevens, linendraper, and John Stone, merchant, both of Bristol, to join him as partners in an ironwork, which they proceeded to erect near that city. The buildings were well advanced, and nearly £700 had been expended, when a quarrel occurred between Dudley and his partners, which ended in the stoppage of the works, and the concern being thrown into Chancery. Dudley alleges that the other partners "cunningly drew him into a bond," and "did unjustly enter staple actions in Bristol of great value against him, because he was of the king’s party;" but it would appear as if there had been some twist or infirmity of temper in Dudley himself, which prevented him from working harmoniously with such persons as he became associated with in affairs of business.

In the mean time other attempts were made to smelt iron with pit-coal. Dudley says that Cromwell and the then Parliament granted a patent to Captain Buck for the purpose; and that Cromwell himself, Major Wildman, and various others were partners in the patent. They erected furnaces and works in the Forest of Dean; but, though Cromwell and his officers could fight and win battles, they could not smelt and forge iron with pit-coal. They brought one Dagney, an Italian glass-maker, from Bristol, to erect a new furnace for them, provided with sundry pots of glass-house clay; but no success attended their efforts. The partners knowing of Dudley’s possession of the grand secret, invited him to visit their works; but all they could draw from him was that they would never succeed in making iron to profit by the methods they were pursuing. They next proceeded to erect other works at Bristol, but still they failed.

Major Wildman bought Dudley’s sequestrated estate, in the hope of being able to extort his secret of making iron with pit-coal; but all their attempts proving abortive, they at length abandoned the enterprise in despair. In 1656, one Captain Copley obtained from Cromwell a further patent with a similar object; and erected works near Bristol, and also in the Forest of Kingswood. The mechanical engineers employed by Copley failed in making his bellows blow; on which he sent for Dudley, who forthwith "made his bellows to be blown feisibly;" but Copley failed, like his predecessors, in making iron, and at length he too desisted from further experiments.

Such continued to be the state of things until the Restoration, when we find Dud Dudley a petitioner to the king for the renewal of his patent. He was also a petitioner for compensation in respect of the heavy losses he had sustained during the civil wars. The king was besieged by crowds of applicants of a similar sort, but Dudley was no more successful than the others. He failed in obtaining the renewal of his patent. Another applicant for the like privilege, probably having greater interest at court, proved more successful. Colonel Proger and three others were granted a patent to make iron with coal; but Dudley knew the secret, which the new patentees did not; and their patent came to nothing.

Dudley continued to address the king in importunate petitions, asking to be restored to his former offices of Serjeant-at-arms, Lieutenant of Ordnance, and Surveyor of the Mews or Armoury. He also petitioned to be appointed Master of the Charter House in Smithfield, professing himself willing to take anything, or hold any living. 

We find him sending in two petitions to a similar effect in June, 1660; and a third shortly after. The result was, that he was reappointed to the office of Serjeant-at-Arms; but the Mastership of the Charter-House was not disposed of until 1662, when it fell to the lot of one Thomas Watson. 

In 1661, we find a patent granted to Wm. Chamberlaine and - Dudley, Esq., for the sole use of their new invention of plating steel, &c., and tinning the said plates; but whether Dud Dudley was the person referred to, we are unable precisely to determine. A few years later, he seems to have succeeded in obtaining the means of prosecuting his original invention; for in his Metallum Martis, published in 1665, he describes himself as living at Green’s Lodge, in Staffordshire; and he says that near it are four forges, Green’s Forge, Swin Forge, Heath Forge, and Cradley Forge, where he practises his "perfect invention." These forges, he adds, "have barred all or most part of their iron with pit-coal since the authors first invention In 1618, which hath preserved much wood. In these four, besides many other forges, do the like [sic ]; yet the author hath had no benefit thereby to this present." From that time forward, Dud becomes lost to sight. He seems eventually to have retired to St. Helen’s in Worcestershire, where he died in 1684, in the 85th year of his age. He was buried in the parish church there, and a monument, now destroyed, was erected to his memory, bearing the inscription partly set forth underneath.

Pulvis et umbra sumus

Memento mori.

Dodo Dudley chiliarchi nobilis Edwardi nuper domini de Dudley filius, patri charus et regiae Majestatis fidissimus subditus et servus in asserendo regein, in vindicartdo ecclesiam, in propugnando legem ac libertatem Anglicanam, saepe captus, anno 1648, semel condemnatus et tamen non decollatus, renatum denuo vidit diadaema hic inconcussa semper virtute senex.
Differt non aufert mortem longissima vita

Sed differt multam cras hodiere mori.

Quod nequeas vitare, fugis: 

Nec formidanda est.

As late as 1790, long after the monopoly of the foreign merchants had been abolished, Pennant says, "The present Steelyard is the great repository of imported iron, which furnishes our metropolis with that necessary material. The quantity of bars that fills the yards and warehouses of this quarter strikes with astonishment the most indifferent beholder." - PENNANT, Account of London, 309.

STURTEVANT’S Metallica; briefly comprehending the Doctrine of Diverse New Metallical Inventions, &c. Reprinted and published at the Great Seal Patent Office, 1858.

Reprinted and published at the Great Seal Patent Office, 1858.

Among the early patentees, besides the names of Sturtevant and Rovenzon, we find those of Jordens, Francke, Sir Phillibert Vernatt, and other foreigners of the above nations.

Mr. Parkshouse was one of the esquires to Sir Ferdinando Dudley (the legitimate son of the Earl of Dudley) When he was made Knight of the Bath. Sir Ferdinando’s only daughter Frances married Humble Ward, son and heir of William Ward, goldsmith and jeweller to Charles the First’s queen. Her husband having been created a baron by the title of Baron Ward of Birmingham, and Frances becoming Baroness of Dudley in her own right on the demise of her father, the baronies of Dudley and Ward thus became united in their eldest son Edward in the year 1697.

Patent No. 117, Old Series, granted in 1638, to Sir George Horsey, David Ramsey, Roger Foulke, and Dud Dudley.

By his own account, given in Metallum Martis, while in Scotland in 1637, he visited the Highlands as well as the Lowlands, spending the whole summer of that year "in opening of mines and making of discoveries;" spending part of the time with Sir James Hope of Lead Hills, near where, he says, "he got gold." It does not appear, however, that any iron forges existed in Scotland at the time: indeed Dudley expressly says that "Scotland maketh no iron;" and in his treatise of 1665 he urges that the Corporation of the Mines Royal should set him and his inventions at work to enable Scotland to enjoy the benefit of a cheap and abundant supply of the manufactured article.

The Journals of the House of Commons, of the 13th June, 1642, contain the resolution "that Captain Wolseley, Ensign Dudley, and John Lometon be forthwith sent for, as delinquents, by the Serjeant-at-Arms attending on the House, for giving interruption to the execution of the ordinance of the militia in the county of Leicester."

Small pieces of artillery, specimens of which are still to be seen in the museum at Woolwich Arsenal and at the Tower.

State Paper Office, Dom. Charles II., vol. xi. 54.

The Journals of the House of Commons, on the 2nd Nov. 1652, have the following entry: "The House this day resumed the debate upon the additional Bill for sale of several lands and estates forfeited to the Commonwealth for treason, when it was resolved that the name of Dud Dudley of Green Lodge be inserted into this Bill."

Mr. Mushet, in his ‘Papers on Iron,’ says, that "although he had carefully examined every spot and relic in Dean Forest likely to denote the site of Dud Dudley’s enterprising but unfortunate experiment of making pig-iron with pit coal," it had been without success; neither could he find any traces of the like operations of Cromwell and his partners.

Dudley says, "Major Wildman, more barbarous to me than a wild man, although a minister, bought the author’s estate, near £200 per annum, intending to compell from the author his inventions of making iron with pitcole, but afterwards passed my estate unto two barbarous brokers of London, that pulled down the author’s two mantion houses, sold 500 timber trees off his land, and to this day are his houses unrepaired. Wildman himself fell under the grip of Cromwell. Being one of the chiefs of the Republican party, he was seized at Exton, near Marlborough, in l654, and imprisoned in Chepstow Castle.

June 13, 1661. Petition of Col. Jas. Proger and three others to the king for a patent for the sole exercise of their invention of melting down iron and other metals with coal instead of wood, as the great consumption of coal [charcoal ?] therein causes detriment to shipping, &c. With reference thereon to Attorney-General Palmer, and his report, June 18, in favour of the petition,--State Papers, Charles II. (Dom. vol, xxxvii, 49.

In his second petition he prays that a dwelling-house situated in Worcester, and belonging to one Baldwin, "a known traitor," may be assigned to him in lieu of Alderman Nash’s, which had reverted to that individual since his return to loyalty; Dudley reminding the king that his own house in that city had been given up by him for the service of his father Charles I., and turned into a factory for arms. It does not appear that this part of his petition was successful.

State Papers, vol. xxxi. Doquet Book, p.89.

Plot frequently alludes to Dudley in his Natural History of Staffordshire, and when he does so he describes him as the "worshipful Dud Dudley," showing the estimation in which he was held by his contemporaries.