Born at Oswestry, he was apprenticed to a local ironmonger, became interested in the rocks of the district, and joined the Oswestry Naturalists’ Field Club. In 1852 he set up as a mining engineer, a career which he followed for many years with considerable success, especially in North Wales but also in France, Germany, and Norway.
He published a Guide to Llangollen and its vicinity in which an attempt was made to explain geologically-interesting features of the area; it reached a 3rd edition in 1864. He made several important contributions to our knowledge of the geology of North Wales in papers published in the Geological Magazine, the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, and wrote articles for the British Architect and the British Quarterly. He also gained prizes for several eisteddfod essays, including accounts of ‘The metalliferous deposits of Denbighshire and Flintshire’ (Caernarvon, 1880) and ‘The Fisheries of Wales’ (Liverpool, 1884). His books on economic geology include A Treatise on Slate and Slate Quarrying in North Wales, 1878 and 1880, A Treatise on Metalliferous Minerals and Mining, 1880, and A Treatise on Earth Minerals and Mining, 1884, and he left in manuscript an unfinished treatise on the geology of North Wales. In addition to those activities he found time to serve as a lay preacher and published a volume of sermons, The Christ for all the Ages. He died whilst returning from a business visit to Norway, 19 September 1885.
Published date: 1959
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