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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, January 1704. His first wife was Albina, daughter of John Selwyn, Gloucestershire (she died 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 married 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. 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.
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 died 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 died 26 September 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 SUDELEY. 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, Montgomeryshire Worthies, 300-2.]
Published date: 1959
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