The Darby family

Gill West celebrates a Quaker tercentenary

Dale House in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, was built between 1715 and 1717 for the English ironmaster Abraham Darby. Born into a Quaker family, he developed a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke rather than charcoal. This discovery ensured his legacy as one of the founders of the Industrial Revolution. Sadly he died, aged thirty-nine, just before the house was completed. His son, Abraham Darby II, an innovator like his father, was only six years old at that time.

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