Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Index to Volume Seven - The People - Dock Family Trees - Engineers, Artisans & Doers . . .

Thomas Forster Brown - (1835-1907) 

The following article is taken from 'The South Wales Coal Trade . . . ' [780] [499] published in 1888 by Daniel Owen, Cardiff :


                                                                MR. THOMAS FORSTER BROWN


Mr. Brown was born about 1836, near the head of the South Tyne, in the house where his relative, Westgarth Forster, an eminent metalliferous mining engineer of the North of England, lived for many years

He was educated partly at the village school, and afterwards at the Grammar School, Bishops Auckland, in the County of Durham. School-days over and he became in 1851 a pupil of Mr. Thomas Emerson Forster, a mining engineer of conspicuous ability in the North of England, and moreover a distant relative.

In 1855 he was appointed resident viewer of the Townley and Stella Collieries, Newcastle, under the chief viewer, Mr. Robert Simpson, and in this position remained up to 1858, when he made his entry into Monmouthshire in the capacity of manager of the Machen collieries.

In 1865 we find him holding the important office of Her Majesty's Deputy-Gaveller of the Forest of Dean, under the Commissioner of Woods, Forests, &c., and in the following year (1866) began his connection with Cardiff and the South Wales Coal Basin, which has since been inseparable from its scientific and progressive development. Mr. Brown in that year joined his friend the late Mr. Samuel Dobson in partnership, as Dobson and Brown, of Cardiff and elsewhere. The firm afterwards became Dobson, Brown and Adams, and since the death of Mr. G. F. Adams, Forster, Brown and Rees.

Mr. Brown is the author of a valuable paper on the coalfields of South Wales, which he read, as president, to the members of the South Wales Institute of Engineers at their meeting held at Newport, 2nd December, 1874. This paper has since been published in connection with the proceedings of the Institute, and has been supplemented with one of the best plans of the whole coalfield we possess.

In connection with the late Mr. Adams, his partner, a gentleman whose loss socially and scientifically is keenly regretted, he was the joint author of a paper entitled—“Deep Winning of Coal in South Wales,” full of useful information. For this paper the authors were awarded the Telford Premium and George Stephenson Medal, by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Since his connection with our district Mr. Forster Brown has been largely engaged in the development of the South Wales coalfield, his firm having directed as engineers some of the most important winnings, besides being consulted upon mining questions extensively in other parts of the kingdom.

The largest and deepest colliery in Wales, that of Harris's Deep Navigation, has been from the first under the direction of the firm.


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