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Richard Reynolds (1735-1816)

It was solely through his self-denying benevolence and extended beneficence that he became so widely known in his life-time" - Hannah Mary Rathbone III, Memoir, Letters of Richard Reynolds(London: Charles Gilpin, 1852)

Portrait of Richard ReynoldsSon of Richard Reynolds, iron merchant and Quaker minister, and Janet.

m. 1. (1757) Hannah Darby, daughter of Abraham Darby of Coalbrookdale.
Two children:
William (1758-1803)
Hannah Mary (1761-1839) m. William Rathbone IV

m. 2. (1763) Rebecca Gulson.
Three children:
Richard (b.1765)
Michael (1766-1770)
Joseph (b.1768)

Richard was a Quaker and philanthropist, who became a partner in the iron and coal works at Ketley, Shropshire, following his first marriage in 1757. In 1762 he also became a partner in the Horshay iron works. He oversaw Darby's Coalbrookdale iron works after Abraham Darby's death in 1763 and introduced many technical improvements.

A charitable society, 'The Reynolds Commemoration Society' was established in Bristol after his death to commemorate his founding of the Bristol Samaritan Society, the funding of the orphan asylum, Royal Infirmary and Alms-Houses in Bristol, and his clearance of the debts of small debtors who had been imprisoned. He was an active opponent of the slave trade.

Richard Reynolds in the Rathbone papers

The papers of Richard Reynolds (RP IV) date from 1733-1939 and include:

  • RP IV.1 - General correspondence (157 items)
  • RP IV.2 - Deeds
  • RP IV.3 - Personal Papers


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