Insole and Biddle, Brick, Timber and Coal Merchants Records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Timber, bricks and coal account book, 1827-1830; coal account book, 1833; Llantrisant Estate rents due, 1858-1882; accounts of machinery and castings received from Rhondda foundry, 1832-1850; circulars, regulations and rules 1850-1872; and sale catalogue of colliery horses and sets of gear, 1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Insole (1790-1851) originated in Worcester and was son of William Insole (1757-1811) - described in his will as a farmer at Wichenford, co Worcester - and Phebe (or Phoebe) nee Stinton. George is described in 1820 as a carpenter but evidence gathered by Richard Ollerton 'Hereford Cider, Worcester Leather, Birmingham Iron, Rhondda Coal' published in Morgannwg LVI (2012), pp. 62-83, shows that he had important family connections with the leather and ironmongery trades and obtained significant bequests from William Shaw, his great uncle, a saddler at Worcester. About 1829 George moved to Cardiff and appears in a directory of that year as a partner of Insole & Biddle, timber merchants, brickmakers, etc. George's partner Richard Biddle was evidently a successor to the timber business which Richard Biddle ran with his brother John. This became bankrupt in 1828 and Richard Biddle subsequently switched to the coal trade. Ollerton shows that Biddle was also English, deriving originally from Wotton-under-Edge, co Gloucester. Insole & Biddle was dissolved 1 January 1831 but the division did not become effective until December 1833. Insole's commercial survival in this period and immediate progress was probably secured by a bequest and release from a loan debt by his uncle George Insole of Birmingham. This enabled him to take a lease of the old Maes-mawr Colliery, at Llantwit Fardre, and to become a coal producer in his own right.

In 1844, George Insole expanded his coal mining interests when he opened a new level at Cymer in the Rhondda valley, Glamorgan. On George's death in 1851, his son, James Harvey Insole became the proprietor of George Insole and Son. James had married Mary Ann, a daughter of Thomas Jones (1791-1844) - a partner with George Insole of Birmingham - in Insole & Jones,saddlers' ironmongers of Birmingham. See further Rhondda Coal, Cardiff Gold. The Insoles of Llandaff Coal Owners and Shippers (Merton Priory Press, Whitchurch, Cardiff 1997) by Richard C Watson.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Private individual, 1954 and 1955.

Note

Compiled by David Morris for the ANW project. The following sources were used for compilation: Watson, Richard Rhondda Coal, Cardiff Gold: the Insoles of Llandaff Coal Owners and Shippers (Cardiff, 1997); Daunton, M. J. Coal Metropolis Cardiff 1870-1914 (Leicester, 1977)

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available at the Glamorgan Record Office

Archivist's Note

Compiled by the Glamorgan Archives, and amended May 2013, with reference to Richard Ollerton 'Hereford Cider, Worcester Leather, Birmingham Iron, Rhondda Coal' published in Morgannwg LVI (2012), pp. 62-83, and Rhondda Coal, Cardiff Gold. The Insoles of Llandaff Coal Owners and Shippers (Merton Priory Press, Whitchurch, Cardiff 1997) by Richard C Watson.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply

Appraisal Information

All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Archives have been retained.

Accruals

Accruals are not expected

Bibliography

Richard Ollerton 'Hereford Cider, Worcester Leather, Birmingham Iron, Rhondda Coal' published in Morgannwg LVI (2012), pp. 62-83, and Rhondda Coal, Cardiff Gold. The Insoles of Llandaff Coal Owners and Shippers (Merton Priory Press, Whitchurch, Cardiff 1997) by Richard C Watson

Geographical Names