John Vaughan

Born: John Vaughan was born on 21st December 1799 in Worcester. His father was John Vaughan who later worked at the Dowlais Ironworks in Wales.                                                    

Educated: Growing up in a poor family, Jacky Vaughan started work as a boy in a scrap mill. He learnt a great deal about ironmaking when he went to work at the Dowlais works.

Married: John Vaughan married Eleanor Downing in the 1820s. They had four sons together before she died in 1834. John Vaughan later married Anne Brown, nee Poole, a widow from Newcastle. She was the sister of Henry Bolckow’s first wife.

Family: John Vaughan had four sons by his first wife, Eleanor. The daughters of his second wife by her previous husband, Ann and Mary, adopted the surname Vaughan.

Home: John Vaughan moved to Carlisle in 1825 as manager of an ironworks, and then to Newcastle as a manager at the Walker Ironworks, which began production in 1832. In 1841 he moved to a large house in Cleveland Street, Middlesbrough, which the Vaughans shared with the Bolckows. In 1858, the Vaughans moved to Gunnergate Hall in Marton. John spent the last year of his life in London.

Known for: John Vaughan entered into partnership with Henry Bolckow in 1839. They opened an ironworks in Middlesbrough in 1841 on a site chosen by Vaughan. Bolckow’s role in the partnership was largely financial while Vaughan had the practical knowledge. In 1851 John Vaughan pioneered the use of Cleveland ironstone for making iron, which proved to be a key factor in the growth of the iron industry on Teesside. Bolckow and Vaughan’s success at ironmaking in Middlesbrough soon attracted other ironmasters to the district. When Middlesbrough became an incorporated borough in 1853, John Vaughan was elected one of the town’s first councillors. In 1855 he became Middlesbrough’s third mayor. He was known for his technical knowledge in the iron industry, which enabled him to become a very wealthy man.

Died: John Vaughan died on16th September 1868 at his residence at Hyde Park Gate in London. He was buried in the churchyard at Marton.

Further Information:  “Who Was Who in 19th Century Cleveland” David M.Tomlin and Mary Williams (1987)

“Pioneers of the Cleveland Iron Trade” James S. Jeans (1875)

“Middlesbrough and its Jubilee” Hugh G.Reid (ed.) (1881)