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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Mr Jewell

In 1816 Richards arranged to buy ammoniacal liquor from the Chartered 'on the guarantee of Mr. Jewell'. This liaison connects the early gas industry with a member of one of the most successful and progressive partnerships of the contemporary chemical industry.

William Allen the Quaker philanthropist had taken over a pharmacy which dated back to 1715, at Plough Court off Lombard Street in the City of London but in 1806 his partnership had split up. Allen remained in the City where his company evolved into Hanbury and Allen, and, in the twentieth century, Glaxo. The other partner, Luke Howard moved to Plaistow where he began to make heavier chemicals. His company evolved into Howard and Sons, moved to Ilford, and, in 1961, became part of Laporte Industries.

William Allen had employed Joseph Jewell as a laboratory assistant, in the Plough Court pharmacy but Jewell had gone, as foreman, to the new factory at Plaistow where he eventually became a partner with Luke Howard.

It might be noted that Howard had experimented with ammonia salts in 1808 and that these were made at Plaistow. It seems very likely therefore that Howard and Jewell would have been interested in experimenting with gas works liquor. Perhaps Jewell developed the process that was used for making sulphate of ammonia for the Chartered. The minuted text of the Chartered company is ambiguous but it seems that Jewell either employed Richards directly, or underwrote the manufacturing process, which Richards then undertook for Chartered. Richards was however still in some sort of contractual arrangement with Chartered because there are records of some regular payments.

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