photograph of Edward Wadham

Edward Wadham

1828–1913

Civil Engineer: Wadham, Turner and Strongitharm
Mineral Agent of Duke of Buccleuch for Furness 1854–1913

Lindal Mount, Lindal ( –1861)
Millwood House, Dalton-in-Furness (1861– )



Wadham was prominently associated with the mineral and industrial development of Barrow and district, being a director of the Barrow Hematite Company and the Walney Exploration Company. He was a Councillor on the first Barrow Borough Council and was a member of the Council for 31 years, including four years as Mayor 1878–1881. He was commissioned as a JP in 1869 and was Chief Magistrate. He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Other appointments included Director of Furness Railway Co. 1887 until retirement in 1911. He was a ship owner (The Mary E. Wadham). [CRO BD BUC]

Wadham kept a diary and recorded a number of visits to Merionethshire in 1886 in connection with manganese mining. Relevant extracts are:

9 April   … arrived at Barmouth at 12.30. In afternoon went to Llanbedhr and called on Mr Wayne. Saw his property. Also called on several people on the way home. …

10 April   In morning to Portmadoc. Called on several people as to Royalties etc. Home to Barmouth at 6 o'clock. … In evening went out to see Mr Abraham's mine and also Mr Lancaster's. [probably Joshua Lancaster] Met with a man named Evans who seemed to know more about things than any one we had yet met. …

11 April   Took a walk over the hills and to Harlech "prospecting". Called on young Lancaster [Henry Lancaster?] a Thoro-bred cad! …

1 May   Engaged all day prospecting mines [possibly Mynydd Nodol, Nant yr Helfa and Moel Mochowgryn] at Red y Fen [Rhyd-y-fen] in company with George Bargate and Capn Evans of Barmouth. Got back to Bala at 4 o'clock …

2 May   Drove to Harlech. Met WGA [William George Ainslie of iron ore merchants Harrison Ainslie & Co.?] and Ed Ray there and with them Geo Bargate, Capn Evans and Thos Richards. Examined the mines at Harlech and Mynydd Llanbedhr. Got home to Barmouth at 8.0pm. …

3 May   With WGA, Ed Ray, Bargate and Capn Evans. Inspected mines at Cwm Mynach near to Penmaenpool. Got back to Barmouth at 4 o'clock …

13 May   In London. Called on W G Ainslie about North Wales Manganese Iron Mines in morning. …

14 May   Writing letters till 10.30 then met Bargate at Ainslie's office about Manganese Mines. …

2 June   … Back to Barrow and had an interview with Bargate about Merionethshire Mine. …

4 June   … Interviewed … Bargate as to Merionethshire Mines. …

30 July   … to Barrow … to see Bargate about Barmouth matters. …

31 July   In office till 10 o'clock then to Barrow with W G Ainslie, had a long interview with Bargate about Barmouth affairs. Arranged to engage Mr Stables [presumably Edward Stables], formerly of Askam at a salary of 150 per annum and a house to go there at once. …

13 August   … Saw … Bargate on Merionethshire Mines. …

3 September   … Stopped at Abergele to inspect a mine [Nant Uchaf haematite mine?] with Phillips and Bargate. Also a Mr Hills and two other gentlemen. Went into the mine and then … went to Carnarvon. Walked out to see Mr Bowen "Re Crown Agent", and saw his Plans. Gave him his instructions to prepare a Plan for us. Back to Carnarvon. Had dinner and called upon a Mr Poole about some Royalty. Went on to Portmadoc at night. Arrived there at 9.45pm. Had Mr Jones sol[icito]r to see us as to some agreements for Take-notes. …

4 September   … to Dolgelly to breakfast. Had a meeting with Mr Griffiths a sol[icito]r as to a dispute between an old farmer and Mr Bargate about some damages. Got all settled satisfactorily. Then drove to Penmaenpool and from thence walked up to inspect the Cwm-mynach Mine and over the mountain to some further mines. …

6 September   Bargate went to Bala. Mr Stables and I drove up to Graiguchaf in the morning and inspected the mine up there and drove back to Pensarn Station. Took the train for Talsarnau. Phillips joined us at Pensarn. Had some lunch at Pensarn then proceeded xxx Llyn Eiddew to inspect the mine there. …

7 September   Wrote letters in the morning. By the 11.20 train with Bargate to Barmouth where we should have seen Mr Abrahams but he was engaged with the Regatta so could not see us. … then … to Lancaster for the night and Bargate went back to Llanbedhr. …

9 September   In office till 10 o'clock then to Ulverston. … to see W G Ainslie about the Welsh mines. …

22 September   … a long consultation with Bargate as to Merionethshire Mines and took him up to Millwood to meet Birkett about the Carting, which we settled. …

29 September   In office till 11.30 then to Ulverston to meet Mr Ainslie and Mr Bargate about the Merionethshire Mines. …

There are entries indicating further frequent meetings about Merionethshire mines over the next months but no evidence that anything was done.

From the evidence of his diary entries (all of which seem to include brief details of the day's weather) he was an active and energetic man willing to spend long days working and travel considerable distances by train or on foot.