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Vaughan, John

Industrialist, born in Worcester the son of a Wesleyan skilled iron worker from Dowlais. He moved to Carlisle in 1825 to manage an ironworks and then in 1832 that of Losh, Wilson & Bell, at Walker-on-Tyne. With his Anglican brother-in-law, Henry W. F. Bolckow (1806-1878), a German entrepreneur and Middlesbrough’s first mayor in 1853, he was persuaded by the Darlington Quaker, Joseph Pease (1799-1872), to establish the Bolckow & Vaughan ironworks in 1841. This led to Middlesbrough’s rapid growth and to its becoming a major iron town. The discovery of iron ore deposits in the Cleveland Hill in 1850 by Vaughan and his surveyor John Marley led to further expansion, with blast furnaces being built in Middlesbrough and Eston, as well as colliery interests. Vaughan was mayor of Middlesbrough in 1855. He worshipped at Centenary WM and for a time was a class leader. He died in London on 16 September 1868. Statues of both Bolckow and Vaughan stand to their memory in Middlesbrough town centre.


  • WM Magazine, 1904 p.292
  • Geoffrey E. Milburn, in WHS Proceedings 44:3 (December 1983) p. 89

Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person


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