Before launching into some of the details of Taylor’s life and works I have summarised some of the key facts of his life.
1 John was born in Norwich, Norfolk, far from any mining district.
2.Became a mine manger at the amazingly young age of 19, without any previous mining experience.
3. His spectacular success as manger of Wheal Freindship, near Tavistock, formed the basis of his career.
4. He turned the Consolidated mine into the most largest copper mine in Cornwall.
5. Taylor built the Tavistock Canal and Redruth and Chacewater Railway.
6. He owned mines in Cornwall, Devon, Wales, Derbyshire, Ireland, Cumbria, Lancashire, California, Mexico and Spain.
7. His success was built on introducing the ‘Cornish System’ of management and Cornish Mining technology in his mines.
8. He played an important role in the formation of several important Associations, including the University College London and The British Association for the Advancement of science.
9. He worked closely with Charles Babbage.
10. The company he founded closed in 1969.
These 10 key facts will be starting points to explore Taylor’s life story over the next few posts. Along the way I hope to find some links with William West, the last Great Cornish Engineer.