John Marshall, Monway Iron and Steel Works, Leabrook, Wednesbury; iron master producing quality iron for gun barrels; 1840s - Monway Iron and Steel Works was run by Marshall & Mills until 1865.Part of Patent Shaft and Axletree Company..

Details still being collected - notes below from various sources.

The following information has been provided from

In 1818 Lloyds, Fosters & Company opened a coal mine near Hob’s Hole. They were heirs of Richard Parkes, who in 1708 had acquired a lease on the coal mines in the area. The coal mine, like many others in the area suffered from flooding, and so Samuel Lloyd installed a steam engine to pump out the water. The site also contained large quantities of iron ore, and also clay, which was used to produce bricks and tiles.

The company built an iron works and a foundry on the site, so that the iron ore could be used to produce pig iron and malleable iron for the foundry. All kinds of items were cast including ironwork for buildings and bridges, parts for steam engines, and wheels and axles for the railways. Even complete locomotives were built. In 1849, Old Park Works became the first factory in Staffordshire to use the hot blast in their furnaces, which produced high quality iron for the foundry.

n 1854 the company opened The Monway Axle and Tyre Works at Monway Field. The new works produced axles, tyres, and iron plate for boilers and bridges.

It was reported in the London Gazette, July 4th 1865 that the partnership of John Marshall and Henry Mills as ironmasters carrying on business as ironmasters at the Monway Iron Works, Wednesbury and the Victoria Iron Works at Pleck, Walsall was dissolved by mutual agreement. Each of the partners to carry on their business on his own private account with John Marshall at the Monway Iron Works and Henry Mills at the Victoria Iron Works. 30th June 1865.

In 1867 Old Park Works and Monway Works had to be sold to cover losses. The company was purchased by The Patent Shaft & Axletree Company and became part of the largest steel works in the area.


Marshall & Mills who ran Monway Iron Works produced the best gun barrel iron in the world. Their customers included the Birmingham gun makers, and the British and American governments. By 1844 their iron sold for £44 a ton. (

Colt's president, Elisha Root, testified before the Commission on Ordnance on March 26th, 1862: "We have engaged 54,000 skelps of Marshall iron; have on hand 19,000; also have engaged 25,000 barrels of steel, solid, to be bored, and by us; we have also 20,000 barrels made in England, rough bored and first smooth bored. They have turned breech pins fitted."(VSkelp (sometimes spelled scelp) is wrought iron or steel that is rolled or forged into narrow strips and ready to be made into pipe or tubing by being bent (into a cylindrical shape) and welded. )

The Victoria Ironworks at Leabrook were run by the Thorneycroft brothers, Edward and George Bernard Thorneycroft, who also ran Shrubbery Iron Works in Wolverhampton. Their business in Wednesbury was declared bankrupt, 1843. The factory was then acquired by Fletcher, Rose & Company and in 1852 by the Patent Shaft and Axletree Company.


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