Although the Carron Iron Works was established using expertise and capital from England, it is not surprising that over the years it produced much home grown talent which seeded further foundries in the Falkirk area. These men of enterprise were leaders in the community, fulfilling civic roles and promoting religious and recreational societies.
Malcolm Cockburn (1828-1907)
|1828||Malcolm born at Carron, son of a foreman mason.|
|Stocktaking Dept at Falkirk Iron Co.|
|Assistant Works Manager at Falkirk.|
|Manager of the Union Foundry.|
|1860||Founding partner of Burnbank Foundry.|
|1864||Founded Gowan Bank Foundry.|
|1875||Founding partner of Springfield Foundry.|
|Vulcan Foundry? Foundry in Larkhall.|
|Warehouses in Edinburgh, Glasgow & London.|
|Helped found Stein’s Brickworks, and a timber business in Grangemouth.|
|Chairman of Jackson Elphick & Co of Larkhall, who developed porcelain enamelling on cast iron.|
His brother, known as Mighty Andrew, became a partner in the Forth & Clyde Iron Works when it took over from the Rosebank Foundry.
In his “spare” time Malcom Cockburn was the chairman of Falkirk Gasworks, and Falkirk Savings Bank, and Falkirk School Board. He was also vice-president of Falkirk Infirmary. He founded the Falkirk branch of the Y.M.C.A., Falkirk Unionist Association. He was preses of the West Church, an elder of the Grahams Road Church, Provost of Falkirk, a Justice of the Peace, and honorary Sheriff Substitute for Stirlingshire.
Robert Wilson Crosthwaite (1812-1870)
|1812||Born at Jaw Farm, Slamannan. Orphaned very young.|
|As a boy was given into service & acted as a message boy for Mr McFarlane of Thornhill.|
|Apprentice mechanic at Carron Iron Works. Jobs in Glasgow, Liverpool, before being appointed as manager |
of an engineering and foundry works in France for 2 years.
Then in Russia for 4 years.
|1845||Founding partner of Camelon Foundry. Left in 1853.|
|1854||Co-founder of the Union Foundry.|
|1860||Founding partner of Burnbank Foundry.|
|1861||Member of Falkirk Parochial Board.|
|1869||Robert’s nephew, Joseph, founded Forthbank Foundry in Bo’ness.|
|1870||Died August 1870 aged 57 years & buried at Camelon.|
|1914||Robert’s son John R Crosthwaite followed in his footsteps and died in May 1914.|
William Mitchell (1822-1888)
|1822||Born in Airth|
|1840s||Started working as a millwright but entered employment |
as a patternmaker at the old Union Foundry.
|1850s||Went to Australia, where he made money at the gold diggings.|
|1860||With Malcolm Cockburn he built and started Burnbank Foundry.|
|1875||Left to start Parkhouse Foundry with others who subsequently retired leaving him as sole owner.|
|1888||Died in October 1888 aged 66 years.|
William Thomson Mitchell (1835-1894)
|1835||Born in Carron|
|Apprentice patternmaker at Carron Co. Took classes in Glasgow.|
|Foreman patternmaker with Walter McFarlane & Co.|
|1868||Founded Grahamston Foundry.|
Town Councillor (1875-1881) and Bailie of the Burgh of Falkirk; J.P.
George Ure (1820-1910)
|1820||Born at Stenhousemuir in March.|
|1832||At 12 year old an apprentice grate fitter at Carron. |
Then a fireman in a Glasgow foundry.
|1845||Manager at Camelon Foundry.|
|1854||Managing partner at Union Foundry.|
|1860||Retired from Union Foundry. On leaving he was presented with a silver-mounted writing desk. |
Founding partner in Smith & Wellstood’s Foundry.
|1862||Founded Bonnybridge Foundry.|
|1891||Died 3 January 1910 aged 89.|
During his foundry life he improved and patented a method of smelting iron in the cupola that was widely adopted. After retirement he became a county councillor, a member of the Falkirk Parish School Board and deputy lieutenant of Stirlingshire.
William Graham (1850-1894)
|1850||Born in Australia to parents from the Falkirk district.|
|1860s||Employed at Camelon Iron Works, Burnbank Foundry|
|1870s||Traveller for Messrs Cameron & Robertson, ironfounders, Kirkintilloch.|
|1875||Founding partner with William Mitchell of Parkhouse Iron Co.|
|1878||Managing partner of Callendar Iron Co.|
John E Gibson (1834-1898)
|1834||Born in Glasgow, son of a silk manufacturer|
|1855||Came to Falkirk as assistant and traveller for Camelon Foundry.|
|1859||Promoted to manager of Camelon Foundry.|
|1894||Started the Salton Foundry.|
He and his wife took an active part in the establishment of the Falkirk Cottage Hospital. Founder of the Science and Arts School in Park Street, Falkirk.
Robert William Kennard (1800-1870)
Kennard was an outsider. He was born in 1800, the son of a London banker. Many of his interests remained in the city and he was a Commissioner of Lieutenancy for the City of London as well as a magistrate for Westminster, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and [of course] Stirlingshire. He was Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1846-7, and Conservative MP for Newport, Isle of Wight, from 1857. As well as his commercial interest in the Falkirk Iron Works, he had a foundry and collieries in the south of Wales. He also invested in railways and was chairman of the Northern and Eastern Railway and the Tournay and Jurbise Railway, director of the Great Eastern Railway, the Oude and Rohilkund Railway. He died in 1870.