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Richard Crawshay (1739-1810)
[image: Richard Crawshay (1739-1810)]
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 135.0 x 94.5 cm
Acquired: 1952; Gift; Captain Geoffrey Crawshay
Accession Number: NMW A 519
The son of a Yorkshire farmer, Richard Crawshay (1739-1810) was apprenticed to a Mr Bicklewith who owned an iron warehouse in London. By 1763 Crawshay had taken over the business and quickly became a successful iron merchant and dealer in cast iron wares. In 1786 he obtained the lease of the Cyfarthfa Iron Works in Merthyr Tydfil, taking control of it in 1794. By 1803 it was the most important centre for iron smelting in Britain. This portrait is one of several versions painted for Crawshay's family and friends.