Acids and Assets: The Cowburns and their chemical domain


A unique and fascinating study of the Cowburn family, a northern business empire, full of previously unseen images.


This is the story of the Cowburns, big sulphur merchants of Trafford Park and their rise to fortune from modest Victorian beginnings. Grasping opportunity in an industrial climate, William Henry Cowburn set up his chemical business and within a generation his son Arthur William was the main supplier to the mighty Courtaulds textile giant. Profits streamed in and Arthur William acquired the impressive steam launch, the SL Branksome, on Windermere, purchased the mansion of Booths Hall, Knutsford and a holiday home in Llandudno.

Within another generation, faced with mounting costs, punitive taxation and a more competitive industrial climate, the houses, the boat and the family business had gone. It happens!

  • Author: William M. Hartley
  • Publication Date: 12/05/2022
  • ISBN: 978-1-910837-41-2
  • Binding: paperback
  • Format: 234 x 156 mm
  • Extent: 176 pages
  • Illustrations: 80

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