William Thomas Mulvany

Life
1806-85; b. 11 March, Sandymount, Co. Dublin; eldest child of Thomas James and Mary Field Mulvany; b. Catholic, with four brs. and two sis; ed. TCD; studied botany and engineering, ceasing due to financial problems; worked as draughtsman for Francis Johnson and John Semple; adopted Churhc of Ireland; joined Ordnance Survey, 1826; moved to Board of Works, 1836; worked on drainage and managed Erne-Shannon canal; forced out of Board of Works by local landlord politics; travelled to Belgium, 1854; settled in Ruhr (“these people don't understand what they have here”); organised consortium to exploit unprofitable mines in Gelsenkirchen, nr. Bochum; opened Hibernia mine nr. Herne on St. Patrick's Day, 1855; engaged Newcastle shaft-miner William Coulson; his firm celebrated for speed of drilling; employed 357 men to mine 18,000 tons of coal in 1855, rising to 1,001 and 315,000 by 1861; a third mine, Erin, went bankrupt during economic depression in 1877, terminating hopes of great wealth; m. Alicia Winslow of Fermanagh, 1832, with whom a son and three dgs; d. 30 Oct. 1885; commemorated by Mulvanystrase in Gelsenkirchen and Shamrockstrase in Herne; a great-grand-son Hans-Christoph Seebohm served as transport minister in five cabinets of Konrad Adenauer, 1949-63.

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Criticism
See Olaf Schmidt-Rutsch, William Thomas Mulvany: An Irish Pragmatic and Visionary in the Ruhrgeblet (Cologne: RWWA 2005), and feature-review by Derek Scally in The Irish Times, Weekend (18 June 2005.)

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