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Henry Austin Bruce, the Duffryn Estate and the development of an industrial society: Mountain Ash 1845 – 1895

Morgan, Jeremy 2016. Henry Austin Bruce, the Duffryn Estate and the development of an industrial society: Mountain Ash 1845 – 1895. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Henry Austin Bruce gained recognition as an important figure in Welsh and British political life during the latter half of the nineteenth century. He was particularly active in the fields of education and social policy, being a proponent of progressive moves towards increased provision of these public services for working people. After a period in London, he returned to his ancestral estate at Duffryn to help superintend his father’s properties in that area. As a landowner in industrial Glamorgan, he was well placed to observe the impact of industrialisation on those communities and to appreciate the consequences of the inaction of the elite, alongside understanding the efforts that were successful in improving conditions. His actions at Mountain Ash were those from which he gained the experience he applied elsewhere. Henceforth, his career saw him undertake efforts to improve the condition of the people in ever widening spheres. Nevertheless, he did not have total freedom of action even at his home, Duffryn was a place with experience of socio-economic change and much of that was outside his influence. At Mountain Ash, he was able to influence practical change in the evolution of the shape of development and the evolution of public services for this nascent community. It was in the questions where he had most personal interest, as shown in numerous public addresses he gave, that he sought to exert the greatest influence. These were in the facilitation of the provision of religion, education and ‘well-ordered amusement.’ In these activities he had the support of an equally interested family, particularly, Norah his wife, his agents and a growing socially aware class, which he encouraged. Bruce played a role as an industrial landowner that has often been overlooked in the wider literature of the history of South Wales, this thesis helps address that oversight.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 February 2017
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 03:10

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