Jenny Bulstrode displays a profound ignorance of British ironmaking. It is clear that she did not consult any reference works or any articles, relevant to the subject. It is true that the recent work was in a niche periodical (Historical Metallurgy), but this should have been in her university library.
Unfortunately, I know nothing of the quality of African iron, so that I cannot comment on issues of quality. However it is clear that the African buyers, of what was called “voyage iron”, were discerning buyers and able to reject poor quality stuff. This is reflected in instructions to suppliers. This contrasts with the trade in guns, where guns for the Guinea market were of the worst quality. Incidentally, I have seen an allusion to cannon and to muskets in succeeding sentences as if the author did not know how different they are.
Evidence of recycling iron is scarce, but it exists. She has clearly not read Angerstein’s travel journal. Chris Evans talked about it in his article on Bedlington.
She ought to have known about rolling because it is dealt with in a chapter in Mott’s book on Henry Cort. In the course of his specification, Cort talks about “common rolling mills”. Cort’s originality was applying them to rolling bars from balls or blooms. Previously they had been used to reshape or cut bar iron.
She should have found references to air furnaces, as there have long been works alluding to them, for example Raistrick, Dynasty of Ironfounders, 115; and I talked about them in my 2002 Newcomen article on Sir Clement Clerke.