Home Page Forums Special Interest Group – Iron Jamaica puddling Reply To: Jamaica puddling

Ray Powell

The paper contains two accounts of what happened to the the equipment in John Reeder’s foundry.

Firstly the paper says:
“Reeder’s reverberatory furnaces were ‘demolished’; his ‘works levelled with the ground’; his
machinery for making ‘barr [sic] iron’ rendered ‘totally useless’179; and anything ‘that might be
of use to the Enemy . . . carried on board his Majesty’s ships’,180 absorbed into a maritime
infrastructure that transported unused Naval stores and equipment, from Jamaica to the
Naval base in Portsmouth,181 where Cort operated.”
Reference 179 is dated 1782 and 1783

and later
“John Reeder’s foundry was dismantled
and loaded onto ships between 3 March and 3 May 1782”

There is no reference for this statement. Can this be deduced from the dates of documents?
It is a pity that none of these documents have been digitised.

Another summary of what happened is found in:
Goucher, C. L. 1990. John Reeder’s foundry: a study of eighteenth-century African-Caribbean technology. Jamaica Journal 23,1: page 40

“The buildings and equipment which had escaped being dismantled or buried during martial law in 1782, were destroyed by hurricanes the following year. All that could be recovered was equipment valued at £500 and this was sold by Reeder to pay debts. Reeder’s ill health and impoverishment were the subject of bitter and complaining correspondence. Finally, he died in England of a seizure some time before February 1806, and thus never obtained the promised pension.”

There do not appear to be any references to Reeder challenging Cort’s patents in the National Archives catalogue.