Cory families of Cardiff

Richard Cory of Bideford, Devon (1799-1882), a small-scale ship-owner and trader, moved across the Bristol Channel to set up as a ship's chandler in Cardiff and became involved in the growing trade in Welsh coal in the 1840s. He abandoned the Church of England for the UMFC. His sons, John Cory (1828-1910), of Dyffryn House, north of Barry, and Richard Cory (1830-1914), inherited the business, and as 'Cory Brothers and Company' moved into the mining of coal in the Rhondda and Ogmore valleys. Their business became international in extent and later expanded into oil refining and other new area. Their commercial success enabled them to engage in philanthropic activities.

John Cory, was born at Bideford on 28 March 1828. His business interests expanded and in 1883 he joined with other Rhondda coal owners in promoting the Barry dock and railway. He was a staunch WM, and also a supporter of the Salvation Army and the temperance movement. He became involved in civic politics, becoming a Glamorgan County alderman. His statue can be seen in the Gorsedd Gardens close to Cardiff Civic Centre.

His brother Richard Cory, a Baptist, had similar interests and activities.

Another John Cory (1823-1891), from Cornwall, was active in Cardiff at that time. He came from Poundstock and Padstow, where he was involved in the shipping trade. He moved to Cardiff in 1872, where he established a business, 'John Cory and Sons', in partnership with his sons John and Herbert. John Cory junior (1855-1931) became chairman of the company. Besides expanding his business interests considerably, he became a justice of the peace and Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff for the county. He belonged to the WM Church. His brother James Herbert Cory (1857-1933) was a co-director of the firm and became the first Baronet Cory.

  • Michael and Vernon Cory, The English Corys: their history and distribution (1995)
  • Alan R. Thorne, 'A Penarth Shipping Dynasty' in Bulletin of the Wesley Historical Society in Wales, no.2 (2012) pp.23-43
  • Oxford DNB


Entry written by: JCCP
Category: Person
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