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Unveiling of plaque to Josiah Mason

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

We are proud to announce The Heritage Group in Pembrey and Burry Port have just put up a plaque to honour Sir Josiah Mason in their town, official ceremony.

Sir Josiah Mason a remarkable character and the more widely recognised as a philanthropist.

Sir Josiah was born in 1795 in Kidderminster, brought into the world with no advantages of birth, connections, education, or means'. Born 17 years before Charles Dickens began to write about the poverty of the Victorian era, Josiah taught himself to write and joined a unitarian Sunday School as they could provide him with a basic education.

He was very much a self-made man. He had no formal training, had no trade and served no apprenticeship. Yet there was an innate desire to do something in the world and to achieve something.

From the age of eight years he began to work in some sort of business. At first it was selling cakes in the streets to a regular clientele. At one time he collected copper money and wrapped them up in five shilling packets, and was remunerated by the fee of one penny for every pound. His last street trading was in fruit and vegetables which he sold


His next venture was shoe making in which he excelled, and during this time he taught himself to write and even obtained some casual work as a letter writer for poor people. He read a wide range of books and in his studies was helped by lessons at the Unitarian Sunday school.

It was the move from Kidderminster to Birmingham that opened up for him the most promising employment, the first with his uncle at his glass works and then as a manager of a business making split rings. This business he bought and developed, introducing the lucrative steel pen trade. He was now only 28 years old and, as a result of his ingenuity and passion for improvement, soon became the largest pen maker in the world, employing almost 1000 people.

Most of his pens were made under the name of Perry and Co.

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