Society of Mines Royal

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The Society of the Mines Royal was one of two English mining monopoly companies incorporated by royal charter in 1568, the other being the Company of Mineral and Battery Works.


On 28 May 1568 Elizabeth I established the Society by letters patent as a joint stock company with 24 shareholders:[1][2][3]

The establishment of the Society may have been the result of the Queen's success in the Case of Mines. The new Society was granted a mining monopoly for base metals in several English and Welsh counties, including some where there were recoverable mines. It worked mines in Cumberland and had a smelting plant near Keswick in Cumberland. It also opened a copper smelting plant near Neath.

In the 1670s, the Society associated itself with the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, but perhaps only informally. Its monopoly disappeared under the Mines Royal Act of 1690. In the 1690s, some of its mines were leased to another mining syndicate known as Mines Royal Copper, and that enterprise subsequently became the London Lead Company.

For the later history of the company, as amalgamated with the Company of Mineral and Battery Works see that article.

Further reading[edit]

M. B. Donald, Elizabethan Copper.


  1. ^ Collingwood 1912, p. 3.
  2. ^ Carr 1913, pp. 4–15.
  3. ^ Memoirs of the Geological Survey of England and Wales, Volume 2, Issue 2, (1848), p. 639