Stewart, Rick J., The Glorious Revolution, Bristol and Engine Development in Cornwall 1688-1730s, Transactions of the 2nd International Early Engines Conference, Volume 2, IEEC & ISSES, 2023 [ISBN: 9781872986258/ISSN: ISSES, Stationary Power v.25 0960-0663], pp.23-28 doi:10.54267/ieec2-2-02
The Glorious Revolution of 1688/1689 set in train changes in English political and economic culture that acted as a significant catalyst for the development of deep copper mining in Cornwall. The adoption of improved water engines and, latterly, atmospheric engines was fundamental in meeting the drainage challenges faced as miners delved ever deeper in their search for copper ore. The increasing application of pumping technology required significant capital investment which was not available from inside Cornwall. Much of the capital to develop copper mining was supplied by Bristol merchants and industrialists who were benefiting from an economic boom occasion by the aforementioned economic and political changes. Most notable was the deregulation of the slave trade which allowed Bristol to eclipse London as England’s primary slaving port turning Bristol into an economic powerhouse. A less quantifiable but nonetheless important factor was a growth in confidence in the stability of the post-revolution economy and amongst the entrepreneurial classes giving them the confidence to invest in Cornish deep mining.