|Born||25 April 1819|
|Died||28 November 1880 61) (aged|
|Resting place||Sheffield General Cemetery|
|Title||Mayor of Sheffield|
Sarah Bingham Taylor
|Relatives||Major John Charles Bradley Firth (grandson)|
Mark Firth (25 April 1819 – 28 November 1880) was an English industrialist and philanthropist.
Firth was born in Sheffield, the son of Thomas Firth (1789–1850), of Pontefract, York, and Mary Loxley.
He joined the crucible steel works of Sanderson Brothers where his father worked as head smelter, but left in 1842 to set up his own business with his brother, Thomas Jr. Their father joined them shortly afterwards, and in 1852 Thomas Firth & Sons had expanded into larger premises at the Norfolk Works in Savile Street, which had the largest rolling mill in Sheffield.
The Firth's business expanded into the armaments market, installing two large steam hammers in 1863. In 1871, the company cast the thirty five ton "Woolwich Infant" gun. In 1875 they produced an eighty-ton gun.
Firth was elected to the office of Master Cutler in 1867, which he held for the following two years. He was elected Mayor of Sheffield in 1874. In 1875, he presented a thirty-six acre estate to the town of Sheffield as Firth Park. He also built a mansion for himself on the outskirts of Sheffield at Oakbrook, Ranmoor, now part of Notre Dame High School. In 1879, he opened Firth College to teach arts and science subjects, which later became part of the University of Sheffield. Firth lends his name to the Firth Wing of the Northern General Hospital, and Firth Court of the University.
He was a Methodist and a Liberal.
On 16 November 1880 Firth was at his Norfolk Works when he suffered a stroke, and died 12 days later.
He is buried in Sheffield General Cemetery on Cemetery Road, where his monument is Grade II listed.
Firth was twice married and had twelve children.
He first married Sarah Bingham Taylor (1818–1855) in Sheffield on 15 September 1841, and they had five children:
Secondly, he married Caroline Gedling Bradley (1833–1894) at The Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Nottingham on 3 September 1857. They had seven children:
William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist and playwright known for The Woman in White (1859), and for The Moonstone (1868), which has been posited as the first modern English detective novel. Born to the London painter William Collins and his wife, he moved with the family to Italy when he was twelve, living there and in France for two years and learning Italian and French. He worked initially as a tea merchant. After publishing Antonina, his first novel, in 1850, Collins met Charles Dickens, who became a friend and mentor. Some Collins work first appeared in Dickens's journals Household Words and All the Year Round. They also collaborated on drama and fiction. Collins gained financial stability and an international following by the 1860s, but began to suffer from gout and became addicted to the opium he took for the pain, so that his health and writing quality declined in the 1870s and 1880s. Collins was critical of the institution of marriage: he split his time between widow Caroline Graves – living with her for most of his adult life, treating her daughter as his – and the younger Martha Rudd, by whom he had three children.
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Firth Brown Steels was initially formed in 1902, when Sheffield steelmakers John Brown & Company exchanged shares and came to a working agreement with neighbouring company Thomas Firth & Sons. In 1908 the two companies came together and established the Brown Firth Research Laboratories and it was here, in 1912, under the leadership of Harry Brearley they developed high chrome stainless steel. The companies continued under their own management until they formally merged in 1930 becoming Firth Brown Steels. The company is now part of Sheffield Forgemasters.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Firth, Mark .|