Founder of the Camborne School of Mines and Manager of Dolcoath Mine in Camborne
22nd October 1901
Centenary Methodist Chapel, Camborne
Josiah Thomas was born in Camborne and rose to become a prominent figure in the area and well-known beyond the boundaries of the County. H e was the Manager of Dolcoath Mine from the 1860s until the 1890s.
He married Charlotte Augusta in 1856, and they had 9 children, 8 of whom were boys, between 1858 and 1875. The family lived in Bassett Road in Camborne for many years, a road of handsome houses. The house that the Thomas family occupied is now the Lowenac Hotel. A painting of Josiah hangs in Camborne library, and some of his letters to Francis Trevithick relating to the equipment at Dolcoath made by his father, Richard Trevithick, are kept in the Science Museum document collection.
Josiah held many public offices in and around the town of Camborne, including Chairmanship of the Governing Body of the School of Mines from 1887-1901, which was established in 1888 to provide theoretical and practical skills to mineworkers in order to improve the efficiency of the mining process.
When Josiah Thomas was buried on the 26th October (reported in 'Cornish Engineering' by Clive Carter), ten thousand people lined the streets as his coffin was carried from Dolcoath Mine, borne by the six Captains at Dolcoath. The funeral cortege was followed by 800 miners, marching respectfully, creating an event that has not since been equalled, and showing the level of regard for this talented and well-liked local man.