An estate at Abercarn was owned by the ironmaster Richard Crawshay;
Homfray was so impressed with Trevithick's locomotive that he made a bet with another ironmaster, Richard Crawshay, for 500 guineas that Trevithick's steam locomotive could haul ten tons of iron along the Merthyr Tydfil Tramroad from Penydarren (51°45′03″N 3°22′33″W
After the death of Anthony Bacon in 1786, the ownership of the works passed to Bacon's sons, and was divided between Richard Hill, their manager and Richard Crawshay.
Being watched over by the wealthy ironmasters of Merthyr, including Richard Crawshay of the Cyfarthfa Ironworks, the canal was thought up as a solution to the issue of transporting the goods (iron ore, coal and limestone) from the valleys to Cardiff, where they would be shipped around the world.
Although the Dadfords left the canal under a shadow, their work was vindicated by Whitworth, and they went on to build other canals in neighbouring valleys, while their achievement was summed up by John Bird in 1796: "The canal is brought through mountainous scenery with wonderful ingenuity" Richard Crawshay was the principal shareholder in the canal company, and seems to have used his influence to his own advantage, treating the canal as his own.
In order to show British administrative authority and determination to prevent the absorption of NER by the Belgians or Germans, Sir Johnston decided to send a former hunter and now agent of the African Lakes Company, Richard Crawshay, to set up a permanent post on the shores of Lake Mweru in 1890.
In December 1801, Hall married Charlotte, the daughter of ironmaster Richard Crawshay, in what historian P. A. Symonds calls an "advantageous marriage" - her dowry was £40,000.