Besides being a large-scale industrialist, John Wilkinson, the celebrated ironmaster, was also one of the 'spirited proprietors' who appear so frequently in agricultural history during the latter half of the eighteenth century. In 1792 he bought the Brymbo Hall estate, and later added to it a number of smaller estates and farms in the bleak township of Brymbo in Denbighshire, north Wales. His lime-making activities in north Wales were not, however, confined to the township of Brymbo. At some date before 1798 he had secured a lease for forty-two years of land containing limestone adjacent to Lord Derby's estate at Hope in Flintshire. Attention has often been called to Wilkinson's role as a pioneer in the use of agricultural machinery. In 1798 the six counties of north Wales contained only two threshing machines. Wilkinson was perhaps fortunate in that he did not live to see the depression in agriculture during the years immediately after 1815.