Richard Crawshay (1786-1859) was the eldest son of the famous ironmaster William Crawshay (1764-1834) of Cyfarthfa Castle, Glamorgan, and Stoke Newington, Middlesex, and his wife Eliza Couzens (d. 1825). The Crawshay family were proprietors of the great ironworks at Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales which had been founded by Richard Crawshay's grandfather. Richard's younger brother, William, who lived at Caversham Park, near Reading, became sole proprietor of the Cyfarthfa ironworks on the death of their grandfather, Richard Crawshay, in 1810 and expanded the business greatly at a time when the expansion of rail led to a greatly increased demand for iron. Richard Crawshay's involvement with the ironworks seems to have been less direct: his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine (July 1859) records that he: 'derived from his father a large share in the great ironworks at Cyfarthfa, Mertyr Tydfil, but of late years had retired on a very ample fortune'. Richard Crawshay lived for a while at Rowfant, Sussex, and Honingham Hall, Norfolk, the latter leased from Lord Bayning. He later lived at Ottershaw Park, Surrey, which he is recorded as having acquired in 1842. He married Mary, daughter of Frances Homfrey, of Hyde, Staffordshire, in 1808, by whom he had four sons and eight daughters.