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Francis Rule
Born in Camborne in 1835 the son of John Rule and Anne Mayne, Rule migrated to Mexico in 1852 and began work at the Real del Monte mine.  Soon after he began prospecting abandoned mines, persuading others to join him in a mining venture. Success followed and he eventually became Captain of the Real del Monte mine. 

A great friend and supporter of Porfirio Díaz, he built up a huge personal fortune and was known as El Rey de la Plata (the Silver King). One of the most knowledgeable mining men in Mexico, his opinion was regarded as a barometer for the rise and fall of mining shares. He is credited with the discovery of the Santa Gertrudis Vein, forming a mi
ning company with fellow Cornishmen William Stoneman of Camborne and Christopher Ludlow of Penzance in 1875. Rich ore was discovered soon after which saw shares rocket from $80 to $5,000. In 1879 the Cia. De Sta Gertrudis imported a Cornish pump  and a steam hoist from Harveys of Hayle in Cornwall which were erected by Matthew Bawden of Penzance, enabling mining operations to extend to 240 meters. This was followed by the installation of a second Cornish pumping engine in 1890 for the purpose of lifting additional water to the original pump. In 1893 Rule accepted the management and was elected to the Board of Directors. 

By 1898 Santa Gertrudis was one of the most powerful mines in the State of Hidalgo and in 1903 alone, profits to stockholders had exceeded a million dollars. The Management was all Cornish, with Thomas Lakeside Phillips becoming Director of this and another Rule concern - the Maravillas Anexas Mining Company, which yielded gold, silver, lead and zinc. In addition Rule also owned the Santa Ana Mine and the La Blanca y Anexas property purchased in 1876 which consisted of mines some three miles from Pachuca where a big strike was made in 1903. 

In 1910 the Santa Gertrudis was sold to the part British Camp Bird Company for in excess of nine million dollars. The event was quoted in the Mexican press as 'the largest single cheque ever drawn in the Republic of Mexico…an extraordinary mining deal where such a heavy price was determined and made in one bank

Rule had a total of 14 children from two marriages. He married his first wife, Mary Hoskings, at Camborne in December of 1864, afterwards returning with her to Mexico. She died in 1910 at Pachuca (an elaborate memorial was erected to her in the Panteón de los Ingléses Real del Monte), and he married again, a Mexican lady named María Cárdenas. His holdings included an enormous house in Pachuca, named the Casa Rule, a French Renaissance style residence now the local government offices and numerous other properties throughout Mexico including a house in Mexico City and eight haciendas in Hidalgo and Querétaro that included the famous Galindo. In 1900 about 17 relatives and friends were invited to Mexico, all expenses paid, to celebrate his 65th birthday. They travelled in style aboard his special railroad coach between Mexico City and Pachuca. 

Rule served as the Treasurer of the Pachuca Cricket Team in 1884 and left a tangible impact on the townscape of this city, where he financed construction of the many public buildings, including the Methodist chapel and schoolroom, the Hotel de los Baños, the Gran Hotel Grenfell, the Rule Bank and the famous clock, El Reloj, nicknamed 'Big Ben' in the Zocalo

Rule was however 'British to the backbone' as he informed a local newspaper on a visit to Cornwall in 1912; when told by the Governor of Hidalgo that he would not be permitted to fly the Union Jack from his Pachuca bank, he defiantly erected an imposing six-foot high ornate parapet boasting the flag in stone open-work in six pan
els. He died some years later in Mexico.

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