In 1873 the distinguished chemist and dye manufacturer Dr William Perkin (March 12, 1838 – July 14, 1907) built The Chestnuts, turning neighbouring Seymour Villa into his laboratory. Perkin made his fortune by a chance discovery. Two decades later while looking to create a cure for malaria he created mauveine, one of the world’s first synthetic dyes. The success of the colour, also known as aniline purple and Perkin’s mauve, as the first chemical dye to have been mass-produced, was sealed when purple was popularised by Queen Victoria.
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