John Marley was born on the 11th of November 1823, the youngest son of Thomas Marley. From 1840 to 1844 he gained a valuable and varied experience in the working of Durham collieries by being tutored under George Hunter and William Longstaff (at the collieries of the Marquis of Londonderry) and then from 1841 under Edward Fenwick Boyd (President of this Institute, 1869 to 1872).
In 1844 Marley was engaged in railway surveys under John Bourne in the neighbourhood of Belford and Kelso. He was also employed for a short time in the preparation of plans for the Whitehaven and Furness Railway. In 1845 Marley was employed in railway surveys on the Wear and Derwent Junction Railway, and the Wear Valley Extension Railway. Marley started his connection with the firm Bolckow & Vaughan in 1846. From here he developed and worked colleries for the firm as he directed the engineering operations.
Marley discovered the Cleveland ironstone in 1850. Between 1847and 1869 Marley reported on coal and other mines in various districts of Great Britain, took part in arbitrations, and in the preparation of giving evidence before Parliamentary Committees. He compiled statistics for the Royal Commission in 1868, which was making enquiry into the extent and probable duration of the British coal-fields. Marley formed the North Brancepeth Coal Company in 1870. On the passing of the Mines Regulation Act in 1872, he was appointed a member of the Mines Examination Board for South Durham.
Marley was a member of the Institute from 1852 and was appointed President between 1888 and 1890. He was also elected a Vice-President from 1872.
See also the article in Wikipedia.