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Boot and Shoe Maker/Cordwainer

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Boot and Shoe Maker/Cordwainer

Postby hullcityfan » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:50 pm

I have just found that one of my ancestors was listed as a Boot and Shoe Maker in trade directories and parish registers for births of his children in Thorne, Yorkshire between 1815 and 1834.

Can anyone recommend any further reading I can do to find out more about his profession. Would he have served an apprenticeship for this?

thanks
Jill
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RE: Boot and Shoe Maker/Cordwainer

Postby paulberyl » Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:13 am

Hi Jill,

[size=3][font="times new roman"]Shoemaking was a skilled craft and there were certainly apprenticeships. Apprentices had a hard life paying a fee for the privilege, receiving no wages, having to undertake not to marry and avoid ‘games of chance’ for the period of the apprenticeship, usually 5 years. For this they would live with the master free. The 1851 census for Ashford, Kent lists shoemaker apprentices, journeymen and masters. [/font][/size]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]In the mid-1800s shoemaking was still very much a cottage industry. Shoemakers worked individually, collecting raw material from a manufacturer and then returning the finished product in return for payment. The work was carried out by hand, usually in a workshop in the shoemakers’ own home. Other family members, including wives and children, were often engaged in assisting the shoemaker.[/size][/font] [font="times new roman"][size=3]It was only with the invention of the sewing machine in 1846 that hand stitching gradually gave way to automated stitching.[/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]Shoemakers and cordwainers had their own trade guilds and in 1836 established their own benefit society, the Master Boot and Shoe Makers' Association for the Relief of Aged and Decayed members, their Widows and Orphans". [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3]Northampton Museum & Art Gallery in Guildhall Road, Northampton has a shoe museum detailing the history of shoemaking (albeit in Northampton).[/size][/font]
[font="times new roman"][size=3] [/size][/font]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]C. and J. Clark (a shoemaking company in Somerset) have produced a couple of books: [i]A History of Shoemaking: C. .and J. Clark, 1833-1903 - Street, [/i][i]Somerset[/i] and [i]C. and J. Clark 1825-1975. [/i](I have a copy of this latter one).[i] [/i]Unfortunately I do not know how readily available these books are now. [/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"][/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]Regards,[/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"][/font][/size]
[size=3][font="times new roman"]Paul [/font][/size]
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RE: Boot and Shoe Maker/Cordwainer

Postby hullcityfan » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:50 pm

Hi Paul

Thank you once again for your help with my ancesters' occupations. I will try to get hold of some books and as I have family in Northampton, may get down there and visit the museum sometime.
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