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Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

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Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby lesley.mazey » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:25 am

Due to a number of family links I am looking into the history of the Nottingham lace makers who went over to Calais.

I have been in contact with a lady in australia who has info on the nottingham people who returned (due to the french revolution?) and ended up going over to Australia but I am more curious about those who returned to Nottinghamshire.

Does anyone have any deas which way I could go with this?


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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby deeksnelson » Sat May 15, 2010 3:49 pm

my wifes ancesters also went to france,i will post later with info
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby deeksnelson » Tue May 18, 2010 7:34 pm

nottingham censes 1861
charles hazard silk weaver

and seven children

looks like they were there at least 5 years. 1844to 1849 ish.

thanks james
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby loiseau22 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:11 pm

Hi Lesley,

I think the Nottingham lacemakers moved to Calais a bit later - the early 19th century. I have just read an article on a site of The Travel Magazine, which included this timeline:

1816 Looms smuggled into Calais from Nottingham
1824 40 manufacturers, in Saint-Pierre district, 55 looms
1825 First loom constructed in Calais
1827 170 looms now in operation
1834 1584 looms and 640 hand looms
1834 Ferguson and Martyn adapt the Jacquard process invented by Joseph Jacquard) for the tulle loom
1840 Steam engine technology introduced
1844 52 manufacturers, 210 looms
1855 135 manufacturers and 96 looms in St Pierre
1883 Amount of looms grows to 1920 and 10,0000 employees but in effect the entire quarter of St-Pierre depends on lace
1885 Crisis
1905 365 manufacturers
1932 1200 looms disappear due to the war
1940-1945 319 looms disappear but there follows a recovery
1950 6,600 workers emplyed in the lace industry and Calais becomes the principle lace centre in the world, 1,200 tons of lace are exported
1963 650 Leavers loom in activity

If you haven't already seen it, there is an article here ... ticle.html
about two present-day Nottingham lace experts who attended the opening of the new lace museum in Calais recently.

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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby rosiewileman » Thu May 30, 2013 10:28 am

Hi there,
I also made a speech at the opening of the Calais Lace Museum and have been collecting lacemakers from the East midlands (not just Nottingham!) who went to Calais, trying to follow their careers, whether they stayed in France, returned to Nottingham or moved on to Australia.
I have trawled the archives from 1816 to about 1861 and have lots of info. I like nothing more than giving people a bit of background, doing some research and/or putting them in contact with a remote "cousin".
Four brothers of my own ancestor were amongst the Calais contingent, which prompted my initial interest and as I speak fluent French (half my ancestry is French) I was able to discover a great deal. Perhaps I have your ancestors in my shoeboxes? Perhaps I have spoken to a cousin of yours? Let me know if I can help.
Rosie Wileman
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby lesleyheming » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:02 pm

Hi there,
My Gt Gt Grandmother was born in Lille in 1847 but lived in Long Eaton, Derbyshire all her life. Her Father, John Austin owned a lace factory in Long Eaton and I have been very keen to pursue this lace connection in France for some time but really do not know where to start. Do you think these lace makers might have worked in Lille as well? I would be very grateful for any guidance.
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby csdk » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:28 am

My Family were part of the group who left Calais in 1848 and migrated to Adelaide, with the asssitance of the English Govt. I'd love to know much more about their time in Calais, and I understand that an elderly lady who has recently passed away was a huge help to visitors in Calais. Does anyone know anything about the life and times of the english in Calais making lace 1816 -1848.
Family name which are applicable to me are Donisthorpe and Mountney
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby crissy2006 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:11 am

I am a lady in australia who has a link to thomas wells and his family who were one of the families who immigrated to australia. Their son james married into my hanson family from s otland who also immigrated to australia

Please contact me if you woukd like more info
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby JulieH1969 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:15 pm

This is very interesting and something I wasn't aware of. One of my ancestors was a lace maker in Nottingham and vanished from the records early in 1850s, he never re-appeared, although his wife and 2 daughters stayed in Nottingham. Is there any way of finding out the names of people who travelled? I've never come across his name on any of the ships lists on FindMyPast but I guess not all of them are online yet.
Any advice much appreciated.
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Re: Lace makers in Nottingham / Calais

Postby Patty123 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:20 pm

Very interested in this topic. My 3G grandfather (Thomas Miller) was a lacemaker, and one of his children (Priscilla) was born in France in around 1842. The family was in Nottingham in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. I can't find him or 3 of his children (with their families) in the England 1861 census, although his very pregnant wife is still in Nottingham with their younger children. All of them are back in England for the 1871 census. Of course, they could have gone anywhere, but the ties to the lace industry, and the one daughter being born in France could partly solve the mystery. I too would be interested in any resources to search for births and census entries for France for that time period.
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