Author Topic: Leather Industry Bermondsey  (Read 856 times)

Offline Stephen K

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Leather Industry Bermondsey
« on: Monday 04 December 17 06:54 GMT (UK) »
The furthest back I can go in my family history is my 2x g grandparents. I have their wedding certificate which shows they married on 7th Oct 1855 in Bermondsey. Both their parents were Irish from counties Kilkenny and Cork. The marriage cert shows that both fathers of the couple were Master Shoe Makers. I understand that Bermondsey was the centre of the British leather industry in the mid 19th century. Unfortunately I do not know who their employers were. Is there anywhere I can search that might shed some light on these ancestors? Their names were James Kennedy and Jeremiah Crowley.
Kennedy, Bell, Crumley, Job, Reilly, Convery, McConville & Crowley

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Online KGarrad

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #1 on: Monday 04 December 17 08:55 GMT (UK) »
From the Wikipedia entry on Bermondsey:

As in the East End, industries that were deemed too noisome to be carried on within the narrow confines of the City of London had been located here one such that came to dominate central Bermondsey, away from the riverfront, was the processing and trading of leather and hides. Many of the warehouse buildings from this era survive around Bermondsey Street, Tanner Street, Morocco Street and Leathermarket Street including the huge Leather Market of 1833 and the Leather, Hide and Wool Exchange of 1878; virtually all are now residential and small work spaces or offices). Hepburn and Gale's tannery (disused as of early 2007) on Long Lane is also a substantial surviving building of the leather trade. The Exchange building had a fine private club, effectively a gentlemen's club for the leading merchants and manufacturers. In 1703 they had acquired a royal charter from Queen Anne to gain a monoploy of trading and training of apprentices for within 30 miles (50 kilometres) of the ancient parish, similar to a City livery company, the Bermondsey Tanners.

The fact that they were Master Shoe Makers means that they, having already undergone an apprenticeship, and worked their trade as Journeymen, were now employing apprentices of their own.

While Bermondsey may have been A centre of leatherworking, it certainly wasn't the only place! My family were tanners in Suffolk, and my maternal line were boot and shoe makers in Somerset ;D

Some links for you:
http://www.lyons-family.co.uk/Lyons/bermondsey-history/Bermondsey-photos/bermondsey-leather.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermondsey_tanners
https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/history/land-leather-bermondseys-history-leather-making/
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

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Offline Stephen K

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #2 on: Monday 04 December 17 10:14 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that. Very interesting and also brings to life the environment in which my ancestors worked.
If I am reading your post correctly you are suggesting that the people I am researching were self employed men rather than Master Shoemakers working for an employer. Is that right?
Also is there any records I could search to see if I can find my ancestors such as A Shoemakers Guild or Society?
Kennedy, Bell, Crumley, Job, Reilly, Convery, McConville & Crowley

Online Rattus

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #3 on: Monday 04 December 17 10:26 GMT (UK) »
I've been intending to buy this for the past couple of months, might be helpful:

http://bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/9781907199318/My-Ancestor-Was-A-Leather-Worker/

I keep meaning to get over to the NA shop to buy it in person, hence the delay.
BARTRAM - Nottingham, Derby, originally Beds (Stagsden)
PERFETT - St Pancras & Marylebone, Rugby, Nottingham
RADFORD - Nottinghamshire, also back & forth to Bury
RUDD - Margate, Bermondsey, Newcastle, Nottingham

Online KGarrad

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #4 on: Monday 04 December 17 11:45 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that. Very interesting and also brings to life the environment in which my ancestors worked.
If I am reading your post correctly you are suggesting that the people I am researching were self employed men rather than Master Shoemakers working for an employer. Is that right?
Also is there any records I could search to see if I can find my ancestors such as A Shoemakers Guild or Society?

Most shoe & Boot makers were self-employed, I understand?

The link I gave to the Bermondsey Tanners might prove fruitful?
Otherwise try a search for Apprenticeship records.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 05 December 17 11:24 GMT (UK) »
My own folk were boot & shoemakers in Linlithgow & employed quite a few folk. The town also had tanneries & nailmakers but I believe it lost the Army contract which hit the town badly.

Skoosh.

Offline Brendan_Rich

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Re: Leather Industry Bermondsey
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 07 June 18 20:20 BST (UK) »
I have a similar position in that I can trace my ancestors back to Powell's Yard, Bermondsey in 1881. And whilst we believe they originated from Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland... the trail runs dry. To complicate matters further, my second great grandfather and grandmother have common names; Gerald and Maria Annae Twomey.

Does anyone have information on the inhabitants of Powell's Yard during the 1870's?

I am also aware of a campaign to recruit army personnel from Bermondsey to support the UK's efforts in the Zulu and Boer wars. It is in this regard that I am also looking for servicemen and volunteer lists/records from the army recruitment drives.