Author Topic: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?  (Read 684 times)

Offline dillybert

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Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« on: Wednesday 11 April 18 11:53 BST (UK) »
Hiya all

I have a person who puts their father's occupation on their marriage certificate to be Spinner (he was born ?? in c1807, occupation given in London 1845)

I have another person with the same father's name who puts their father's occupation to be "Cloth Manufacturer" (he was born Leeds 1797, occupation given London 1837).

Does anyone know if these could be the same occupation or would this indicate a wide difference (like between Ag Lab and Farmer say).

The 1807 person is my ancestor and very difficult to trace, so I'm exploring other families with the same name who live nearby in London to see if I can find links back to my ancestor. I know this is clutching at straws a little but it passes the time :D
SMITH - Brewood/Coven, Staffs; FORSTER, Staffs; BIGGS - Lidlington, Beds; WILLCOCKS, Devon/South London; ALLEN - IOW/SouthLondon

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Offline emeltom

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 12:22 BST (UK) »
Looking at the definition of Spinner on Google it is someone who spins yarn to make cloth. I guess you could say a Cloth Manufacturer is a posh way of saying the same thing. I can't actually find a definition.

On the other hand, a Cloth Manufacturer could be someone who employed people to spin yarn to make cloth which he then sold on to Clothing manufacturers, Tailors etc which is a bit more upmarket than a Spinner.

Back to square one!

Emeltom
Smith Tiplady Boulton Branthwaite King Miller Woolfall Bretherton Archer and many more

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Offline Rena

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 14:03 BST (UK) »
Maybe the years of 1837 and 1845 are an important factor where occupation is concerned.

Spinning and manufacturing encompassed raw materials such as silk; wool; imported cotton; and also flax to make linen.  These made various types of cloth, such as cheap muslin at the bottom end to expensive silk at the top end.

Until the industrial revolution the above jobs were families operating their own cottage industries at home.  For instance there's still the cottage industry of making Scottish woollen (Harris) Tweed on remote islands of Scotland, where the father could state he is a cloth manufacturer because he spins and weaves the wool into cloth.  The industrial revolution started with the invention of steam machinery at the end of the 1700s which produced much cheaper cloth.  Cotton and Wool Mills manufacturing and mass producing much cheaper cloth sprang up all over the country in the next few decades.

I think your ancestor was probably an independent cloth manufacturer who eventually lost his customers and found himself working in a mill as a Spinner.
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Offline wee Hugh

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 14:59 BST (UK) »
I believe a "spinner" could indeed be the owner of a business.  My Guillemard ancestors must have managed to bring quite a lot of money with them when they left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes -- or else they were very astute businessmen.  At any rate, they became wealthy silk merchants, guardians and benefactors of the French hospital, and I think with a private burial vault at one of the Huguenot churches.  Yet they described themselves as weavers.

I have come across a similar effect with other relatives and other trades.
Bagwell of Kilmore & Lisronagh, Co. Tipperary;  Beatty from Enniskillen;  Brown from Preston, Lancs.;  Burke of Ballydugan, Co. Galway;  Casement in the IoM and Co. Antrim;  Davison of Knockboy, Broughshane;  Frobisher;  Guillemard;  Harrison in Co. Antrim and Dublin;  Jones around Burton Pedwardine, Lincs.;  Lindesay of Loughry;  Newcomen of Camlagh, Co. Roscommon;  Shield;  Watson from Kidderminster;  Wilkinson from Leeds

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 20:40 BST (UK) »
Have you tried newspapers, apprenticeship records or wills? I've been looking at a family of cloth manufacturers on the Yorkshire - Durham border 18th-early19thC. Name appeared often in newspapers when the business paid a dividend, when it ceased trading and when their property was sold. Going by names of the business partners in newspaper notices it was possible to judge when a family member died or a new partnership was formed. Marriages of some family members were reported. A holder of the name made a fortune and left a complicated will. The branch I'm interested in didn't do as well. Some of the family seemed to come and go between Durham and London.
You could also try tithe records in case the manufacturer's family had premises.
Was it a common name?

Offline Pat Allen

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 13 April 18 09:08 BST (UK) »
What do the censuses record as the father's occupation if he lived beyond 1841? Difficult to give a definitive answer.  A spinner could indeed be a cloth manufacturer but could also simply perform the spinning process in cloth production. Many families, certainly in Yorkshire, performed the whole cloth making process in their own homes although they are often referred to as clothiers rather than manufacturers.  I would try to find it in a census or a trade directory or indeed as suggested in the thread, in newspaper reports.

Offline rosie99

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #6 on: Friday 13 April 18 09:58 BST (UK) »
Perhaps if you could give us more details on the two records that you have we can see if we can find any more information on them and their occupations :-\
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Offline Viktoria

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #7 on: Friday 13 April 18 11:03 BST (UK) »
Well a spinner did only one part of the process of cloth making .
The raw cotton,wool or flax were carded to get the fibres lying pretty well in one direction,
 carding was done with two flat things like hair brushes but with spikes, two were used and the raw material combed between the two until a pad of smooth fibres all lying the same way was produced then the carder deftly removed them and what you got was a sausage of fibres.A rollag.

These could then  be hand spun. .
The spinner very cleverly joining another  on when a rollag was almost used up.
That was home spinning .There were carding machines in mills.
Spinning and weaving were seldom done in the same mill.Two different processes
 Then again  the drums of coiled thread  about the size of a thick sausage were fed into the spinning machine and drawn out under some tension,emerging as the fine thread  for weaving or sewing.
The bobbins of thread then went to a weaving mill and that is the stage when someone who owned the mill could be described as a cloth manufacturer.
There were dying,printing mercerising etc  all processes in the finished cloth.
The actual weavers operating the looms were still known as weavers.
That is a very simple breakdown of a complicated process.
You would have got home spinners(women) spinning for their husbands to weave,again still in the home but the invention of mechanised processes ,Spinning Jenny,Mule  and Water frame gradually
ended the domestic  industry and it became completely mechanised housed in the enormous mills which are such a feature in Northern townscapes.
Luddites were people very afraid they would be unemployed as one machine could do the work of many men,so they attacked the machinery in a desperate effort to save their livelihood.
 So strange now to see whole towns still with a skyline of mills but all now redundant.
Ee by gum,we`ve seen some changes.
Viktoria.

Offline dobfarm

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Re: Could a Spinner be a Cloth Manufacturer, or would he just work for one?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 15 April 18 14:28 BST (UK) »
A lot depends if the cloth was made in a industrial mill complex setting with many employees or home (or farm) cottage weaved/made cloth either by family at home or farm with help from a few house servants/workers or both, all mucking in together in making of the cloth and run the other house or farm work as well- then the cloth would be taken to local cloth hall markets to sell.
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In my opinion the marriage residence is not always the place of birth. Never forget Workhouse and overseers accounts records of birth