Beeston Lace Machine Owners - 1829


The era of 'twist net fever', which started after Heathcoat's patent expired in 1823, was a period of widespread speculation in the financing of lace machines and a large increase in the number of small-scale lace makers, all trying to profit from the boom. This was not to last and, by 1826, the boom had turned to bust with many of the speculators facing huge losses and the producers struggling to find a market for their lace. In 1829. it was proposed that working hours be restricted to 12 hours a day - as many as 20 hours a day had been usual. This was to agreed and enforced by a Restriction of Hours Deed, to be enforced if 7/8 of the owners (or renters in place of the owners) of the 4000 working machines signed the deed. Although the proposal was supported by William Felkin and he worked extremely hard to obtain the required signatures, in the event it failed for lack of the required number of signatories when a few large producers refused to sign.

Nevertheless, the Deed, or at least almost all of it, has survived and is now held by Nottinghamshire Archives and was transcribed and indexed by J Bryan Bailey and published as a booklet, "The First Generation of Nottingham Lace Makers", with an introduction by Professor Stanley D Chapman, in November 2003.

Those who signed the deed who gave their address as Beeston, are listed below. An attempt has been made to identify each of the individuals, some of whom may be owners who were not also lace makers, from other sources. It provides a useful insight in the extent of lace making in Beeston in 1829 although it is noticable that Henry Kirkland, then the largest lace manufacturer in Beeston, was not a signatory.



Surname Forename Machines Born Died Married Occupations (from childrens' baptisms) 1841 Census 1851 Census Note
BUSH Thomas 21 . . . . . . .
GEORGE John 1 c1776 . Mary ROBERTS, 1795, Beeston 1796-1803, none given. FWK in 1829 Union St, Beeston - Farmer . .
HARRIS Joseph 1 . . Ann HARDIN, 1824, Beeston Twist or machinemaker in 1825 . . .
HOLLINGWORTH William 1 . . ? Eliza Machinemaker in 1851 . . .
HOOD James 10 . . Mary Ann HODGES, 1826, Beeston . . . .
FRETTINGHAM George 1 c1787 1852 Mary WHITTAKER, 1806, Beeston . New Bldgs, Beeston - Gardener Nurseryman .
ATTENBOROUGH R 1 . . . . . . .
LEES Joseph 1 c1796 1882 Mary ROBERTS, 1820, Beeston Twistworker, 1829/21/27/29. Lacemaker, 1828/36. FWK, 1824 Chapel St, Beeston - Lacemaker Chapel St, Beeston - Master Lacemaker 1
POWDRILL Thomas 2 . . . . . . .
BOOTH William 10 . . Emmy Twistnetmaker, 1831 . . .
PEARSON William 2 c1789 . Rebecca Lacemaker, 1826 . Villa St, Beeston - Lacemaker 2
CRITCHLOW Thomas ½ . . Elizabeth Millwright, 1826-30 . . 3
MALTBY William 2 . . Mary BARBER, 1826, Beeston Weaver, 1813-18. Twistworker/Weaver, 1820. Lacemaker, 1825 . . .
MALTBY Richard 1 . . Maria WOOTTON, 1830, Beeston Twistnetmaker, 1831. Lacemaker, 1832-34, Lace Manufacturer, 1836 . . .
JACKSON John 1 c1802 . Elizabeth SIBERT, 1825, Beeston Twistnetmaker, 1825. Lacemaker, 1828, 1830 Church St, Beeston - Railway Police . .
MAYFIELD Henry 2 . . . . . . .
JONES Thomas 1 . . . . . . .
BRIGHTMORE James 1 c1788 . . . Turnpike, Beeston - Lacemaker . .
MARTIN William 1 c1801 by 1851 Maria Lace Manufacturer, 1825 Chapel St, Beeston - Grocer . .
CROSS Henry 6 c1803 . . . . Villa St, Beeston - Lacemaker .
THORNHILL Robert 3 1786 1863 Elizabeth COCKAYNE . Villa St, Beeston - Lacemaker Villa St, Beeston - Lace Manufacturer 4
MUSSON Samuel 1 . . . . . . .
KIRKLAND Joseph 1 . . . . . . .
OLDHAM Thomas 1 c1786 . . . City, Beeston - FWK . .
BALL William 2 . . Mary Framesmith, 1825 . . .
Total 74½ .


Notes:
  1  Lace Maker at death - left 63 - Alfred Lees & John SMITH, of Beeston Lace makers, executors
  2  Cross Street, Beeston in 1871
  3  A half interest in a machine with another owner
  4  Robert had been married twice before; his son Richard was a lace manufacturer, employing four, in 1861
(FWK = Frame Work Knitter)

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