who were Dutton and the Holmes?
curious about the origins of my new acquisition I decided to grit
my teeth and trawl through the masses of dingy, fuzzy and scratched
microfilm that comprises the Local History Library in Manchester.
There is a good set of directories, so I started there. I've tried
to quote entries pretty much as they appear.
the 1869 Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, almost
contemporaneous with the patent, Dutton is listed as a "consulting
engineer & patent agent" and is one of four people occupying
premises at No.3 in the strangely named "Smith Door off Victoria
Street" - the extension of Deansgate, of which, more anon
- near the Cathedral and Victoria Station. At that time he was
living in Sale, but has moved to Ashton-on-Mersey (west Sale)
by the time of the 1876 directory in which he lists himself as
"agent in the procuring of British and Foreign patents and
the registration of designs and trademarks" and has moved
offices to 3, Princess Street.
He turns up in the 1881 census living in Cheadle (about 6 miles
south of the city centre). His occupation is now just given as
"Patent Agent", he is 45, and apparently doing quite
nicely with a wife, six daughters, a son, widowed sister-in-law,
23 year old housemaid and 23 year old cook all living with him.
As his eldest daughters were 17 and 19, and unemployed to boot,
it would appear that he wasn't short of female ministrations!
At the time the patent was filed he would have been about 32.
of John and Henry Holme? Well it seems that either there were
quite a lot of them or they have multiple personalities. They
appear to have been shoe and leather merchants of some standing.
The definitive link is in the 1869 Slater's Directory of Manchester
and Salford. This, in its alphabetic list of persons gives:
1869:- Holme, John & Henry, leather merchants, shoe mercers,
and sewing machine manufacturers, 23 Deansgate, 4 Cotton court,
Deansgate, & 13 St Mary's gate.
Cotton Court was not marked on the extremely large scale map of
1889 that I was able to consult, but from the street listing in
the directory it appears to have been an alleyway directly to
the side of 23 Deansgate. St. Mary's Gate is short, joins Deansgate
at right angles at its end, and now houses the new Marks &
Spencer, so these premises were at most within a couple of hundred
yards of each other.
Holme's entry in the Business Directory for the same year, 1869,
quotes prices "from £3 15s to 5 guineas", but
we must be careful in interpreting this as in Slater's 1865 directory,
three years before the patent, we find:
1865:- Holme J. & H. agents for the Howe American, Westmoreland's
patent double action and Newton Wilson & Co., 23 Deansgate.
Earlier still, in the 1860 directory, there is apparently no entry
for John and Henry.
about after 1869?
Well the 1871 entry is pretty much the same as 1869 except that
we usefully get a home address for John Holme. But then:
1873:- Holme John, works, Longford buildings, Ormond street, Oxford
street :show rooms 43 Oxford street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, &
19 Hanging ditch.
1874:- Oxford Sewing Machine Company, 4? Oxford st., works Lower
Ormond st., C on M.
and then in the name index:
1876:- Holme John, leather merchant, shoe mercer, and boot upper
manufacturer, 19 Hanging ditch; house 31 Withington road, Whalley
but under Sewing Machine Makers & Warehouses:
1876:- Oxford Sewing Machine Company, Longford Buildings 20 Oxford
st, works Lower Ormond st, Chorlton on Medlock.
By 1881 there is no entry for the Oxford SM Co. and we just find:
1881:- Holme John, leather merchant, shoe mercer, and boot upper
manufacturer, 19 Hanging ditch; house 4 Brighton Place, Old Trafford.
it would appear that at some time after 1869 something has happened
to Henry whilst John has moved from Deansgate south to Oxford
Street (and thence Oxford Road and my office) and also west to
Hanging Ditch which is near the cathedral. Although speculative,
it rather looks as if the sewing machine business was split off
and moved to the Oxford Street/Road area and renamed whilst the
leather business continued elsewhere. It could be, of course,
that the sewing machine business was actually sold off.
Another sheet of the 1889 survey shows 'Longford Works (underclothing)'
having a 250 ft frontage on to Oxford Road opposite where the
BBC now stands, with a timber yard and cotton mill and then Lower
Ormond Street at the back. This suggests that the Oxford SM Company
occupied a small part of this. This site is currently being redeveloped
apart from the shop frontage and is a 30 feet deep hole!
1871 home address of John Holme of 28, Boston Street, Hulme, allowed
me to find him in the 1871 census and then again at 4, Brighton
Place, Chester Road, Stretford in 1881. His occupation is given
as "leather merchant" and he was born in Manchester
in about 1822 and so was 46 at the time of the patent. Even in
1871 he was clearly on his second wife, Mary Elizabeth, as she
was just but 25 whilst his eldest daughter was 16. He had a total
of another 5 daughters and a son by 1881 and a different sister
in law and a different servant living with him! Interestingly
the eldest daughter was born in Glasgow whilst all the other children
were born in Manchester.
all this sounds reasonably clear then I have done well, because
what really muddies the water is that there was another John Holme
and another Henry Holme both in business at the same time in nearly
the same place!
John Holme was a boot and shoe maker and had a shop at 47, Market
Street (the continuation of St. Mary' Gate!) until at least 1881
(I haven't gone any further). An enlargement of the engraving
on a receipt of 1855 is shown. The original is about 4 x 5 cm.
You will notice that this shows DARBYSHIRE over the shop despite
the fact that the 1881 census shows him to be born in Preston
in about 1815.