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Lace Making In The News

I managed to purchase a book on Lace making which had previously belonged to Luton Museum.

In the back were stuck a number of newspaper cuttings relating to the local lace trade. Unfortunately, many do not have details of the publication they were clipped from and some also lack dates.  

I will add them here as they may provide contemporary views for anyone interested in the lace trade.  I have some other documents which I will also add as time allows.

Turvey Lace Making Lace Making Equipment

OLNEY, December 20th 1810

All Persons who have any Demand on the Estate of WILLIAM HARDWICK, late of OLNEY in the County of Buckinghamshire, Lace-Merchant, deceased, are required to send an Account of the same to William Andrews of Olney aforesaid, Esquire, and Mr. Robert Neale, of Harrold, in the County of Bedford, his executors; or to Mr. Garrard, Solicitor, Olney - And all Persons indebted to the Estate of the said William Hardwich, are requested to pay their respective Debts to the said Executors.

30th April 1817

To the Debtors and Creditors of LETITIA FIELD

Whereas Letitia Field of the Town of Bedford, in the County of Bedford, Lace Manufacturer, hath, by Indenture of Assignment, bearing the Date the 29th Day of April instant, assigned all her personal Estate and Effects to James Langley, of the said Town of Bedford, Draper and Thomas Abraham of Turvey,  in the said County of Bedford, Lace Manufacturer,  in Trust for the equal Benefit of such of the Creditors of the said Letitia Field, who shall execute the said Deed of Assignment within three Months from the Date thereof:

Notice is therefore hereby given,

That the said Indenture of Assignment is now lying in my Office, for the Signature of such of the Creditors of the said Letitia Field, who may be willing to accept of a Dividend to arise fro the Sale of the Estate and Effects of the said Letitia Field, and who are respectfully requested, at the same Time, to deliver and Account of their Demands.  And all Persons who stand indebted to the said Letitia Field, are hereby required to pay their respective Debts to the said James Langley, and Thomas Abraham, without Delay, or they will be sued for  the same.


Solicitor to the Trustees

Bedford, 30th April 1817

Daily Telegraph - 29 November 1978


Victorian Bobbins

Lace, lace bobbins and books on lace sold well at Christie’s South Kensington, mainly to private collectors.

Three ivory lace bobbins, dating from the 19th century, sold for £45 and a collection of lace and shawls, together with some 70 wooden bobbins made £110.

Daily Telegraph - 22 September 1978

19th Century Bobbins

A collection of 400 19th century lace-makers bobbins was auctioned for a total £4,600 at Philips. The highest price for a single bobbin was £82.

It was a carved bone bobbin inscribed “W. Bull, Hung April 1871.” The owner of the collection, from Newport Pagnell, had bought it for £5.

The prices in the collection which was formed over the last 15 years. Included £220 for a group of 12.  Among them was a carved and stained bone bobbin inscribed “Be True to Me my Lovely Dear”.

1st July 1824

A valuable stock of Thread laces and edgings

A bankrupt’s stock


By W.M.Yates

On Thursday, July the 1st, 1824, at the Saracen’s Head Inn, NEWPORT PAGNELL, at Eleven o'clock in the Forenoon.

The stock consists of nearly 5,000 yards of laces and footings, 3,000 yards of edgings, and upwards of 400 cap crowns.  Also, a quantity of gimp thread, and a number of lace boxes.

The whole to be sold without reserve.

Catalogues to be had at the principal Inns in the neighbouring towns; of the Auctioneer, Newport, and at the Place of the Sale.

Local Bedfordshire lace from my personal collection.

Click image to enlarge

5 April 1851


We are glad to see that the staple manufacture of Buckinghamshire will not go unrepresented in the forthcoming Exhibition.

Mr Hill, of Olney, has forwarded some very beautiful specimens of

pillow lace.  The principal piece, which is very wide, and intended for the flounce of a dress, is of a simple but elegant design.  It is taken wholly from the foliage of our national oak, a wreath of its leaves forming a semicircle, with little branches with their pendant acorns gracefully disposed about it.  The other pieces are  narrower, but as artistic productions are equally unique and perfectly made.



A Respectable and improvable CONCERN in the above Line, - Any Person wishing to embark a Capital in a lucrative Undertaking, will find this an eligible Opportunity. - If a Novice in the Business, the Person declining will give three Months’ Instructions, and engage in that Time to convey a competent Knowledge of the Trade.

Satisfactory Particulars, apply by Letter, Post paid, to J. HARRISON, Auctioneer, &c, Buckingham.

None but the Principals will be treated with.

15 March 1817


On Thursday the 20th day of March, 1817, at Mr. Burnham’s, the King and Queen, in Niewport Pagnell, Bucks.

SEVERAL Hundred Yards of fashiionable LACE and EDGINGS, of superior Quality, belonging to the Parish.- T be sold without Reserve, and the Sale to commence at Two o’Clock in the Afternoon.