Samuel Garle, Draper

Like  many early nineteenth-century  businessmen and women  Samuel Garle of Market Place, Uttoxeter  had several enterprises on the go. Whilst some people regard this as a sign of a person trying to make ends meet by any means, Garle and others like him knew that it was prudent to have several income streams. If one part of his business suffered a downturn, he could compensate with others. A preprinted bill head reveals that  he was a linen and woollen draper, haberdasher, supplier of fashionable London stays and furnisher of funerals. In the corner of his bill is an industrious-looking beehive surrounded by the words ‘Charities supplied at wholesale prices’. This is unusual. Many shopkeepers supplied the wholesale and retail trades, but this is the only example I’ve come across that specifically mentions charities. What I suspect is that Garle’s customers may have supported a number of worthy charities and that this was Garle’s attempt to curry favour.

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