John Taylor Shoe maker 1785- 1833.

John Taylor was baptised in St. Mary’s, Uttoxeter on 27 April 1785 and was the eldest son of John and Hannah Taylor.

Baptisms of the children of John and Hannah Taylor

  1. Elizabeth 14 June 1784
  2. John 27 April 1785
  3. Samuel 18 Oct 1789
  4. Hannah 4 Mar 1792
  5. Dorothy 2 Feb 1794
  6. Joseph 29 Jan 1797
  7. Thomas 24 Sept 1800

The Parish Registers of St. Mary, Uttoxeter do not have any marriage for him and no children were baptised to him. But they have his burial on 17 Dec 1833 Age 47 [DOB 1786]

Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court has an entry for John Taylor of Uttoxeter 23 April 1834. His Will of 9 Dec 1833 reveals that he was a Shoe manufacturer  in the High Street and leaves everything to his brother Joseph.

Index to Death Duty Registers 1796-1903 Ref. Nat. Arch. IR27/231 shows that Probate for John Taylor deceased, was to Joseph Taylor of Uttoxeter but there is no value of the estate.

John Taylor was a shoe maker, and was paid by the Uttoxeter Overseers for both repairing shoes and supplying new shoes for the Paupers. He was also was paid for Bristles, Hemp and wax.  The pay for soling and heeling a pair of girl’s shoes on 11 Feb 1832 was 1 shilling and 10d whereas, new shoes for James Bett’s wife on 12 March 1832 were 6 shillings. Presumably the price was according to size as Joseph Harper’s son’s new shoes were 8 shillings on 17 March 1832

John Taylor presumably took over the business from his Father as John Taylor senior was also a shoemaker according to the 1791 Universal Directory of Britain, and he appears to be buried in St. Mary’s, Uttoxeter on 11 Oct 1812. His marriage licence also records him as a shoe maker age 40, when he married Hannah Smith age 21, from Tamworth on 24 Feb 1783 at St. Mary’s, Uttoxeter.  Hannah was buried 18 Oct 1827 in St. Mary’s, Uttoxeter.


Ralph Bagshaw (c. 1772-1841)

Ralph Bagshaw was a grocer in Uttoxeter who supplied the poor law with both everyday items like rice but also spices and other goods like nutmeg and dried fruit – and not necessarily just at Christmas time. His bill-head represented him as a global trader, with barrels carrying his initials prominent in a non-specific but probably eastern location.



Bagshaw was born in approximately 1772, married Maria Taylor in Uttoxeter in 1796, and went on to run his grocery business in the town with his two eldest sons, Edward Stanford Bagshaw and Thomas Bagshaw. His third son and namesake Ralph became a solicitor.

Bagshaw was prominent among the grocers supplying the poor law, but his importance could fluctuate quite significantly from year to year.  In 1821-2 for example he was paid £18 0s 2d for groceries, which represented nearly a third of the parish’s outlay on similar goods.  Other grocers in the town such as James Smith, Lewis Hall, and Michael Clewley, along with the firm Porter and Keates, competed with him to supply the workhouse with groceries, but none of them were paid so much as Bagshaw.  Compare this with grocery suppliers in 1823-4, and the picture had utterly changed.  Bagshaw was paid just £5 19s 6d, less than a tenth of the total outlay on groceries, whereas Michael Clewley was paid £20 1s 4.5d.  Clewley had supplanted Bagshaw for the supply of rice and other goods, but it is not yet clear whether this was simply because firms took equitable ‘turns’ in different years, or whether the well-connected churchwarden Clewley had more leverage.

After Ralph senior’s death in 1841 the grocery was carried on by Edward and Thomas. The will was witnessed by surgeon George Alsop whose biography (along with Clewley’s) is included in this blog.

Sources: Uttoxeter St Mary marriage of 20 October 1796; D 3891/6/8 Uttoxeter volume of parish bills, 1821-4; D 3891/6/35/3/41 Uttoxeter overseers’ voucher for groceries 27 January 1831; D 3891/6/40/7/29 Uttoxeter overseers’ voucher for groceries 31 October 1833;  Ralph Bagshaw will proved 1841.

Michael Clewley (c.1781-1853)

Michael Clewley married Elizabeth Goodwin (c.1791–c.1846), the daughter of Thomas Goodwin the elder of Trentham, Staffordshire. Over the next eighteen years Elizabeth gave birth to seven children: Thomas Mallabar (b.1816) who became a surgeon in Warwickshire, Mary (b.1817), Elizabeth Goodwin (1819–1833), Edward (1821–1832), Edna (June–July 1823), Susanna (b.1824), and Michael Hugh (1826–1850).

Like other Uttoxeter traders, Clewley was a man with multiple business interests and civic responsibilities. Trade directories list him as an ironmonger in High Street (1818) and as a grocer, tea dealer and proprietor of the stamp office (1828). At the end of May 1831 he invoiced the parish overseers for £3 8s 8½d for grocery goods including blue, ginger, tea and tobacco. According to the 1832 Poor Rate Assessment, in addition a house in Carter Street, he was leasing cottages, and a malthouse. He served as a jury member at Stafford Quarter sessions in 1821.

In January 1831 Michael Clewley and Mr Bladon (churchwardens) placed a notice in the Staffordshire Advertiser. They wanted to borrow money in any amounts but not exceeding £1,000 for which annuities of any age would be granted and secured upon Uttoxeter’s church rates. This appears to have been a very unusual move.

In August 1831 Clewley was offering houses to let in the Market Place, late in the occupation of Mrs E. Clewley deceased. With ‘sufficient buildings behind’, these were well adapted for a retailer, a leather cutter, or currier. An adjoining shop in the occupation of George Burton, clock and watchmaker was also being offered to let

Within a bill for a large number of services submitted to the parish overseers by solicitors Bedson and Rushton Michael Clewley crops up again. On 29 April 1833 the solicitors had written to Clewley requesting payment of a debt for bricks totalling 3s 6d supplied by the workhouse. The following month on 18 May Bedson and Rushton drew up a notice of vestry meeting to be held on 24 May regarding the brick bill. Clewley was refusing to pay. On the day before the meeting Bedson and Rushton interviewed witnesses regarding Clewley and the brick bill so that they could report the particulars at the meeting. The solicitors attended vestry meeting, drew up resolutions demanding that Clewley paid up. He did so.

As part of the Clewley-Goodwin marriage settlement Clewley gained an interest in the White Hart and New Star Inn in Carter Street. Initially, this was run by Clewley in partnership with Esther Wilkinson under Wilkinson’s name. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in March 1844 with Wilkinson retiring from the business on account of ill health. All debts from the business were to be received and paid by Clewley who continued the business.

In 1840 the Goodwin family brought a case against Clewley over the latter’s lending of trust money without their consent and without proper security. Clewley had, in fact, agreed to loan money on a declaration by the borrower to raise the money. The court found in favour of the Goodwins.

By the time of the 1841 Census Michael’s and Elizabeth’s children Mary and Susanna were living with their parents alongside domestic servant Dorothy Deakin and washerwoman Elizabeth Blood. A decade later, Michael was a widower living in Balance Street with his daughter Susanna and a servant Mary May.


1841 Census, HO 107/1007/14

1851 Census HO107/2010

London Gazette, June 1844, p.2275

W. Parson and T. Bradshaw, Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory presenting an Alphabetical Arrangement of the Names and Residences of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants and Inhabitants in General (Manchester: 1818)

Pigot and Co., National Commercial Directory [Part 2: Nottinghamshire–Yorkshire and North Wales] for 1828–29 (London and Manchester: J. Pigot and Co., 1828).

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/11, Settlement by Lease and Release of a Moiety of the White Hart and Star Inn, Uttoxeter, previous to the marriage of Elizabeth Goodwin and Michael Clewley, 25 May 1815.

SRO, D3891/6/70, Poor Rate Assessment, Uttoxeter, 1832

SRO, D3891/6/41/7/75b various dates 1833, bill for legal services submitted to Uttoxeter Overseer by solicitors Bedson and Rushton

SRO, D4452/1/15/2/17, Mortgage of a Moiety of the White Hart Inn, Uttoxeter, 23 March 1850

SRO, Q/RJr/1821, Quarter Sessions

Staffordshire Advertiser, , 1831, 22 June 1850

  1. Sweet, The Jurist, vol 3, 1840

N.B. This biography is a work in progress and will probably be amended as further information from vouchers and other sources becomes available.