© 2000 Edward J Law.
Many of the names entered in the Silver Register of the Sheffield Assay office will be unknown to silver collectors. The day-books of the Office, which record all silver sent for assay by maker's name, have been examined down to June 1793 to establish why so many of the manufacturers are unknown other than as an entry in the Silver Register.
The principal reason is that many were manufacturers of cutlery, a product which is in constant use and which however well made would normally have only a limited life. What does survive is often unidentifiable as the hall marks were stamped on the tangs of knives and forks, to be covered when handles were added The manufacture of cutlery, all-important in Sheffield at one time, and still the best known product of the city, used to be carried out by "little mesters" Master craftsmen, but as the term implies, masters only of themselves, members of their family and perhaps an apprentice
Virtually all who sent in goods for assay entered a mark in the Register although in a few cases it was up to a year after the first submission. Samuel Fox who sent in forks in January 1790 did not register a mark on his own, but probably used the Mark which he and Ann Fox entered in 1793. Some handles are recorded in March 1786 under the style of Jacob Roberts & Co., there is no mark for such a firm: it may have been a mistake for Samuel Roberts & Co. or it could have been Jacob Roberts junior using a mark which had been registered by his father and uncle, Jacob and Samuel Roberts, in January 1781.
There are ten or eleven marks registered in respect of individuals or firms for whom no output appears in the day-books. They are, with the date registered:
David Cadman (June 1780). Joseph Creswick (June 1777), the same mark was registered in February 1793 when some blades were sent for assay. John Dewsnip (January 1781). Hague & Nowill (June 1786). Charles Kelk (June 1775). Josiah Kemp (1779). Thomas Lamborn (March 1776). Jonathan Littlewood (October 1773). Joseph Nowill (May 1783). Jacob & Samuel Roberts (January 1781), except possibly as noted above. John Winter (July 1778), Winter was the principal of a major firm of candlestick makers, whilst there is no distinction in the day-books it is possible that some small items which were sent for assay by the firm: buckles, whip caps, snuffer shanks, bore Winter's individual mark.
The entry in the Silver Register at 2nd September 1782 for Benjamin Broddrick appears to be an error for Benjamin Brocklesby, who sent in his first items for assay in that month. The mark is the same which Brocklesby impressed again in July 1792.
Those who presented only cutlery, with the date of their first consignment and the type of goods noted under their name, are:
Barnard & Hadfield (March 1792) blades & forks. Joseph Barraclough & Co. (July 1787) blades. John Borwick (February 1788) blades. George Briddock (July 1781) blades. Luke Brownell (January 1790) blades. Josiah Cawton (Joseph Cawton in the day-book) (December 1782) blades. George Cooper (February 1788) blades. John Cooper (February 1784) handles. Joseph Creswick (February 1793) blades. Lemuel Davison (January 1787) blades. William Dewsnap (August 1786) handles. Samuel Fox (January 1790) forks. Samuel & Ann Fox (February 1793) blades. William Fox (December 1775) blades. James Green (June 1785) blades. John Green (November 1778) blades & handles. William Green & Robert Sporle (William Green & Co. in the day-book) (August 1784) handles. John Harrison (July 1778) blades. George Hawley (January 1784) blades. Thomas Hoyland (August 1776) a major manufacturer of handles, one parcel of tea tongs also noted. William Hoyland & Co. (August 1779) handles, blades & forks. Michael Hunter & Josiah Twig (April 1781) handles. John Ibberson (July 1774) blades. John Jarvis (April 1775) blades. William Jervis (November 1789) handles. Robert Kippax & Co. (In the day-books more commonly Kippax & Nowill) (June 1774) blades & handles. Mary Kirby (April 1780) blades. Samuel Kirkby & Co. (Appears also as Kirby & Borwick and Samuel & James Kirkby in the day-book) (February 1784) blades & forks. John Littlewood (January 1774) handles. Richard Loy (March 1792) handles. Madin & Trickett (May 1779) handles & blades. James Makin (September 1786) forks. Luke Marriott (February 1787) blades. John Micklethwaite & John Hounsfield (November 1786) blades. Naylor & Settle (Also George Naylor & Co. in the day-book) (April 1779) blades. Thomas Nowill (In the day-books more commonly Nowill & Kippax) (September 1786) blades. Robert Owen & Son (May 1788) blades. Thomas Parkin (October 1791) handles. William Patten (February 1780) blades. John Parkin & Abraham Wigham (May 1792) blades. Thomas Ratcliffe (January 1778) blades. Maurice Rogers (Also Maurice Rodgers & Co. and probably Joseph Rodgers & Co.) (April 1776) blades. John Roberts (Also John Roberts & Co. and probably Roberts, Gregory & Co.) (July 1786) blades. Charles Roebuck (September 1786) blades. John & Samuel Saynors (December 1792) blades. John Seynor (November 1785) blades. John Smith (November 1775) blades. William Smith (Also William Smith & Co.) (October 1775) knives, forks, blades & handles. Joseph Spooner (May 1786) blades. Robert Sporle & Edward Gurney (November 1792) handles. Sutcliffe & Sporle (Also Robert Sutcliffe & Co.) (February 1781) handles. Joseph Tibbitts (May 1778) blades. Nathaniel Travis (December 1789) blades. Robert Tricket, the fourth mark impressed on the opening of the office he was a major manufacturer of handles down to 1785 and appears to have been succeeded by Robert Trickett & Co. (February 1786). William Urton (Also William Urton & Co.) (November 1788) blades. Jonathan Watkinson (November 1776) blades. William Wild & Co. (December 1784) blades. John Wilkinson (March 1790) blades. John Wright (October 1789) blades. Hannah Watkinson (April 1791) and Hannah Watkinson & William Watson (February 1793) blades.
Those who presented other goods, who have not been dealt with elsewhere, with the date of first submission and the type of goods noted under their names, are:
Thomas Allen (November 1777) snuffer bows. Joseph Bailey (May 1786) bows. Robert Barnard (May 1788) scissor cases, handles, blades & forks. Benjamin Blonk (November 1779) scissor bows & saddle nails. Benjamin Brocklesby (September 1782) clasps & buttons. Isaac Cosins (July 1774) buttons & spoons. Thomas Colley (December 1783) caps & ferrules. William Damant (August 1786) candlesticks. Joseph Dickinson (June 1780) seals & clasps. Richard Foster (July 1780) buttons. Thomas Greaves (December 1789) scissor bows. John & Samuel Henfrey (John Henfrey & Co. in the day-book) (June 1775) snuffers. Paris Justice (September 1774) balance & blades. Margrave & Co. (February 1774) clasps. Jonathan Mappin & William Barrick (June 1775) tea tongs. Jonathan Mappin (October 1775) tea tongs, salts, castor tops & clasps. Thomas Prior (March 1778) scissor bows. Ebenezer Rhodes (December 1791) scissor bows. Thomas Rodgers (July 1790) ferrules and caps. Dollif Rollison (November 1790) castor tops. Thomas Shaw (November 1780) clasps. Peter Spurr & Son (Also Richard Spurr & Co. and Richard & Peter Spurr) (September 1788 blades. Joseph Swift & Co. (January 1785) buttons. Samuel Warburton & Co. (January 1776) salts. Joseph Wilson (November 1773) candlesticks, sugar baskets & labels.
Return to EDWARD LAW: SHEFFIELD SILVER,
or to Essay 1: THE ORIGINS OF THE SILVER TRADE IN SHEFFIELD,
or to Essay 2, Part 1 SHEFFIELD SILVERSMITHS registered to 1774,
or to Essay 2, Part 2 SHEFFIELD SILVERSMITHS registered 1775-1792.
Edward Law, interests, bibliography, and the Victorian prize medals of Huddersfield College.
Anastatic printing, some brief notes, relating to photograph and crest albums and Cowells of Ipswich.
Crest Collecting, research findings, album publishers and scans of crests.
The Sheffield Assay Office, where you will find details of their publications for sale.