Tailors and Drapers

'Perhaps, in the whole circle of the arts, there is not one profession so useful, and requiring the exercise of so much ingenuity, in which so few tools are employed, as in that of the Tailor.
In order to take measure, a few long slips of parchment are required, which, as he proceeds, are marked by him with the scissors, after a way peculiar to himself, for there is no universal method of procedure in this...A pair of scissors, a thimble which is open at the point, needles of different sizes, and a goose, constitute the whole...
With the goose, when heated, any inequalities in the seams are pressed down, which would otherwise injure the appearance of the dress.'
Artificiana, or a Key to the Principal Trades, Edinburgh 1819, p28ff

In 1533-34 John Knollyng, tayler, was paid 10s for being the sexton.
In the same year John Wyndyett, tayler, was paid for keeping the bell and the 'playng clothes'.
John Knollyn and John Wyndyatt also appear in the accounts for 1536-37.
Alison Hanham, Churchwardens Accounts of Ashburton, 1479-1580, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, The Devonshire Press Ltd., Torquay 1970, pp92,98

Thomas Jago, tayllor, was one of those mentioned in the Ashburton churchwardens' accounts for 1555-56. He is listed under 'Seats' - paying for the use of a pew in the parish church.
Alison Hanham, Churchwardens Accounts of Ashburton, 1479-1580, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, The Devonshire Press Ltd., Torquay 1970, p132

1669 Plymouth and West Devon Record Office hold a lease in which Richard Tuckerman of Ashburton, tailor, was one party to a 99 year lease of a cottage at Southbrooke, Buckland in the Moor. 
74/734/10 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

Devon Heritage Centre hold the probate of a will made by Stephen Weekes the elder, taylor, in 1686. The will mentions the dwelling in which he lived, another lately purchased, a field called Fosters Park and a house in East Street.
Devon Heritage Centre, ref 48/14/70/1 https://devon-cat.swheritage.org.uk/records/48/14/70/1 - accessed 04-03-2024

1736 Devon Record Office holds documents concerning the settlement of William May, tailor, his wife Mary and two children.
Ref 1579A-0/24/43/44 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

1740 Devon Record Office also holds documents concerning the removal of William May and Elizabeth his wife to Ashburton from Chudleigh.
Ref 3009A-99/PO13/516 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 05-05-2020

1752. William Bickford, the son of Nathaniel, was apprenticed to Solomon Earle, tailor, in Ashburton. He paid a premium of £6 6s.
Country Apprentices 1710-1808, available via http://www.findmypast.co.uk

In 1760 Richard Aunger Jnr., of Ashburton, taylor, was summoned to appear at the Quarter Sessions to be assessed for the maintenance of a child born to Ann Daymond - the child was likely to be a charge on Chagford parish. Richard Aunger Snr., of Holy Trinity in Exeter, taylor, and Solomon Earle of Ashburton, taylor, gave sureties.
Devon Heritage Centre ref QS/4/1760/Midsummer/RE/5 https://devon-cat.swheritage.org.uk/records/QS/4/1760/Midsummer/RE/5 - Accessed 5-10-2018

1787 Thomas Eales was apprenticed to William Eales, tailor, Ashburton
Britain County Apprentices 1710-1808, Society of Genealogists no. 228873, available via https://www.findmypast.co.uk

April 1791. The London Metropolitan Archives has a record of William Cook of Ashburton, tailor and salesman, being insured.
MS 11936/377/582221, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

1792 John Smerdon was apprenticed to William Eales, tailor, Ashburton.
Britain County Apprentices 1710-1808, Society of Genealogists no. 248905, available via https://www.findmypast.co.uk


The will of George Maye or May, Taylor, was proved in London in 1812. He left £5 to each of his grandchildren, the sons and daughters of his son George Maye, and £2 to his great grandson George, who was the son of his grandson George Maye, a taylor of London. He gave £5 to his daughter in law Elizabeth Taylor* of Ashburton, with the remainder of his estate going to his son George Maye, who was also his executor.
Ref PROB 11/1530/225, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 05-05-2020
* In 1786 a William Taylor, son of Elizabeth May, was buried in Ashburton. There may be a connection. Parish reocrds

Richard Tuckerman, the son of Richard and Elizabeth, was baptised at Ashburton in June 1816. Richard Tuckerman snr. was a taylor.
Parish records

In 1841 Richard and Elizabeth were living in North Street: Richard, a tailor, was approximately 40, and his wife 45. With them on census night were children ranging in age from 3 to 10. 
1841 census HO107, piece no. 253, folio 2, p14

Richard Tuckerman, tailor, died at Ashburton in 1844.
Bristol Mercury 29 June 1844, p6 col6

Richard Tuckerman, aged 47, was buried at Ashburton in Jun 1844. He was 47.
Parish records

Susan, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Ferris, was baptised in September 1818. Thomas was a Taylor.
Parish records

1822 Devon Record Office holds a settlement examination of William Leaman, a tailor of Ashburton. At 11 years old he was apprenticed to John Eales of Highweek, tailor.
122 A/PO 136 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

Sarah, the wife of Henry Mann, tailor, Ashburton, died on January 19th, 1837
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 28 January 1837 p3 col3


1838 Robert Gale, tailor, was one party to the conveyance of premises which were part of the manor of Ringmore.
1777 B/T84.85http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

Mr Philips married Harriet Ferris in May 1839. Harriet was the second daughter of Mr T Ferris Jun., tailor.
Western Times 1 June 1839 p3 col1

R Dawe married Miss Waycott in December 1839. Mr Dawe was a tailor, and the couple were both from Ashburton.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 4 January 1840, p3 col1


                                         A melancholy story

In January 1840 a workman in Waverley, near Farnham in Surrey, found a man lying in the road, near a place called Mother Ludlum's Cave. The man, who was 'emaciated and exhausted' was taken to a nearby cottage, and then to the parish workhouse, but he died that evening. It was established that his name was Foot, and that he had considerable property, but at first little more was known about him. He had been lodging in Farnham the previous October, and when he left there he asked for his luggage to be set down near the cave. It was thought that since that time he had lived in a large hole, possibly a fox burrow, which was in the vicinity, only occasionally coming out to buy such things as bread. When the man was being moved he muttered about the hole and luggage - a search was made, and about 30 feet into the hole a large quantity of clothes and other items were found, together with a candle.
At the inquest a verdict was returned to the effect that 'the deceased came to his death by starvation and exposure to the inclemency of the weather.'
Later information established that the man was William Foot*, from Ashburton in Devon, who had at one time been a tailor in Oxford Street, London, before becoming a brewer. His wife had died about 12 years previously, and since that time he had disposed of considerable property, and had 'ever since been wandering from place to place in a most dejected state of mind.' More details emerged of what was found in the hole, viz a portmanteau and 2 carpet bags,  all full of clothing; a leather hat case and hat; a walking stick; a blue cloth coat and cloak and a sheepskin mat. There were also two small heath brooms, and it was thought that he used these to erase any footmarks that he made when retreating into the hole. Parish officers took possession of the items.
Windsor and Eton Express 25 January 1840, p4 cols 4/5
*The Oxford Journal 1 February 1840, p2 col2, has his name as William James Foot

The Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette had more details: Mr Foot had stayed at the Seven Stars in Farnham the previous autumn, taking his meals with the landlord's family. He was very reserved, and only spoke when spoken to. He occasionally played a very handsome accordion, but not well. He said he had previously lived at a public house in London. He appeared to be about 46, and said he had had a wife and three children.
After his death some letters were found in his trunk. One, from 1838, was addressed to Mr William Foot at Mr Chandler's, High Street, Ramsgate, from Mrs C Walters of the King's Head Tavern, Pudding-Lane, Lower-Thames Street. W P Nash, of York-Street, Hackney-Road, wrote to him in 1839. The parish authorities had contacted Mrs Walters, and she had said she was a relation. She and her daughter, having seen the deceased, had since left 'abruptly'. Mr Nash wrote that Mr Foot had been a man of some property, but he had sold most of it about 8 years ago. Mr W E Needham, writing from King-Street, Westminster, said that Mr Foot had formerly been a brewer in London. Mr Hewitt, the Acting Guardian, had learnt from William that he had a daughter and brother.
The Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 1 February 1840, p2 col5

William's age was given as 45 on his death certificate, issued in the Farnham district in the March quarter of 1840.

William's story was not quite over, because some weeks later the Hampshire Independent had more news to report: there is no doubt that the item was about William, although his name was given as James Foote in the newspaper. William had been buried in Farnham churchyard, an event observed by a large number of people 'attracted by the extraordinary character of the deceased'. Interest in the case had waned, but then rumours began to circulate that the grave had been disturbed and the body removed. These rumours persisted until the minister of the church allowed the grave to be opened to settle the matter - both the body and coffin had gone.
The most probable explanation for the disappearance, according to the Independent, was that relatives of William, who had been initially reluctant to claim the body, had now taken possession of it.
Hampshire Independent 2 May 1840.
Article supplied by Guy Singer, to whom many thanks

In October 1840 the wife of Jabez Geach, draper, gave birth to a son.
Western Times 7 November 1840, p2 col6

Jabez Geach, a sojourner in the parish, had married Mary Horton in February 1837.
Parish records

When John Jabez Geach was baptised in October 1840, his father was described as a linen draper.
Parish records

In the 1841 census Henry Foot, aged approximately 20, was living in East Street in the same household as Peter and Mary Foot (aged approximately 50 and 45). Henry was a tailor, Peter (presumably his father) was a cordwainer.
1841 census HO107, piece no. 253, folio 9, p11

Henry Foot married Elizabeth Leonora Osmond in March 1847 at St David's, Exeter. He was a tailor, and his father was Peter Foot.
Parish records St David's Exeter

By 1851 Henry was a master tailor, living in West Street with his wife Elizabeth Leonora and children Henry Ventura, 3, and Maria Osmond, 1. Henry was 32.
1851 census HO107, piece no 1871, folio 318, p11
By 1871 the family still appear to be where they were twenty years previously, the next household to the Rose and Crown. Henry was a tailor, as was his son Henry Ventura. Maria Osmond Foot was a dressmaker; younger children in the household were James, 13, and Peter, 10.
1871 census RG10, piece no. 2080, folio 55, p21

Henry Foot of West Street was buried in April 1904. He was 85 years old.    
Parish records

Mary, the wife of W Dunsford, draper, died in 1844. She was 61.
Bristol Mercury, 2 March 1844, p6 col6

1846 The will of George Casely, tailor of Ashburton, is available from the National Archives.
Written in 1831, he left his dwelling house and premises 'wherein I now live situate in the East Street' to his wife Grace.
Ref PROB 11/2043/99 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ - Accessed 28-04-2020


In August 1850 at Ashburton  Mr Thomas Norris, tailor, married Mary Ireland Baker, the eldest daughter of C Baker, a builder.
Exeter Flying Post 8 August 1850, p8 col6
In 1851 Roger Glanvill, 69, and his wife Susanna, 70, were living in West Street. Their 41 year old unmarried son, Richard was living with them - he was a master tailor. All three had been born in Ashburton.
1851 census HO107, piece no. 1871, folio 268, p19

John Husson married Deborah Edwards Perrott* in the Exeter district in the March quarter of 1840.
*Deborah E is John's wife on the 1861 census.
1861 census piece no. 1405, folio 52, p13

In 1846 Richard Wills was found guilty of obtaining leggings and breeches by false pretences. from John Husson, tailor. Wills, who worked for Mr Irish, told Mr Husson that his employer would pay for them, and brought a note allegedly signed by Mr Irish.
The prisoner was sentenced to two years - he said that he would rather be transported.

Western Times 28 March 1846 p3 col4'

John Husson, tailor and draper, was advertising for two tailors in 1855. He was looking for 'Steady men who perfectly understand their business', and was offering 'constant employment and liberal wages.'
Western Times 19 May 1855 p4 col1

In April 1860 an old building known as the New Inn, where the shambles formerly stood, was taken down. It adjoined the old Mermaid Inn*.
John Husson, draper, had bought the property, and was planning to build a new shop.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 14 April 1860, p6 col6
*The Mermaid Inn was what is now No .4 North Street. Presumably the new property was what is now No. 2.
Mary Eales, aged 93, died on June 12th, 1855. She was the relict of the late John Eales, draper.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 16th June 1855, p5 col6
Several tailors were named Bowden - they may not be connected

Robert Bowden was baptised in June 1806, the son of John and Sarah.
In September 1828 a Robert Bowden married Mary Preston. Both were of the parish.
Parish records

1853. Ann Stannett was charged with stealing a purse of money from William Hext at Ashburton Fair. One of the witnesses was Robert Bowden, tailor, who 'had a farm on the other side of the water.'
Western Times 3 December 1853 p6 col2

In 1856 Sarah Honeywill sent a letter to her son William, mentioning that
Sarah Bowden the tailor's daughter got married and has got one child.
Sarah Ann Bowden had married George Wills Hill in April 1855, and on the marriage certificate her father is named as Robert Bowden, tailor. A John Bowden was one of the witnesses.
For more on Sarah Honeywill's letter see People and Properties 1800s.
GRO certificate

In the 1861 census 54 year old Robert Bowden was a master tailor and dairyman, living in East Street. With him was his wife Mary, 'superintendant of dairy', his married son John, who was also a tailor, and his daughter Mary J, who was a dairymaid. All of them were born in Ashburton. Robert employed 2 men.

John Bowden may have been the John Bowden, tailor, who gave evidence in a case of assault in 1850. John Trist summoned George Rowell: Mr Trist had called Mr Rowell names, and the latter had retaliated. The names called, 'Charlotte' and 'Old Bull' referred to the fact that George Rowell had made a servant of his, Charlotte, pregnant, and had then dismissed her.
Exeter Flying Post 1 August 1850 p8 col5

William Kingwill Edgecombe married Faith Chubb in October 1860. He was a tailor residing in Ashburton; his father, William Edgecombe, was a carrier.
Parish records

February 1863 saw the first meeting of the creditors of William Kingwell Edgecombe, of Ashburton, a draper. Edgecombe was bankrupt, but had absconded to America.
He seems to have returned by 1911, where he appears on the census in the household of his son, John Chubb Edgecombe, who was a licensed victualler at the Haytor Rock Hotel, Ilsington. William was a retired tailor aged 73.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 20 February 1863, p3 col5
1911 census RG14, piece no. 12734

48 year old Richard Edgecombe was a master tailor in East Street in the 1871 census. Four sons and two daughters were living with Richard and his wife Charlotte, together with George Strawbridge, a 4 year old grandson - apart from Charlotte, who was born at Woodland, all the family had been born in Ashburton.
1871 census, piece no. 2080, folio 27, p5

In 1876 The Board of Guardians decided that Mr Edgecombe, an Ashburton tailor, should contribute 2s 6d a week towards the support of his daughter, who was in the asylum. They intended to enforce the payments should Mr Edgecombe default.
Western Times 13 July 1876, p3 col3

In 1921 the Western Times reported that Mr John Edgecombe, who had died in St John's, New Brunswick, had left estate worth £4000. Formerly an Ashburton outfitter, he was a brother of W H Edgecombe, the Ashburton postmaster.
Western Times 15 April 1921, p10 col3

For more on the Edgecombe family, see under Individual Families


A William Bowden, tailor, was living in Aldershot in 1871. Aged 49, (therefore born circa 1821/22) he was living with his wife Mary and children Elizabeth, William and Henry. All the children had been born in Ireland; William Snr had been born in Ashburton.
William and Mary A were still in Aldershot in 1891, with their 14 year old daughter Ada, who had been born in Ireland. William was a retired tailor.
1871 census RG10, piece 816, folio 15, p23
1891 census RG12, piece 563, folio 30, p53

Familysearch has a record for Ada Louise Bowden, born in Dublin in December 1876, with parents William Bowden and Mary Anne Bowden Tyrrell.
William Bowden married Mary Ann Tyrrell in the Brighton district in the June quarter of 1859. A transcription of the marriage shows William's father to be John Bowden.
FHL film no
255971, https://familysearch.org
England Marriages transcription, via http://search.findmypast.co.uk

William Snr's baptism could have been in April 1820 at Great Meeting, the son of John and Elizabeth.
Other children of John and Elizabeth appear to be: Elizabeth, 1823; and Thomas Henry William Bowden, 1825 (Whiddon rather than William in one transcription).

The 1841 census, which is difficult to read, has John Bowden aged circa 40, a tanner (?) and his wife Elizabeth, of roughly the same age, who appears to be a serge worker.
In 1861, where the ages are not rounded down, John, a tanner's labourer, is 60, and his wife Elizabeth is 64.
1841 census HO107, piece no 253, folio 5, p4
1861 census RG09, piece no 1405, folio 36, p22

In 1851 a William Bowden, tanner, and his wife Joanna, are living in Bermondsey, Surrey. William is 29 (therefore born circa 1821/22) and was born in Ashburton. He is not necessarily the son of John the tanner, but there is the continuity of occupation. However, John and Elizabeth use the slightly unusual name Henry in one of their son's names, and William the tailor also calls one of his sons Henry.
1851 census HO107, piece no 1561, folio 384, p34

Another possibility for William's baptism is in August 1821, the son of John Butchers Bowden and Mary. John is a husbandman.
Other children of John and Mary appear to be: John, 1823; Mary, 1824; John, 1826; and Anna, 1829.

In the 1861 census John, an agricultural labourer, is 63, and his wife Mary is 64
1861 census RG09, piece no 1405, folio 79, p29


William Bowden was baptised in Chiselhurst, Kent, on January 21st, 1835, the son of William and Elizabeth.

In 1861 in St Lawrence Lane 26 year old William Bowden was a tailor, living with his mother Elizabeth, who was a butler's wife. William's two sisters, Jane A and Mary A A, were also in the household, together with a grandson of Elizabeth's, two year old John Harding. Both Jane and Mary were dressmakers. William had been born in Chislehurst, in Kent.


Paddon and Ward, drapers of Ashburton and Tavistock, were amongst the notices of partnerships dissolved in the Draper and clothier, 1860.
The Draper and Clothier, vol 1, London 1860, p120

                             Tailors in the 1861 census for Ashburton:

Job Bond - aged 35 and born in Plymouth
Robert Bowden - see above
John Bowden - Robert's son, see above
William Bowden - see above
Albert Boynes - 16 year old Albert lived in North Street.
Samuel Chubb - aged 12, Samuel was an apprentice tailor.
James Chudleigh - an apprentice tailor living at 5 Caton. He was 18 years old.
Henry Coleman - 43 year old Henry was a tailor in West Street.
Enoch Coleman - Henry Coleman's son. He was an apprentice tailor aged 19.
Johannah Cornelious - Johannah, who lived in Browses Buildings, was a tailoress. Her husband was an ag lab.
William K Edgcombe - Born in Ashburton, William was a tailor and L and W draper (?) in North Street.
Richard Edgcombe - 38 year old Richard was a master tailor in East Street.
Thomas Ferris - was a tailor and draper employing 2 men and 3 boys.
Henry Foot - 42 year old Henry lived in West Street, with his wife Elizabeth L, 'tailor's wife'.
Richard Ford - aged 14, and grandson of another Richard, he was a tailor's apprentice.
Richard Glanvill - was a tailor and draper in West Street. James Waldron (below) was in the same household.
Thomas Hannaford - born in Totnes, Thomas Hannaford was tailor living in Back Lane.
John Husson - 43 year old John was a tailor and draper in North Street. One of his sons, Edward, was also a draper.
John Ireland - was lodging in the Golden Fleece at the time of the census. He had been born in Ashburton.
William Leaman - aged 15. His father was an ag lab, and his mother a laundress.
Frederick Matterface - an apprentice tailor aged 17, living in East Street. His father was a butcher.
William Nish - an apprentice tailor, William was lodging in St Lawrence Lane.
George H Rapsey - a master tailor living in West Street, George had one apprentice.
Peter Smerdon - was a tailor living at 2, Bickington village.
John J A H Smerdon - an apprentice tailor. His father, another John, was a post office messenger and bootmaker.
William Taprell - 64 year old William lived in North Street.
John Tennott - 61 year old John was lodging in Browses Buildings.
Richard Thorn - a 12 year old apprentice tailor, living with his family at the London Inn.
James Waldron - was a 17 year old apprentice tailor, in the household of tailor and draper Richard Glanvill.
Michael Walsh - originally from County Waterford, Michael was lodging in North Street.

Frederick White - was lodging in East Street
James Yolland - 32 year old James was a tailor and draper in North Street, living there with his wife and widowed mother Susana, a fundholder.


Amongst the list of bankrupts in the London Gazette on 30 August 1861 was Thomas Ferris, tailor and draper, Ashburton.
The Law Journal Reports for the year 1861, London 1861, p55

A premises for sale or let was advertised in East Street in 1862.  The building comprised a spacious house, a large modern shop, and cellars. It had been used as a tailoring and drapers business for some years.
Western Times 22 February 1862 p1 col1

Albert Boynes, a tailor living in Ashburton, married Louisa Endecott Stevens on the first of January 1868. His father, George, was a labourer.
Parish records

Albert George Boynes, the son of Albert and Louisa Endacott Boynes, was baptized in July 1873. Albert Snr. was a tailor
Parish records


In 1884 Mrs E J Hext, of Market Place, Ashburton, was advertising as a milliner, dressmaker, draper etc. Her business had been established in 1860, and she was the appointed agent for Ashburton, Buckfastleigh and Totnes of 'the new registered system of The Scientific Dress Cutting Association.'
Mrs Hext was seeking apprentices in dressmaking.
Totnes Weekly Times 19 July 1884, p1 cols2/3


1886 A M Harvey, general tailor, draper and outfitter, was having a clearance sale. Trousers to measure could be had for 10/6d
Totnes Weekly Times 18 December 1886 p8 col6


William B Ward, linen draper, is living in West Street at the time of the 1861 census. He has a wife, Anne, and three young children, and keeps two servants.

1874 William B Ward, of Ashburton, was one of those sworn onto the Grand Jury in Exeter.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams 8 January 1874 p3 col4

In the 1891 census 62 year old William B Ward was a draper in West St, living there with his wife Ann and his daughter Beatrice E. William had been born in Jacobstowe, Devon.

By 1901 William had retired, and was living with wife Jane E and daughter Beatrice in Hillsborough Avenue, Exeter.
1901 census RG13, piece no 2042, folio 39, p19

Above: West Street, showing Ward at what is now No. 9
From my own collection

Samuel J Dunstan was a tailor in the 1891 census. Aged 24, he was living with his parents at Great Bridge. His brother Albert, 17, was a tailor's apprentice.
1891 census, RG12, piece no 1698, folio 41, p20

Albert G Eggbeer, aged 14, was also an apprentice tailor in 1891, living with his parents in North Street.
1891 census, RG12, piece no 1698, folio 28, p19

In 1891 John Payne, aged 23, tailor, was found guilty of stealing an ox from Samuel Winsor. He was sentenced to two months' imprisonment with hard labour.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 3 July 1891 p3 col4

There was a disturbance ('more like a riot') after a political meeting in Ashburton in 1892 in support of Mr Collins, the conservative candidate. Four youths were charged with assaulting John Henry Mitchelmore, a tailor's cutter, when they threw lime and sand at Mr Michelmore as he left the Market Hall.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 20 August 1892 p3 col3

A K Easterbrook, tailor, was advertising for a coat hand in 1900, promising 'constant employment'.
Western Times 31 July 1900 p4 col1

Abraham Kivill Easterbrook of West Street, outfitter,
was amongst those qualified to serve as jurors in 1901
James Henry Mitchelmore of East Street, tailor, was also listed.
John Henry Ford of North Street, draper, was also qualifed to serve as a juror.
See People and Properties

J H Ford was listed as a draper and milliner in the Brixham Western Guardian in 1903. His business principle was 'Small expenses, small profits'.
Brixham Western Guardian 29 January 1903, p8 col1

J H Ford was advertising 'A good selection' of millinery, blouses, costumes and dress' in May 1905, together with household drapery and linoleums. He was at Clinton House, Ashburton.
The Brixham Western Guardian, 18 May1905, p8 col1

J and L Skinner were alsp listed as linen and woollen drapers, silk mercers, hosiers, glovers and haberdashers. Operating in East Street, they were also agents for the Devon and Exeter Savings Bank.
Brixham Western Guardian 29 January 1903, p8 col1
Above: In the 1901 census 29 year old Abraham K Easterbrook was a tailor and outfitter, living with his wife and three daughters in West St.
James Parish, 18, was an apprentice living with the household.
1901 census RG13, piece no 2053, folio 10, p11
From my own collection

In 1905 the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette headed an item 'Trouble among the tailors.' Abraham Kivell Easterbrook sued Frederick Eli Rodgman for £50 damages, for breaking an agreement not to carry on business as a tailor. Mr Rodgman had worked as a cutter for Mr Easterbrook, and on leaving his employment had allegedly agreed not to set up in business within 10 miles of Ashburton for 10 years. The case hinged on whether Mr Rodgman had left voluntarily, and as there was some confusion about this, judgment was awarded to the defendant.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 14 October 1905, p5 col7
See the Rodgman family under Individual families

In the 1911 census 25 year old John Henry Easterbrook was a tailor, outfitter and boot dealer, living at Haytor House, West Street. His wife Nellie Mary, and his mother Elizabeth Ann were with him. Both John Henry and his mother were born in Widecombe.
1911 census RG14, piece no 12725

Samuel John Dunstan was also a tailor in the 1911 census, working at home in Back Lane. His 16 year old daughter, Mary E A Dunstan, was a tailoress, also working at home.
In the 1939 register Samuel was a tailor, living at 20 North Street, ex-licensee.
1911 census RG14, piece no 12725
1939 register

John Osborne and family were living at 8 North Street at the time of the 1911 census. 45 year old John was a draper who had been born in Pensilva, Cornwall.
1911 census RG14, piece no. 12727

Osborne, Draper, Ashburton, was looking for a practical milliner in January 1918
Western Morning News 30 January 1918, p2 col1
Above: An advertisement from a Golden Lion promotional booklet
Undated but probably late 1920s
From my own collection

John Osborne, previously an Ashburton draper, died in Paignton at the end of 1939. He had served on the Urban District Council for a number of years, had been a sideman at the church, and was portreeve from 1917 to 1918.
Believed to be from the Western Guardian, 7 Dec 1939, page unknown

Herbert F Squire, Draper, had an advertisement in the Brixham Western Guardian in 1912, for Ladies' and Gent's umbrellas. Purchasers would get the newest in handles, good covers and strong frames.
His spring stock in April included ladies' and children's trimmed and untrimmed millinery, flowers, ribbons, veilings and girdles. There was also some special lines in blouses, neckwear, belts, scarves, gloves and underskirts.
Brixham Western Guardian 22 February 1912, p1 col2
Brixham Western Guardian 18 April 1912, p4 col3


J H Easterbrook was selling Haytor House in 1921. It was advertised as a large double-fronted shop with a 36 foot frontage, with a dwelling house of 12 rooms.
Western Morning News 4 March 1921, p2 col6

Right: An advertisement from a Golden Lion promotional booklet
Undated but probably late 1920s
From my own collection

Ernest Walter Henry Adams and Sophia Adams are at Haytor House in the electoral register of 1927
Electoral registers 1832-1932, available through https://www.findmypast.co.uk

Ernest may be the Ernest W H Adams who was 6 years old on the 1871 census, the son of Walter H Adams, a tailor. Ernest was born in Bristol, where the family were living at the time of the census.
1871 census RG10, piece no. 2529, folio 64, p5

In 1911 Ernest and Sophia were living in Market Place, Tetbury, with their children Ivy and Godfrey. Ernest was a tailor market (maker?)
1911 census RG14, piece no 15411

In November 1931 Adams, at Haytor House, was advertising a 'Commodious business premises' for sale in the centre of Ashburton.
Western Morning News 4 November 1931, p2 col4

On the 14th November, Rendell and Sawdye had received instructions from Mr E W Adams to sell his stock of clothing: men's, boys' and youths' suits, overcoats, breeches, sports coats, woollen items, golf hose, shirts, hats and caps etc.
Mr Adams was leaving the town.
Western Morning News 14 November 1931, p3 col3

Left and below: Ernest Adams at Haytor House
With many thanks to Will and Sarah Walker-Smith
1926 The Devon Record Office has a death certificate for William John Chard of Ashburton, retired tailor.
2036 M/T/21, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 28-04-2017

It seems likely that William was the father of Harold Walter Chard, who was a watchmaker and jeweller in North Street during the 1920s. In the 1901 census William is shown as a tailor in Honiton, which is where he seems to have spent most of his life.
William's son Harold had returned to Honiton by 1931 - see Clocks and Clockmakers, under Banks and Businesses 2
1901 census RG13, piece no. 2022, folio 55, p1
Electoral registers 1832-1932, available through https://www.findmypast.co.uk
In 1939 Robert Cubitt, born in 1869, was a draper shopkeeper. Gertrude M Cubitt was in the same household, as was John R S Cubitt, who was a manager in his father's business. The family lived at Braeside, Eastern Road.
1939 register, available through www.findmypast.co.uk

Robert died in 1943. He left £12,865 gross, leaving his freehold shop, Clinton House and his business of a draper to his son John. His residence [Braeside] he left to his wife during widowhood, together with furniture, a legacy of £50 and £3000 in trust.
Western Morning News 30 August 1943, p2 col2
From Peter Smith:
'I have a memory of my father and I, when I was about 12, visiting a draper's shop in Ashburton that my father (a Master Draper) was hoping to buy. This was around 1960, and the owner was called Cubitt - Cubiits Builders were redeveloping the part of London where we lived, so I remembered the name.
We travelled from London by train, and I'm guessing that we were collected from Newton Abbot; we stayed as guests of the Cubitts overnight. I remember Dad telling me that Newton Abbot was bombed heavily during WW2 because of the railway presence.
The house* was big, as was the shop.
I have a vague recollection of being in the back of an Austin A35 with a girl as we were taken to a pub in Widecombe in the evening.
The soused mackerel for breakfast...ugh.
I was quite excited by the thought of moving to Ashburton, but the sale fell through and father eventually bought a drapery business in Cullompton, and moved in 1962.'
* Clinton House? The shop formed part of the building
With many thanks to Peter