The PeaceHavens Project

Copyright 2020 Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project

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Kirkham and Poulton in Lancashire

 Website design, maps and photos by Ged Dodd - Director of The PeaceHavens Project.

Click here for all the Project Site Map and Links

 

(19 flax seals found to date with 0 seals awaiting upload as of 7th January 2020)

#

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Inspectors and Posts
from Kirkham Mills

  Kladukhin.S     1795  42

  Kondrat'ev.A    1797   9

  Kudryaev.I      1831   1

  Pirozhnikov.I   1802  23

  Sarynin.A       1800  71

  Skinov.I        1791  91

  Sumoshnikov     1778 327

  Vapanov         1807  27

  Verevknn.S      1883   3

  Vinnikov.I      1805  20

  Vorob'ev.S      1793  16

  

 

Posts / Inspectors / #
from Kirkham Mills

   1 Kudryaev.I     IDS 1821

   3 Verevknn.S     IDS 179?

   9 Kondrat'ev.A   IDS 1848

  16 Vorob'ev.S     IDS 1844

  20 Vinnikov.I     IDS 1845

  23 Pirozhnikov.I  IDS 1820

  27 Vapanov        IDS 832

  42 Kladukhin.S    IDS 1846

  71 Sarynin.A      IDS 1849

 91 Skinov.I       IDS 1788

 327 Sumoshnikov    IDS 1789

IDS
8
32

Д? = D?
ВАПАНОВЪ
(VAPANOV)
H
27

SPB

CGFPK

1807

27

post
(hemp)

Danny Meadowcroft

Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
8
33

An unreadable
Numbers Only Seal

WK

SB9PK

1753

??

post
(flax)

Danny Meadowcroft

Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1786

Cross quartered

+ shield with
5/5/-/- pellets

12.K

W.L.T

 Baltic States
(Krown flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1787

Cross quartered

+ shield with
9/9/-/- pellets

MJ
12K

 Baltic States
(Krown flax)
  Garry Kerr
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1788

ЛД = LD
 И.СКИНОВЪ
 (I.SKINOV)
 H91

NP
БСІ12H
1791

91
post
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1789

ДN = DN
 СУМОШНИКОВЬ
 (SUMOSHNIKOV)
 H327

NP
------
1778

327
post
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1796

X
crossed keys
1

PSt

Port St Petersburg

Riga City
(1st flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1819

Cross quartered

+ shield with
3/3/-/- annulets

too

distorted

 Baltic States
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1820

ЛД = LD
И.ПИРОЖНИ
(I.PIROZHNIKOV)
H23

NP
IH12H
1802

23
post
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1821

ЛД = LD
И.КУДРЯЕВЬ
(I.KUDRYAEV)
H1

СПБ
НоП.2
П.Ч.
1831

1
post
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1842

Cross quartered

+ shield with
5/5/-/- pellets

WB
ligature
12K

Baltic States
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1843

Cross quartered

+ shield with
5/5/-/- pellets

CMR
ligature
12K

Baltic States
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1844

ЛД = LD

С.ВОРОБЬЕВЪ
(S.VOROB'EV)
H16

NP
ГХ12Н
1793

16

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1845

ЛД = LD

И.ВИННИКОВ
(I.VINNIKOV)
H20

NP
ПС12Н
1805
key/fish symbol

20

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1846

ЛД = LD
С:КЛАДУXИН
(S.KLADUKHIN)
H42

NP
IS12Н
1795

42

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1848

ЛД = LD
А.КОНДРАТЬ
(A.KONDRAT'EV)
H9

NP
BCI12K
1797

9

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1849

ЛД = LD
А.САРЫНИН
(A.SARYNIN)
H71

NP
CБ12H
1800

71

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

IDS
1883

ЛД = LD
С.ВЕРЕВКНН
(S.VEREVKNN)
H3

NP
DH12H
179?

3

post
(flax)

Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire

 note on IDS 1883 the misspelling of Verevkin as Verevknn which occurs on all 3 post seals of this inspector.

IDS
1884

Cross quartered

+ shield with
?/?/?/? pellets

GH
12K

Baltic States
(flax)
Matthew Ellison
Kirkham, Lancashire
             
             
             
             

 

 

  KIRKHAM is a small town and civil parish in the Borough of Fylde in Lancashire, England, midway between Blackpool and Preston and adjacent to the smaller town of Wesham. It owes its existence to Carr Hill upon which it was built and which was the location of a Roman fort. The production of coarse linens and ropes from flax and hemp had been a domestic industry in the Fylde and Lancashire plain since the Middle Ages. Practically all Kirkham burgesses grew flax and hemp to produce linen, rope and coarse cloth. The very poor working conditions in the surrounding countryside during the 17th century had caused labourers to go to Kirkham to seek employment as craftsmen and assistants to various trades and businesses so creating a more numerous poor population.  There was trade with Russia from the Wyre as early as 1590 but it was not until the eighteenth century that the trade expanded.  In 1736 all English ships were required to carry a full set of English-made sails. It thus became increasingly profitable for merchants in old-established linen centres like Kirkham to import flax from the Baltic and put it out to local flax dressers, spinners and weavers for the manufacture of coarse linen canvas suitable for sailcloth. Also in Lloyd's Register of 1776 is James Moss as master of Dallam Tower, a brig of 160 tons, built at Lancaster in 1767, and owned by M. Fresh. There were voyages for this vessel with James Moss as master from 1768 to 1776, mainly to Narva and St Petersburg, often calling at Hull on the outward voyage. The vessel returned mostly to Lancaster; but the voyage referred to in his wife's letter of 1774 ended in the Wyre estuary to deliver flax and hemp to the manufacturers of Kirkham sailcloth. It is generally accepted that the majority of the sails in Nelsons fleet were produced in Kirkham and Freckleton. Early Freckleton supplied water to the Roman fort at Kirkham, and in the 19th century was a port for the ship building industry. Rope and sailcloth, for the early boatbuilding industry, was made in the village for many years. Balderstone Mill, erected in 1880, was the first organised factory system in the village, its weaving shed had 320 looms, and its cloth sold on the Manchester Cotton Exchange. The mills closed in 1980.

  There were two main groups of Kirkham merchants: (a) the Hankinsons and Hornbys, and (b) the Langtons, Shepherds and Birleys. In Kirkham itself (though not elsewhere) they formed two distinct and rival firms.  It was at the beginning of the eighteenth century that three families - Langton, Hornby and Birley settled in Kirkham and were greatly responsible for the prosperity of the town. By the end of the 18th century the Hornby, Langton and Birley families were deeply involved in all aspects of life in the town and were having considerable influence on its development and prosperity. By setting up their industries they had brought more trade, wealth and employment to the town so producing an increase in population. Their interest in the welfare of Kirkham people is seen by their connections with the charities, education and parish church, as well as with the administration of the town.

   1) The first of these families to settle in Kirkham was the Langton family when in 1696 Cornelius Langton, a woollen draper from Preston, was admitted to the freedom of tile borough by paying 30 shillings to the corporation. Soon after his arrival here he married the daughter of Zachary Taylor, the headmaster of the grammar school. His son, John, married the daughter of Thomas Browne, a woollen draper whose family had been in Kirkham for 200 years. Lots of property passed into their possession. Ash Tree House,  Armistead's Carr meadow, Copper Long and Tile Bottom as well as property in Preston inherited from his grandfather, and much more. The Langtons and Birleys combined to set up an early flax mill here.

  2) Hugh Hornby of Newton settled in Kirkham at the beginning of the 18th century and soon became a member of the Thirty Men. By 1753, Hugh with his father and brother, was in possession of the manor of Ribby adjoining Kirkham, and when Hugh died his eldest son, Joseph, received the land of Compton from his uncle so extending his possessions further. Towards the end of the century Joseph built Ribby Hall immediately next to the boundary with Kirkham manor. The development of the manufacture of sail cloth in Kirkham is very closely associated with the Hornby family whose warehouse was on the north side of Poulton Street just a little way above their house in the Market Square. Their workshops were in Old Earth Lane opposite the tan yards and in Back Lane near Old Row. In 1793, William, brother of Joseph, bought a large building on the west side of Freckleton Street consisting of 10 houses a weaving shed and the 2 long sheds.

     Messrs J.T. & W. Hornby established themselves in Bentham Village about 1795, and at first operated from Low Bentham Mill. and later moved to High Bentham Mill. They imported Russian flax bales into a warehouse on St. George's Quay at Lancaster and transported the flax bales by four horse drawn wagons to Bentham. Initially the brothers spun yarn at Bentham for their sail cloth factories at Kirkham but later they built premises for their weavers in Bentham, some of whom came from Kirkham. The Bentham operations were managed after about 1814 by Tony Roughsedge Esq. who continued to trade under Hornby & Co and who had formerly managed the Hornby factories at Kirkham .

    Thousand's of Russian flax bale seals have been found in the fields surrounding the High Bentham Mill.

 3)   It was the Birley family who became the leading flax manufacturers in the town and on first settling here, John Birley traded with the West Indies, his firm being known as Birley and Alker, West Indian Merchants, and the goods were shipped from the small port of Wardleys on the right bank of the Wyre. However, after his marriage with Elizabeth Shepherd, the firm became known as Langton, Shepherd and Birley and it was John Langton in this partnership who helped to set up the flax mill at the west end of the Choice Meadow between 1730 and 1750, but after that in 1766 the young John Birley separated from this partnership and continued In business on his own making more extensions to the mill.

  Birley's Mill - It was at this time towards the end of the 18th century that much Irish labour, especially young girls was imported being brought over by Birley's agent in Ireland. Cottages were specially built for these workers in Mill Street which became known as the Irish quarter of the town, and in both Preston and Poulton Street cottages were specially built for hand-loom weavers who sold their work to Messrs John Birley and Sons, The company produced sail cloth for the Royal Navy and traded in Russian merchandise as well as being dealers in produce of the Baltic Countries. As already mentioned flax and hemp were grown in small crops for the production of linen, rope and coarse cloth but as the industries developed raw materials needed to be brought from elsewhere such as Ireland. Fish was brought to the town from the river Wyre and sold on the fish-stones surrounding the market cross. (these still survive).

           From 1841 Thomas Birley carried on the flax business with his sons Thomas Langton Birley, Charles and Leyland. Although linen and sailcloth were still produced they seem to have concentrated on fine spinning for which, as already stated, extensions were made to the old flax mill. About the middle of the century being the largest property owners and employing about 800 workers they tended to dominate Kirkham, and in 1872 Thomas Langton Birley, having bought the demesne lands and manorial rights from Christ Church Oxford, was able to style himself lord of the manor. The flax mill descended to his eldest son Henry Langton Birley but towards the end of the century high costs and the competition of cotton made it uneconomic and it was finally closed in 1895.

     By 1876 the following factories had been established in Kirkham besides the one belonging to Birley:- although Birley's remained the only flax mill .. the others going on to cotton goods.
a. Weaving shed of Walker and Barrett employing 400 workers
b. Weaving shed of Richards Brothers employing 84 workers.
c. Cotton mill belonging to Harrison and Company employing 150 workers.
d. Cotton mill belonging to Richards and Parker employing 180 workers.
e. The Fylde Manufacturing Company in Orders Lane had been recently established, the plans for this new weaving shed having been approved in the previous year.
    One factor which certainly helped the development of all these industries was the coming of the railway to Kirkham in 1840. Its main purpose when constructed was to be to facilitate communications between the Lancashire manufacturers and Ireland by providing easy access to the river Wyre.

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  POULTON-LE-FYLDE From early times Poulton became an important centre for trade in this area. With harbours on either side of the River Wyre, at Skippool and Wardleys, it was able to import goods from as far away as Russia and North America. The origin of the word "Skippool" is probably from Old Norse skip meaning ship and Old English pull/pol for a slow moving stream. The area came to prominence in the 1700s when it was the main port on the River Wyre before the development of Fleetwood. Ships of up to 200 tonnes would unload cargoes from around the world with flax and cotton for the Lancashire mills. It was also renowned as being a haunt for smugglers and press gangs looking for recruits for the Royal navy. The opening of the railway to Fleetwood in 1840 quickly brought about the demise of the creek.

  Thomas Hankinson continued to trade from the Wyre along with his brother-in-law Hugh Hornby. They bought additional shares in the Ramlesfield warehouse at Skippool and evidently traded both to the plantations and the Baltic for in 1752 they were pail-owners of a ship the "Hankinson" which made voyages to St Kitts, Riga and St Petersburg."  Flax is brought up the Wyre and landed at Wardleys on the north east side of that river where the principal manufacturers of Kirkham have large and commodious warehouses for the reception of goods. Flax was imported from Ireland and the Baltic, timber came from across the Atlantic and tallow from Russia. There was a close relationship with Lancaster port.  Records from 180608 show that Poulton imported limestone from Ulverston, oats from Ulverston, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries, Wigtown, Whitehaven and Liverpool, and coal from Preston. Cheese was exported to the same places. By the 18th century, markets for cattle and cloth were being held in the town in February, April and November, with corn fairs every Monday. It is unclear at what point Poulton began life as a market town; it was never granted a market charter and so markets were held by prescription. The market cross probably dates from the 17th century. The linen industry was widespread in the Fylde during the 18th century and Poulton's importation of flax was essential. There were large warehouses at Skippool and Wardleys, owned by linen merchants from Kirkham. By the 19th century, craftsmen in Poulton were an important part of the industry. In the early part of the 19th century, there was a significant decline in the craft industries because of increased mechanisation, as well as increased demand for labour. In contrast to neighbouring Kirkham, Poulton appeared to suffer from a lack of enthusiasm for new industrial techniques and opportunities among its industry leaders whereas Kirkham used yarn spun at the new mills in Bentham for its sail cloth factories. In both Preston and Poulton, Street Cottages were specially built for hand-loom weavers who sold their work to Messrs John Birley and Sons of Kirkham.  Poulton's commercial importance was affected by the growth in the 19th century of two nearby coastal towns. In 1836 the first building was constructed in the new, planned town of Fleetwood, 7 miles north of Poulton, at the mouth of the River Wyre. Fleetwood became a major port and a link for passengers travelling from London to Scotland. To achieve these ideals a line connecting Fleetwood with Preston was completed in 1840, with Poulton as one of the stops. Although Fleetwood immediately superseded Poulton as a port (the Customs House was quickly moved to Fleetwood), Poulton initially benefited commercially from the rail link. The importation of Irish and Scottish cattle through Fleetwood enabled a fortnightly cattle market to be held in Poulton. At the same time, Blackpool was developing as a resort and for a few years, visitors travelled by rail to Poulton and then on to Blackpool by horse-drawn charabancs or omnibuses. A line between Poulton and Blackpool was completed in 1846. As Fleetwood and Blackpool's own commercial capabilities developed, and Kirkham's prominence in the linen industry continued to grow, so Poulton's importance declined.

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Copyright 2020 Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project

 Click here for the terms
of free copy & share &
supporting your Project