Rodborough: Economic history

Pages 224-230

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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In Rodborough, which consisted almost entirely of common land and steep hillsides, there was little scope for arable farming on any scale, and the growth of the cloth industry further relegated agriculture to a minor role in the parish. In the medieval period Rodborough was administered as part of Minchinhampton manor, and some details of the tenantry given above (fn. 1) apply to Rodborough. The various sub-manors in Rodborough presumably also had a few tenants. In 1635 there were twelve tenants in Rodborough holding for lives directly from the chief manor; by far the largest tenement was a 94-a. estate, including 16 a. of open-field land, held with a mill by Richard Davis. (fn. 2) The only open fields appear to have been the two small ones recorded in the 17th century; they were called Upper and Lower Bacon Slad (fn. 3) and lay on the hill slopes north-west of the Woodhouse. (fn. 4)

Only 123 a. were under the plough in 1801 (fn. 5) and the small holdings that existed were apparently mainly concerned with dairying or stock-raising. In 1839 the only two farms of any size were both under 50 a. (fn. 6) There were, however, 6 farms in the parish in 1856 when a dairyman and a cattle-dealer were also recorded. (fn. 7) Residential and industrial development had reduced the number of farms to two by 1939. (fn. 8)

Mills and the Cloth Industry.

Rodborough parish, although small, contained 10 cloth-mills including some of the most important in the Stroud area, such as Dudbridge Mill, worked successfully by the Apperlys in the 19th century, and Lodgemore Mill which was still in production in 1973. Weavers and fullers were recorded in Rodborough parish from the 1270s, (fn. 9) and at least seven mills were producing cloth by the 17th century. In 1608 6 clothiers, 43 weavers, 11 tuckers, and a dyer were enumerated, compared with 5 people in other trades and 15 engaged in agriculture. (fn. 10) A sideline of the industry was represented by the two rug-makers and a rugseller recorded in the late 17th century. (fn. 11) Thomas White (d. 1785) carried on a fairly extensive wool stapling business at Dudbridge (fn. 12) and another woolstapler was trading there in 1807; (fn. 13) a wool-broker and a cloth-factor were recorded in the mid 19th century. (fn. 14) Among those to whom the mechanisation of the industry in the early 19th century gave a livelihood was Joseph Clutterbuck, millwright and engineer, whose works were at Mowmead at the bottom of Rodborough Hill. (fn. 15)

Hope Mill, below Brimscombe, (fn. 16) known as Gough's Mill in the 18th century, (fn. 17) was the highest on the Frome in Rodborough parish. Daniel Gough, clothier (fl. 1748), left it to his daughters Elizabeth and Catherine, (fn. 18) and John Cambridge was making cloth there as tenant of the Goughs in 1768. (fn. 19) Catherine, the survivor of the two sisters, died c. 1805, leaving the mill to Samuel Wathen of New House, Stroud, and Nathaniel Wathen, who were in partnership as clothiers, presumably working Hope Mill, in 1807. (fn. 20) Later Nathaniel made cloth there alone, building a new mill at the site c. 1812. (fn. 21) He sold Hope Mill in 1829 to Robert Bamford, who turned it to woollen-yarn spinning (fn. 22) and still owned and occupied it in 1839. (fn. 23) By 1863 it was being used as a silk-mill by Charles Barton, whose firm remained at the mill until c. 1910. (fn. 24) From 1878 part of the Hope Mill site was used as an engineering works by Edwin Clark who later began to build steam launches. After his death c. 1897 the business, for which large new buildings were put up on the opposite bank of the canal, was acquired by I. J. Abdela of Manchester, who greatly expanded it. The abandonment of the canal in 1933 made launchbuilding difficult but the business survived until the late 1930s. (fn. 25) In the 1930s the old mill building was occupied by Dorax Ltd., makers of brake linings. (fn. 26) The sites on both sides of the canal remained in industrial use in 1973, and part of the old stone mill survived, its top storeys having been recently removed.

Wallbridge Mill, just above the bridge of that name south-west of Stroud town, (fn. 27) existed by 1470 when Thomas Bigge, who had acquired it from John Bigge, died leaving it to his wife Alice during the minority of his son Richard. (fn. 28) The clothier William Trotman, who had 6 employees, (fn. 29) apparently occupied it in 1608. (fn. 30) Later it belonged to Thomas Webb and had passed by 1718 to his daughter Anna, wife of Samuel Sheppard of Minchinhampton (fn. 31) (d. 1724). It passed to a younger son of the Sheppards, Thomas who died in 1757. He devised it to his sisters, (fn. 32) of whom the survivors Sarah Day, widow, and Mary Sheppard sold the property, comprising a house, three fulling-mills, and a gig-mill, in 1761 to the clothier Samuel Watts. Samuel died in 1773, devising Wallbridge Mill to his nephew Richard Watts, who sold it in 1798 to another Richard Watts. (fn. 33) Nathaniel Watts, who first introduced the flying shuttle to the region in 1793, (fn. 34) may have occupied the whole or part of the mill, for his cloth-making machinery at Wallbridge was offered for sale in 1804. (fn. 35) Richard Watts, dyer, sold the mill in 1820 to the brothers Peter, Richard, and Gustavus Adolphus Smith, (fn. 36) who used it for cloth-manufacturing and dyeing. (fn. 37) Richard and Peter Smith still had the mill in hand in 1839, (fn. 38) and the family owned it until Peter's death in 1870. (fn. 39) By 1856 John Howard was making cloth there (fn. 40) and his firm, which became Howard & Powell in 1886, continued to work the mill until c. 1960. (fn. 41) The mill, which dated in part from the 17th century, was demolished in 1964. (fn. 42) The substantial millowner's house, dating from c. 1800, survives.

At Lodgemore Mill, at the confluence of the Frome and the Painswick stream, (fn. 43) there were two separate fulling-mills, which figured in a dispute over water-rights in 1608. The upper one, called Merrets Mill, had been worked by the tucker Thomas Merret c. 1560, and in 1608 it was worked by Richard Merret and owned by Richard Payne. The lower mill, which was regarded as part of Paganhill tithing, was generally agreed to be the older of the two; known as Nether Latemores Mill, it was owned in 1608 by Richard Browning of Dursley. (fn. 44) The descent of the mills during the next 140 years is uncertain, but Merrets Mill may have been that in Rodborough which Richard Payne conveyed in 1667 to Samuel Browning, who conveyed it the same year to Nathaniel Beard, (fn. 45) and Nether Latemores Mill was perhaps that in Paganhill which Samuel Browning conveyed to Beard in 1675. (fn. 46) Nathaniel Beard owned and worked mills in Rodborough, which he left to his son Nathaniel at his death c. 1695. (fn. 47) By 1749 both Merrets and Nether Latemores mills, which became collectively known as Lodgemore Mill, were owned by Richard Cooke, (fn. 48) who was described as an eminent clothier and dyer at his death in 1769. He was succeeded in the business by his son Richard (fn. 49) (d. 1774). (fn. 50) Richard Cooke of Farmhill, Stroud, son of the younger Richard, owned the mill in 1794, although his brothers Henry and John were apparently working it. (fn. 51) Henry Cooke was the owner in 1804 when it was occupied by George Hawker, (fn. 52) who apparently gave up making cloth there in 1808. (fn. 53) The Cookes sold the mill in 1825 to William Whitehead, a newspaper publisher, who was leasing it to N. S. Marling the following year, by which time steam-power had been introduced. Whitehead went bankrupt in 1827, and the mortgagee John Snowdon subsequently acquired the rights of the other creditors and leased the mill in 1839 to William Hunt of Dyehouse Mill, Minchinhampton. Hunt, who bought the freehold in 1846, died in 1853 and was succeeded by his son Dutton Hunt (d. 1865) (fn. 54) who worked the mill for some years in partnership with William Barnard until the latter's bankruptcy in 1860. (fn. 55) In 1866 Dutton Hunt's trustees sold Lodgemore Mill, together with Fromehall Mill below, to Josiah Greathead Strachan who carried on a cloth-making business at the two mills until 1890 when a limited company, Strachan & Co., was formed. (fn. 56) The firm formed an association with Hunt & Winterbotham of Cam and William Playne & Co. of Longfords Mill in 1920, (fn. 57) and in 1973, when the three firms were part of the large Yorkshirebased combine of Illingworth-Morris, Lodgemore Mill was worked in conjunction with the Cam mill; various types of cloth were then made, in particular uniform and billiard cloth. (fn. 58)

The mill buildings at Lodgemore suffered a serious fire in 1802 (fn. 59) and were rebuilt only to be once more severely damaged by fire in 1811. (fn. 60) In 1871 the mill, then a substantial stone building of four, five, and six storeys, was again devastated by fire and was replaced a few years later by a building in red and blue brick designed by James Ferrabee of Brimscombe. (fn. 61) On the west side of the site a long range, used as the company offices in 1973, incorporates the clothier's house. At the north end of the range is a 17th-century gabled house, and at its south-west corner is another early building, probably industrial in origin; those buildings were joined in the mid 18th century by a tall ten-bay house of considerable architectural pretension, and a few years later another substantial addition, containing a boardroom, was made on the south. In the early 19th century additions in red brick were made to the west side of the 17th-century house, and another building was added to the east side. An early 19th-century brick stable range survives on the north side of the site, and access from the south is by an 18th-century stone bridge over the mill-stream.

Fromehall Mill, below, (fn. 62) was presumably that occupied by Michael Halliday in 1608, described as below Browning's Mill. (fn. 63) Another Michael Halliday owned and worked Fromehall Mill in 1678 when it comprised a fulling-mill, with two stocks, and a gigmill. (fn. 64) Halliday was dead by 1715 when Giles Phillips of Ryeford, Stonehouse, who had married his daughter Mary, apparently had an interest in the mill; by 1722, however, it belonged to Anne, another of his daughters, and her husband William Essington (d. c. 1727). Anne devised the mill at her death in 1733 to Thomas Phillips of Ryeford who sold it in 1736 to John Shipway, clothier (d. 1762). Shipway devised it to his nephew Nathaniel Beard (d. 1776), who devised it to his nephew William Halliday the younger, and Halliday retained it, although generally letting it, until his death in 1840. (fn. 65) Halliday's tenant in 1805 was George Hawker, (fn. 66) and from 1828 the tenant was N. S. Marling. (fn. 67) Marling sub-let a gristmill on the premises to Thomas Creed of Grove Mill, Painswick, in 1829, and the fulling-mill to his brothers Thomas and Samuel Marling in 1834. (fn. 68) James and David Apperly were the tenants in 1845 (fn. 69) but in 1846 Fromehall was bought from William Halliday's trustees by William Hunt and it was afterwards owned and worked with Lodgemore Mill. (fn. 70) By 1973 part of the mill had been sold by Strachan & Co. and was occupied by a number of small engineering businesses, but the remaining part housed the firm's merchanting department. (fn. 71) The largest part of the extensive 19th-century stone buildings apparently dates from c. 1853. (fn. 72) The millowner's house, Frome Hall, which stands above the site, (fn. 73) is 17th-century in origin, but was refitted and embellished in the mid 18th century, and later in that century was provided with a new west block, containing entrance hall and principal rooms.

Dudbridge Mill (fn. 74) was recorded from the later 12th century when Gilbert Canis held it from Minchinhampton manor. (fn. 75) Ralph the fuller of Dudbridge, recorded in 1276, (fn. 76) was conceivably working it as a fulling-mill, but it is possible that he was operating by the old walking process, using the pond or sluice of the corn-mill there; a piece of land at Dudbridge was known as Walking Croft in 1292. (fn. 77) Dudbridge Mill formed part of the Achards manor estate c. 1300, (fn. 78) but it has not been found recorded again until 1608 when Henry Halliday held it. (fn. 79) In 1611 Henry took a new lease of the mill, for the lives of himself and his sons Giles and Anthony, from the owner Anthony Field of Paganhill; it then comprised a messuage, 3 fulling-mills, a corn-mill, a gig-mill, and a dye-house. Giles settled it on his marriage in 1638, and his widow Sarah was in possession in 1674, when she was sued for waste by Thomas Warner, who had bought the freehold. (fn. 80) Possession had reverted to Thomas by 1685. (fn. 81) Dudbridge Mill was offered for sale in 1756 after the death of Daniel Chance, (fn. 82) but it remained in his family. Daniel Chance, clothier (d. 1782), (fn. 83) was the owner in 1774 when he offered the corn-mill on the premises for letting. (fn. 84) Daniel was succeeded by his son Daniel Gardner Chance, (fn. 85) who was letting the mill in 1805 to J. Cooper and Joseph Wathen. (fn. 86) In 1811 it comprised cloth-mills with 3 pairs of stocks, driven by two water-wheels, and the corn-mill. (fn. 87) By 1832 it was occupied by John Apperly, (fn. 88) whose business was carried on after 1834 by his sons James and David. The firm became one of the most successful in the region, gaining many awards for its cloth, including a gold medal at the 1851 exhibition. From 1872 it was headed by David's son Alfred Apperly, later Sir Alfred, and it was made a limited company, under the style of Apperly, Curtis & Co., in 1895. Hydea cloth, made from wool grown locally on a farm at Hyde, was a speciality produced at the beginning of the 20th century. (fn. 89) The firm continued to make cloth at Dudbridge Mill until financial difficulties brought about its closure in 1933. (fn. 90) It was succeeded on the site by Redler Conveyors Ltd., formerly of Sharpness, which made bulk handling equipment; in 1973, when it also manufactured malting equipment, the firm employed c. 500 people. (fn. 91)

A building on the south side of the Dudbridge Mill site, called Lower Mill, (fn. 92) was put up for sale by the Apperlys in 1868, (fn. 93) and was later occupied by Tubbs & Lewis, elastic fabric manufacturers, (fn. 94) who apparently gave up business there in 1881. (fn. 95) About 1890 it was taken over by Thomas Bond Worth of Stourport, (fn. 96) carpet manufacturers, who moved to Ham Mill, Stroud, before 1902 when Lower Mill was bought back by Apperly Curtis & Co. (fn. 97)

Rooksmoor Mill, the highest on the Nailsworth stream in Rodborough parish, (fn. 98) has not been found recorded before 1729 when it was a cloth-mill owned by Thomas Small of Nailsworth who leased it to Edward Peach, clothier. (fn. 99) In 1748 it was occupied by Nathaniel Peach, who continued to work it until 1773 or later. (fn. 100) In 1805 the mill was owned by Samuel Peach and occupied by Paul Wathen, (fn. 101) and Joseph Haigh was making cloth there in 1820 (fn. 102) and until 1829 when his machinery was auctioned under distress for rent. (fn. 103) In 1839 Charles Peach had the mill in hand. (fn. 104) By 1863 it was occupied by John Grist, flock and shoddy manufacturer, whose firm remained there until 1935 when the business changed hands and was continued as the Stroud Flock Co. (fn. 105) until 1963. The company's efforts were then redirected mainly to a new firm, Rooksmoor Mills Ltd., supplying furniture and carpeting by mail order, and in 1973 c. 20 people were employed in that venture and in the manufacture of soft filling for toys. (fn. 106)

Frigg's Mill, the next below Rooksmoor, (fn. 107) was in existence by 1633 when Thomas Frigg conveyed it to John Clutterbuck of Horsley, clothier; it then included a house called Beysomes, fulling-mills, and a grist-mill. John Webb of Butter Row, clothier, owned the mill in 1697, and in 1738 it belonged to his grandson John Wicks, who left it to his sister Elizabeth, who married Richard Smith. (fn. 108) Obadiah Paul & Co. were working it as a cloth-mill in 1783. (fn. 109) In 1805 Frigg's Mill belonged to Richard Webb Smith Young, a Tetbury wool-stapler, and was leased to Nathaniel Hillman, (fn. 110) who was succeeded by James Hillman before 1812. At the latter date it comprised a grist-mill and a newly erected clothmill (fn. 111) but Hillman was working it only as a corn-mill in 1820; (fn. 112) he remained the tenant until 1839 or later. (fn. 113) By 1856 the miller was Samuel Sims (d. by 1873), whose sons carried on the business, applying steam-power before 1889. They were succeeded soon afterwards by Kimmins, Drew & Co., who worked the mill until c. 1908. (fn. 114) The mill had been demolished by 1973 but the 17th-century mill-house was then being restored.

Lightpill Mill, the next below, (fn. 115) was worked in the mid 17th century by the clothier Jasper Estcourt (d. 1661 or 1662). He was succeeded by his son Richard (fn. 116) (d. 1675 or 1676), who left it to his son Richard, a minor. (fn. 117) The Estcourts sold the mill in 1698 to John Bennett, (fn. 118) who worked it until his death in 1704, devising it to his wife Christian. (fn. 119) Thomas Roberts was making cloth there in 1745 and in 1756 during the disturbances among the weavers, when he received threatening letters. (fn. 120) After his death the lease of the mill was retained by his wife Sarah, who bought the freehold in 1770 and devised it to her daughters Martha, wife of Jasper Clutterbuck of King's Stanley, and Hannah, wife of the Revd. Peter Hawker of Woodchester. They sold it in 1782 to William Read, clothier, (fn. 121) whose tenants were Butlin & Co. in 1805. (fn. 122) The next year Read sold it to William Tombs. The lessee in 1811 was Shillito Stather who bought the mill in 1818 (fn. 123) and partly rebuilt it. (fn. 124) Stather was making cloth there in 1820, (fn. 125) but in 1823 he leased the whole mill, then a complex of four buildings, to the partners William Westley and John Figgins Marling. (fn. 126) Westley and Marling built a new four-storey mill, powered by 3 waterwheels, but they had left the site by 1834 when Stather, who had apparently started in business there once more, announced his retirement. (fn. 127) He remained owner of the mill until 1850 when the mortgagee secured a foreclosure. (fn. 128)

After the 1830s Lightpill Mill was generally in several occupations. A firm of pin-makers was using one part in 1834 and another firm later carried on the same business until 1848. (fn. 129) In or shortly before 1854 William Barnard of Lodgemore Mill and John Roberts and William Jowlings of Holcombe Mill formed a partnership to make cloth at Lightpill, and the business was carried on there as Roberts, Jowlings & Co. until c. 1904, although under a new partnership after 1871. (fn. 130) Another part of the mill housed the dyeing business of T. P. Dunn and C. W. Smith in 1855, when Smith joined Alfred Smith in a new partnership to take over that business and an associated one at Dudbridge; (fn. 131) they were replaced in the Lightpill dye-works before 1870 by Edwin Wilkins. (fn. 132) Later occupants of parts of the Lightpill mill complex included a firm of printers for some years after 1910. (fn. 133) A plastic-manufacturing business established in the mills in 1911 as Syrolit Ltd. ultimately came to dominate the site; in 1914 the firm was reorganised as Erinoid Ltd. in order to use a German process to manufacture a new plastic substance which came to be widely used for buttons and ornaments. The business expanded rapidly (fn. 134) to employ more than 500 hands by 1933. (fn. 135) In 1957 the firm was taken over by O. & M. Kleeman Ltd., which was merged into Mobil Chemicals Ltd. in 1961; that in its turn was acquired in 1965 by British Petroleum and the Lightpill factory afterwards operated as BP Plastics Ltd. and later as part of BP Chemicals International Ltd. In 1973, when 700 people were employed, the factory manufactured polystyrene, articles in thermo-plastic materials for use in the electrical and building industries, and casein and polyester button blanks. (fn. 136) The early19th-century mills on the site were altered and enlarged in the 1850s by William Barnard, who also demolished the old clothier's house. (fn. 137) The site was much expanded in the course of the 1960s (fn. 138) to form a very large complex stretching along the roadside towards Dudbridge from the surviving mill buildings.

A mill standing at Dudbridge, on the east side of the road to Selsley, (fn. 139) belonged to Thomas Browning, a fuller, in 1663 when he sold it to Daniel Fowler, clothier, of King's Stanley; it then comprised a house and a fulling-mill with two stocks. Daniel, or a namesake, died in 1725 leaving the mill to be sold for the benefit of seven of his children; it was not sold, however, and all rights in it passed by 1744 to Richard Hawker, a dyer, who had married Susannah, one of the children. (fn. 140) The mill, which was subsequently operated as part of an extensive dye-works, passed from Richard (d. 1776) to his son John (d. 1826), and to John's son Richard (d. 1848), whose trustees sold it to Samuel Marling. (fn. 141) From 1851 it was worked as a dye-works by the partnership of Alfred Smith, Christopher Smith, and T. P. Dunn, and the two latter relinquished their interest in 1855 in favour of the new partnership formed to take over the businesses at Dudbridge and Lightpill Mill. (fn. 142) The dye-works continued to be operated until c. 1908. (fn. 143) Some stone buildings survived from the works in 1973 when the site was a garage. The original house belonging to the site was apparently one on the opposite side of the Selsley road, which, although rebuilt in the late 19th century, retains a doorhead with the date 1661 and Daniel Fowler's initials. (fn. 144) In the late 18th century, however, the Hawkers built the large Dudbridge House as their residence, It was included in the sale to Marling, (fn. 145) and his father William Marling (d. 1859) later lived there. (fn. 146)

The southern part of the Hawkers' dye-works (fn. 147) apparently comprised the site of an ancient mill called Cherynges Mill, which stood just within King's Stanley parish but belonged for many years to the manor of Frocester. It was recorded as a holding on Frocester manor from 1291 (fn. 148) and it was a fulling-mill by 1489 when it was leased to John Bennett (d. 1497), whose son John held it in 1501. (fn. 149) Leases of the mill were granted to William Norris in 1517 and 1531, (fn. 150) and to Richard Norris in 1589. (fn. 151) A later Richard Norris was described as a clothier of Dudbridge at his death in 1664, and Cherynges Mill was presumably that called Norrises at Dudbridge which his son-in-law James Small of Ozleworth leased to Stephen Dangerfield, clothier, in 1716. (fn. 152) Small presumably held under a long lease, for Cherynges Mill remained part of Frocester manor until 1761 when the earl of Warwick sold it to Richard Hawker, (fn. 153) with whose dye-works near by it afterwards descended. (fn. 154)

Another mill building stood on the west side of the Selsley road in 1839 when it was owned by Stephen Clissold and tenanted by John Gardner. (fn. 155) It was apparently replaced by the tall stone corn-mill built in 1849 on a slightly lower site. (fn. 156) The new mill, worked by steam and water, was known as Dudbridge New Flour Mills in 1873 when it was owned by Samuel Marling. It was worked in conjunction with Frigg's Mill by the Sims family and later by Kimmins, Drew & Co., (fn. 157) who remained there until the late 1920s. (fn. 158) Milling ceased there c. 1935 (fn. 159) and the building was unused in 1973.

Other Industry and Trade.

The industrialization of the parish in the 19th century, some aspects of which have been dealt with above under the millsites, was concentrated in particular at Dudbridge. Iron-founding and engineering, closely allied to the cloth-industry and its needs, were carried on at the hamlet, where industrial development was aided by the near-by Stroudwater canal and by the railway opened in 1867. A small foundry had been established at a site on the south side of the canal by 1824; it was then occupied by a Mr. Price (fn. 160) and Samuel Lawrence was the tenant in 1842. (fn. 161) Founding was later carried on at a complex of buildings on the south-west side of the main road, known as the Dudbridge ironworks. A firm set up before 1863 by James Apperly to manufacture his patent clothmaking machinery (fn. 162) had premises there, and from 1871 the same business was carried on by Cooke, Vick, & Co., which was reconstituted as Vick, Lydeard, & Co. in 1877. (fn. 163) By 1876 another part of the ironworks site was occupied by H. G. Holbrow & Co., engineers, founders, and millwrights; (fn. 164) the firm was taken over in 1894 by Humpidge & Snoxell, who had been established near by for a few years, apparently as successors to Vick, Lydeard, & Co. Soon afterwards the firm became a limited company called Dudbridge Ironworks and by 1904 it was employing 200 hands and was making gas and oil engines. (fn. 165) Dudbridge Ironworks Ltd. went out of business in the early 1920s and several firms settled on the site, including the millwrighting and engineering business which Wesley Whitfield had carried on at a near-by site since the 1880s. (fn. 166) H. Bullock, patternmakers, recorded in 1931, (fn. 167) and W. J. Bloodworth & Sons, iron-founders, recorded in 1939, (fn. 168) were apparently later occupants of the ironworks site, which was used by the founders Lewis & Hole in 1973.

In 1899 the Stroud Metal Co. was founded at Dudbridge to take over the business of a manufacturer of umbrella fittings and it later began the production of steam, water, and gas fittings; the Apperly family had a controlling interest in the firm and it occupied premises adjoining Dudbridge Mill. (fn. 169) In 1973 the firm employed c. 55 people in casting, pressing, and electro-plating; their products still included umbrella fittings. (fn. 170) Another firm at Dudbridge in which the Apperlys acquired an interest was that set up c. 1920 to make a luxury hand-built motor car called the Hampton; about 100 hands were employed and about one car a week was produced until the firm went out of business in the early 1930s. (fn. 171) The engineering trades were also represented at Dudbridge in the 1930s by firms making rotary pumps and incubators. (fn. 172) About 1913 the Copeland-Chatterson Co., makers of loose-leaf ledgers, became established at Dudbridge, moving to new premises north-east of Dudbridge Mill c. 1933. The firm expanded after the Second World War and in 1973 employed c. 360 people, manufacturing business systems, binders, and plastic wallets for bank stationery, and doing a variety of printing work. (fn. 173)

Another industrial complex developed at Lightpill, as largely recorded above under Lightpill Mill. An engineering, millwrighting, and foundry business, which apparently had its origin in 1840, was being conducted in 1879 by Thomas Henry and Joseph Daniels, (fn. 174) and their factory, on the opposite side of the road to Lightpill Mill, later began to make steam-engines. A limited company was formed in 1904 and expanded rapidly, beginning the manufacture of moulding machinery for the plastics industry in the 1930s. Acquired by Unochrome International Ltd. in 1968 and reformed as Daniels Hamilton Ltd. two years later, the firm made machinery for the plastics, packaging, rubber, and electronics industries in 1973, employing 475 people. (fn. 175) A firm of machinery-dealers was based at Lightpill between 1910 and 1935. (fn. 176)

Several quarries on the edge of Rodborough common were worked in the 18th and 19th centuries, (fn. 177) and brick-making, recorded in the parish from 1820, (fn. 178) was later developed on a considerable scale. By 1882 there were five brickyards, mainly in the Dudbridge area (fn. 179) where a successful business was carried on for many years by Samuel Jefferies (d. 1909) and his sons. (fn. 180)

Rodborough, situated on the main turnpike road, became the base for the chief carriers between the Stroud Valley and London, whose wagons were largely freighted on the outward journey with cloth and on the return with wool. (fn. 181) A carrying business was established before 1711 by Samuel Tanner (d. by 1733) and was continued by his son Samuel (fn. 182) who at his death in 1761 had his stables and warehouses at the Road House west of the Bear inn. Samuel (d. 1773), son of the second Samuel, succeeded to the business and his son, a fourth Samuel Tanner, (fn. 183) who was established at the Road House in 1804, (fn. 184) later went into partnership with A. K. Baylis and operated London stage-wagons on a considerable scale. The business naturally expired in the 1840s with the opening of the railway to Stroud. (fn. 185) A similar business was conducted by Daniel Niblett (d. 1748), by John Niblett (d. 1796) of Bannut Tree House, near Bowbridge, and by John's son Daniel (fn. 186) who by 1804 was operating from the Bear inn. (fn. 187) The Nibletts' business may have been absorbed by Tanner and Baylis, who owned the Bear in 1839. (fn. 188)

A shoemaker, a smith, a tailor, and 4 brewers were recorded in the parish in 1381, (fn. 189) and a carpenter, 2 tailors, and a mason in 1608. (fn. 190) In 1856 the craftsmen working in the parish were a tailor, a carpenter, a blacksmith, 6 shoemakers, a bricklayer, a plumber and painter, and a stonemason; the parish also had 4 shopkeepers, 2 grocers, and a baker. The traditional crafts had mainly died out by the end of the 19th century, although a tailor and a shoemaker continued working until the 1920s. Builders became fairly numerous, (fn. 191) reflecting the new housing development; there were five firms in the parish in 1894. (fn. 192) Members of the Sandling family were basket-makers at Dudbridge from 1865 until 1965. (fn. 193)


  • 1. See pp. 193-4.
  • 2. Glos. R.O., photocopy 959, ff. 10-11.
  • 3. G.D.R., V 5/205T 2.
  • 4. Glos. R.O., SL 137.
  • 5. Acreage Returns, 1801.
  • 6. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 7. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 347.
  • 8. Ibid. (1939), 200.
  • 9. S.C. 2/175/79.
  • 10. Smith, Men and Armour, 277-8.
  • 11. Glos. R.O., D 2242/1/3/4, deed 1685; D 1347, will of Mic. Moore 1698.
  • 12. Glouc. Jnl. 30 May 1785; cf. ibid. 28 Aug. 1786.
  • 13. Glos. R.O., D 1241, deeds of mill at Chalford 1735- 1834.
  • 14. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 347; (1863), 331.
  • 15. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 196; ex inf. Mr. Walrond.
  • 16. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 8 (1884 edn.); the mill is at O.S. Nat. Grid 864027.
  • 17. Taylor, Map of Glos. (1777).
  • 18. Glos. R.O., D 1347, deeds of Gough's est. 1748-1845.
  • 19. Glouc. Jnl. 23 May 1768.
  • 20. Glos. R.O., D 1347, deeds of Gough's est. 1748-1845.
  • 21. Ibid. P 272A/VE 2/3; cf. ibid. D 1159, misc. business deeds, agreement 1814.
  • 22. Ibid. D 892/T 53; Rep. Factory Com. (1834), p. 20.
  • 23. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 24. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1863). 331; (1879 and later edns.), s.v. Brimscombe.
  • 25. Stroud News and Jnl. 6 Mar. 1969; see above, plate facing p. 129.
  • 26. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1939), 56; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 8 (1938 edn.).
  • 27. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 848049.
  • 28. Hockaday Abs. cccxxiv, where the name of the bridge appears as Walkebrigge, suggesting a derivation from the fulling process rather than that given in P.N. Glos. (E.P.N.S.), i. 104.
  • 29. Smith, Men and Armour, 277.
  • 30. E 315/394 f. 118, where he holds the mill below Ric. Arundell's Capel's Mill.
  • 31. Glos. R.O., D 131/T 14.
  • 32. Visit. Glos. 1682-3, 167-8; G.D.R. wills 1757/13.
  • 33. Glos. R.O., D 1347, Wallbridge deeds 1761-1852; and for Samuel's death, Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 261.
  • 34. Finberg, Glos. Studies, 260.
  • 35. Glouc. Jnl. 5 Nov. 1804.
  • 36. Glos. R.O., D 1347, Wallbridge deeds 1761-1852; notes on Wallbridge Mill deeds by Mr. F. T. Hammond.
  • 37. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 202.
  • 38. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 39. Notes on Wallbridge Mill deeds.
  • 40. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 364.
  • 41. Ex inf. Mr. Walrond.
  • 42. Glos. Local Hist. Bulletin, no. 10, p. 18; Tann, Glos. Woollen Mills, 86, 162.
  • 43. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 844050.
  • 44. Glos. R.O., D 149/L 12.
  • 45. C.P. 25(2)/657/19 Chas. II East. no. 24; Trin. no. 18.
  • 46. Glos. R.O., D 1203/3.
  • 47. Ibid. D 149/T 477.
  • 48. Ibid. D 67/Z 46.
  • 49. Glouc. Jnl. 18 Sept. 1769; Prob. 11/951 (P.C.C. 336 Bogg).
  • 50. Glouc. Jnl. 21 Nov. 1774; Prob. 6/151.
  • 51. Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 46; cf. Prob. 6/151.
  • 52. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 1/1.
  • 53. Glouc. Jnl. 16 May 1808.
  • 54. Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 46.
  • 55. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856), 364; Mann, Cloth Ind. 205.
  • 56. Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 46.
  • 57. Glos. Colln. JV 13.3.
  • 58. Ex inf. Mr. T. L. Jones, company sec.
  • 59. Fisher, Stroud, 133 and n., which also mentions a fire in 1807, possibly in error for 1811.
  • 60. Glouc. Jnl. 24 June 1811.
  • 61. E. A. L. Moir, 'Hist. of Strachan & Co.' (1955, TS. at Lodgemore Mill); for a photog. of the mill before the fire see Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 46, reproduced above, plate facing p. 128.
  • 62. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 841049.
  • 63. E 315/394 f. 118; cf. above.
  • 64. Glos. R.O., D 892/T 68.
  • 65. Ibid. D 1815, Mansfield fam., abs. of title 1841; for the Essingtons, ibid. D 1801/2; for Wm. Halliday's death, G.D.R., Rodborough bps. transcr. 1840.
  • 66. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 3/1.
  • 67. Ibid. D 67/Z 46.
  • 68. Ibid. D 1347, Wyatt solr., office papers.
  • 69. Glouc. Jnl. 6 Dec. 1845.
  • 70. Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 46.
  • 71. Ex inf. Mr. Jones.
  • 72. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 2/4.
  • 73. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 74. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 835047.
  • 75. Glos. R.O., MF 339/5, f. 58.
  • 76. S.C. 2/175/79.
  • 77. B.L. Sloane Ch. xxxiii. 15.
  • 78. Trans. B.G.A.S. liv. 300.
  • 79. E 315/394 f. 118, where he has the mill below Mic. Halliday's.
  • 80. C 7/528/47.
  • 81. Glos. R.O., D 2957/289.63.
  • 82. Glouc. Jnl. 6 July 1756.
  • 83. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 219, which records other inscrs. to clothiers of the Chance fam. who may have worked the mill.
  • 84. Glouc. Jnl. 14 Nov. 1774.
  • 85. Glos. R.O., P 272A/CH 6/3, entry for 1813.
  • 86. Ibid. VE 3/1.
  • 87. Glouc. Jnl. 28 Jan. 1811.
  • 88. Glos. Colln. (H) G 3.11.
  • 89. Ibid. R 64.2.
  • 90. Glos. R.O., D 2299/5132.
  • 91. Ex inf. Mr. White, managing director.
  • 92. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1902 edn.).
  • 93. Mann, Cloth Ind. 210.
  • 94. Libby, Stroud, 85; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1879), 578.
  • 95. Stroud Jnl. 11 June 1881.
  • 96. Libby, Stroud, 85.
  • 97. Stroud and Neighbourhood (Stroud, 1907): copy in Glos. Colln. RV 293.1; Industrial Glos. 1904 (Glouc.), 26.
  • 98. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 7 (1902 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 842031.
  • 99. Glos. R.O., D 2009, lease 1729.
  • 100. Glos. R.O., D 25/5, deed 1748; Glouc. Jnl. 3 Jan. 1763; 27 Sept. 1773.
  • 101. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 3/1.
  • 102. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 198.
  • 103. Glouc. Jnl. 12 Dec. 1829.
  • 104. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 105. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1863 and later edns.); Stroud Valley Industrial Handbk. (1963), 29.
  • 106. Ex inf. Mr. S. N. Lipsey, a director, Rooksmoor Mills Ltd.
  • 107. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 839036.
  • 108. Glos. R.O., D 67/Z 63.
  • 109. Glouc. Jnl. 21 July 1783.
  • 110. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 3/1; cf. ibid. D 67/Z 63.
  • 111. Glouc. Jnl. 8 June 1812.
  • 112. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 199.
  • 113. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 114. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 2/4, entry for 1856; D 873/T 36; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 115. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.); at O.S. Nat. Grid 839039.
  • 116. G.D.R. wills 1662/109.
  • 117. Ibid. 1676/120.
  • 118. Glos. R.O., D 2206/1, sched. in deed 1806.
  • 119. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 219; G.D.R. wills 1710/163.
  • 120. Glouc. Jnl. 29 Oct. 1745; 5 Oct. 1756.
  • 121. Glos. R.O., D 2206/1.
  • 122. Ibid. P 272A/VE 3/1.
  • 123. Ibid. D 2206/1.
  • 124. Ibid. D 1347, Wyatt solr., office papers, draft lease 1818.
  • 125. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 202.
  • 126. Glos. R.O., D 1347, Wyatt solr., office papers.
  • 127. Glouc. Jnl. 15 Feb. 1834.
  • 128. Glos. R.O., D 2206/1.
  • 129. Glouc. Jnl. 15 Feb. 1834; 11 Mar. 1848.
  • 130. Glos. R.O., D 2206/1; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 131. Glos. R.O., D 1159, partnership deeds.
  • 132. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1863), 331; (1870), 623.
  • 133. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1910 and later edns.).
  • 134. Ex inf. Mr. R. L. Rose, of Ruscombe; Stroud Jnl. Centenary Suppl. (1954), 7.
  • 135. Rodborough and its Parish Church (1933), 7.
  • 136. Ex inf. Mr. T. G. Cross, personnel manager.
  • 137. Glos. R.O., D 2206/1.
  • 138. Ex inf. Mr. Cross.
  • 139. At O.S. Nat. Grid 836045; it was evidently represented later by the part of the Hawkers' dye-works which lay within Rodborough par.: G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 140. Glos. R.O., D 873/T 73; and for Fowler's death, Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 248.
  • 141. Glos. R.O., D 873/T 80; and for the deaths of the elder Ric. and John, Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 248. The account in Tann, Glos. Woollen Mills, 219, confuses the two Ric. Hawkers.
  • 142. Glos. R.O., D 1159, business deeds.
  • 143. Ibid. D 873, Marling fam., deeds of mills, leases 1873, 1881; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1879 and later edns.), where Dudbridge is treated under Cainscross.
  • 144. Cf. C. Playne, Ancient Dwellings in the Neighbourhood of Stroud (1879).
  • 145. Glos. R.O., D 873/T 80.
  • 146. Glos. N. & Q. ii. 61.
  • 147. Cf. G.D.R., T 1/169.
  • 148. Glos. R.O., D 936A/M 1, rot. 4.
  • 149. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Braunche, pp. 58-9; Hockaday Abs. clv, 1497.
  • 150. Glouc. Cath. Libr., Reg. Abb. Malvern, i, f. 95 and v.; ii, ff. 39v.-40.
  • 151. Glos. R.O., photocopy 472, f. 43v.
  • 152. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 248; Glos. R.O., D 149/T 407.
  • 153. Glos. R.O., D 149/T 74; cf. V.C.H. Glos. x. 172.
  • 154. Glos. R.O., D 873/T 80; see above.
  • 155. G.D.R., T 1/169; at O.S. Nat. Grid 835045.
  • 156. Date on bldg.
  • 157. Glos. R.O., D 873/T 36; D 873, Marling fam., deeds of mills, lease 1895; and see above.
  • 158. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1889 and later edns.).
  • 159. Ex inf. Mr. Walrond.
  • 160. Glos. R.O., Q/RUm 100.
  • 161. G.D.R., T 1/28.
  • 162. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1863), 349; cf. Mann, Cloth Ind. 201.
  • 163. Morris's Dir Glos. (1876), advert. section, p. 125; Glos. R.O., D 873, Marling fam., deeds of mills, leases 1871, 1877, 1885.
  • 164. Morris's Dir. Glos. (1876), 366.
  • 165. Industrial Glos. 1904, 16.
  • 166. Glos. Soc. for Ind. Arch. Newsletter, no. 8, pp. 34, 36, in an article on the industrial hist. of Dudbridge by R. L. Rose.
  • 167. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1931), 58.
  • 168. Ibid. (1939), 60.
  • 169. Industrial Glos. 1904, 17; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1910), 57.
  • 170. Ex inf. Mr. E. J. G. Large, a director.
  • 171. Glos. Soc. for Ind. Arch. Newsletter, no. 8, pp. 29, 35.
  • 172. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1935), 58; (1939), 60.
  • 173. Ex inf. Mr. W. K. Preston, sales manager.
  • 174. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1879), 729; ex inf. Mr. W. D. Pereira, publicity manager, Daniels Hamilton Ltd.
  • 175. Ex inf. Mr. Pereira.
  • 176. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1910 and later edns.).
  • 177. Glos. R.O., D 131/T 13, partition deed 1784; D 25/21; P 272A/VE 2/1, entry for 1753.
  • 178. Gell and Bradshaw, Glos. Dir. (1820), 195.
  • 179. O.S. Map 1/2,500, Glos. XLIX. 3 (1885 edn.).
  • 180. Glos. R.O., D 1347, deeds of Hilly Ground 1857-1940; Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1879 and later edns.), s.v. Cainscross.
  • 181. Fisher, Stroud, 150; C. Playne, Minchinhampton Common (1874), 34: copy in Glos. Colln. R 205.5.
  • 182. Glos. R.O., D 25/1/1; D 1801/2.
  • 183. Ibid. D 1815, Hallewell fam., abs. of title to Stroud Brewery 1861; Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 219.
  • 184. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 1/1.
  • 185. G.D.R., T 1/120; Playne, Minchinhampton Common, 34.
  • 186. Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 219; Glos. R.O., D 1347, Rodborough deeds 1758-1809.
  • 187. Glos. R.O., P 272A/VE 1/1.
  • 188. G.D.R., T 1/120.
  • 189. E 179/113/35A rot. 8.
  • 190. Smith, Men and Armour, 278.
  • 191. Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1856 and later edns.).
  • 192. Ibid. (1894), 269.
  • 193. Ibid. (1879 and later edns.); ex inf. Mr. Rose.