Fox & Norris, *P & more

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Fox & Norris, *P & more

Please first read:
Background information about the Cutlers’ Company, Freedom, marks…
(This article has information which makes certain things more clear)

First of all some marks, their owners, and the year
of registration when Freedom was granted.
(with the incredible help of “Dr Joan Unwin”, Archivist
of “The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire”)


John Fox (*1714 – †1791)
F1735   –   *P
Fox & Norris, John Fox *P


Stephen Fox (*1716 – †1773)
F1736   –  ‘✙ROME’   –   a cross above ‘ROME’
Fox & Norris, Stephen Fox +ROME

This mark wasn’t in use after 1773 until 1786,
then it was used by Samuel Norris (see further)

Matthew Norris (*±1718 – †1761)
F1738

PARIS
CITY

(This mark hasn’t been used by someone else)

William Fox (*1719 – †1769)
F1740   –   a falchion above an inverted heart above ‘W’

3

(This mark hasn’t been used by someone else)

Samuel Norris (*1745 – †1817)
F1767   –   ‘MATAS’
Fox & Norris, Samuel Norris MATAS                  Fox and Norris, Samuel Norris MATAS

(This mark hasn’t been used by someone else)

Samuel Norris (*1745 – †1817)
F1786   –   ‘✙ROME’

Fox & Norris, Stephen Fox +ROME


Samuel Norris (*1745 – †1817)
F1791   –   *P
Fox and Norris, Samuel Norris *P 2


The *P mark was registered to John Fox in 1735, with a note that it was let to
Saml Norris for razors Oct 28th 1791 (Thank you “Dr Joan Unwin”!)

John Fox was one of three brothers:
– John Fox (1714 – †1791),
– Stephen Fox (
1716 – †1773),
– William Fox (*1719 – †1769).

All were razor makers at Sheffield and non of them got married.

John Fox first had the company “John Fox and Co.”, which later became
“Fox and Norris”. They were situated on the north of Westbar (Spring street side).
(play.google.com/books)

Their sister, Catherine ( – †1746), married 1739 Nov 19 Matthew Norris
of Sheffield, also a razor smith (*±1718 – †1761; F1738).

A son of Matthew and Catherine, Samuel Norris (*1745 – †1817; F1767,
Master Cutler 1777), was nephew and heir to his uncle Fox’s.

On 1770 Feb 27 (fmp) he married Mary Jervis (†1824, daughter of John Jervis
of Sheffield & Margaret Rawson, who was daughter of Rob. Rawson & Margaret Fox)


1774, Sketchley’s Sheffield Directory

Fox & Norris, Westbar
Fox & Norris, Razor Makers, & jack pen knives, Westbar

Since Matthew Norris died in 1761, and Samuel Norris was granted
his Freedom In 1767, “Norris” in the 1774 directory is Samuel Norris.
(Possibly his father Matthew worked as well with the Fox brothers,
at the moment this is not proven though)

The ‘MATAS’ mark belonged to Samuel Norris, together with his first Freedom (1767).

The mark ‘✙ROME’ belonged to Stephen Fox (F1736):
+ROME Stephen Fox kopie
Although he died in 1773, it is present in the 1774 Sketchley’s directory
possibly because the death of Stephen was close to the publishing date…

Since the 2 brothers of John Fox died before 1774, the “Fox” in “Fox & Norris”
could only be John Fox. (John, being 60 years old by the time)


1781 Bailey’s Directory

Fox and Norris, Westbar
Fox and Norris, razor and penknife makers, West bar
Fox William, pocket, pen knife and razor maker, West bar
(William, which isn’t the brother of John Fox, see further)


1787 Gales & Martin, Sheffield directory

Fox and Norris, Westbar
Fox & Norris, Westbar, razor makers

This is still Samuel Norris and John Fox.

*P belonged to John Fox, abt. 73 years old by the time!

The ‘✙ROOM’ should be ‘✙ROME’.

The mark ‘✙ROME’, which belonged to Stephen Fox was reserved
to his nephew Matthew Norris by will:

“29th Oct. 1773 resd. for Mathew son of Mathew Norris” 

Sadly, before his Freedom could be granted, Matthew Norris
died in 1775, leaving the ‘✙ROME’ mark to his brother Samuel Norris.
In the 1787 directory, the mark belonged to Samuel Norris.

‘✙ROME’ was registered in 1786 to Samuel Norris, son of Matthew.

‘MATAS’ belonged to Samuel Norris as well.

Confusingly, there is also a razor maker Fox William, registered as well
at West bar, though the brother of John Fox, William, died in 1769 (see further)…

This is a different William Fox, razor maker (see further)…


1795-1798
The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture, volume 4 
(presumed to have been published 1795-1798, Sheffield p. 395)

1795-98 Norris SamuelNorris Samuel, Razor and Knife Cutler1795-98 Fox BenjaminFox Benjamin, Razor-maker
(at this moment I have no idea if he was related to the Fox brothers)


1797 Robinson Directory

Norris, Samuel, 55, Westbar
1797 Robinson; Norris Samuel, 55, WestbarSamuel appears in this 1797 directory as:
“Samuel Norris, late of Fox & Norris,
factor, razor pen-knife & lancet manufacturer,
also razor strop and case maker, 55 West bar.”


As we know from “Dr Joan Unwin”, Archivist of  “The Company of Cutlers
in Hallamshire”, the *P mark, registered to John Fox in 1735, was let to
Samuel Norris for razors Oct 28th 1791 (after John Fox’s death, Oct 8th 1791).

Samuel Norris had also been running another business with his son as
“Samuel Norris & Son”

Since Samuel only had 2 sons who became adults, John (1780 – †1826) or Thomas
(
1782 – †1816). Only John became a razor maker; the “Son” in “Samuel Norris & Son”
would therefore be John. It would be necessary for John to have his Freedom before
joining the company. Since John was granted his Freedom in 1801, the company
“Samuel Norris & Son” would have started not earlier then 1801. This company
dissolved in 1804.

1801F John Norris
Norris John, son of Samuel, razor maker, F1801.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

Samuel Norris was declared bankrupt in 1809 and died in 1817. At the time of bankruptcy all his goods were sold, including the West bar premises comprised
of house, workshops, warehouses, a grocers shop with its own warehouse and
dwelling house, land and with 4 newly erected houses on it, another parcel of land
with 12 houses on it – several just built, stables, and his two grinding wheels
(Cloughs Wheels) on the River Sheath.

In 1809 there were two others resident at the Culver Street works – Samuels sons
John and Thomas Norris. John continued as a razor-smith, but Thomas took to
the church quite a while earlier, becoming ordained in that year (1809) an
Army Chaplain, Priest in 1810 and dying in Chelsea, London, in 1816.

Source: sharprazorpalace.com &
samuel norris family
(sharprazorpalace.com)


The Norris trade mark—a star (*) over a capital P, was,
after the misfortunes of the Norrises, appropriated by one Harder,
a German whom Thomas Norris had brought to England as a clerk,
and who traded as Harder, Taylor & Co.
(theshiveringbeggar.com, books.googleusercontent.com/books)



Razors made by the Fox’s and Norris’s

(private collection)
‘JOHN FOX MAKER’, *P also on scales
Made by John Fox, the first who used the *P mark, between 1735-1791,
IMHO around 1740’s-1750’sDSCN2217DSCN2221 kopie DSCN2846 2

‘JOHN FOX MAKER’, scales are not original
(another trademark is found on the scales,
also the pivot pin/collar/washers are altered)
Made by John Fox, IMHO around 1740’s-1750’s
Fox 6f
Fox 6cFox 6dFox 6e

(Very worn John Fox with “Dip-at-toe“)
Norris 5a
(sharprazorpalace.com)

William Fox, with tortoise shell scales, made between 1740-1769:
Fox William razor 1a1 Fox William razor 1a2
(leretourducoupechou.com/t1250-rasoirs-anglais-XVIII)

William Fox, with “Dip-at-toe“, made between 1740-1769:
Fox William razor 3a1Fox William razor 3b

William Fox, made between 1740-1769:
Fox William razor 2a Fox William razor 2b
(Mr Morand – Livre “Le Rasoir Droit”)
This razor is incorrectly dated ‘early nineteenth century’

(private collection)
William Fox (non original scales) with “Dip-at-toe“, made between 1740-1769:
12

 Samuel Norris, with tortoise shell scales,
made between 1767- around 1780’s:
Norris Samuel razor F1767 1a
(Not sure, but I think they have a “Dip-at-toe“)Norris Samuel razor F1767 1bNorris Samuel razor F1767 1c
(razorland55.free.fr, thanks to dany46 (eclecticnimes))

(private collection)
‘S:NORRIS’
Made by Samuel Norris, between 1767-1780’sDSCN2223DSCN2877

Made around the 1790’s-1800
Considering the age of John Fox by the time,
probably made by Samuel Norris
Norris 1b
Norris 1a(Link)

‘S:NORRIS’
Samuel Norris, made around the 1790’s-1800Norris 2aNorris 2b
(Link)

Made around the 1790’s-1800
Considering the age of John Fox by the time,
probably made by Samuel Norris
Norris 8a
(coupechouclub.cultureforum.net,
“Cast Steel” was used between 1772 – about 1830 (strazors.com),
I would say this razor is made around the 1790’s – 1800)

‘NORRIS’
Samuel Norris, made around 1800
Norris 3aNorris 3b
(theshiveringbeggar.com)

(private collection)
‘NORRIS
‘WARRANTED’
Samuel Norris, made around the 1800’sDSCN3670 kopie 2DSCN3672“Warranted” was in use 1800-1830 (strazors.com), although there are
“Warranted” razors older then 1800 (see below the article),
the beginning of a shoulder places this razor towards the 1800’s

(private collection)
‘*P’
Samuel Norris, considering the shoulder,
made around 1805 – 1809, when he got bankruptDSCN2242



Interestingly these razors of William Fox,
made between 1740-1769 don’t have a “Dip-at-toe“:
Fox William razor 1a1 Fox William razor 1a2
(leretourducoupechou.com/t1250-rasoirs-anglais-XVIII)
Fox William razor 2a Fox William razor 2b
(Mr Morand – Livre “Le Rasoir Droit”)
While other razors, made by William Fox as well (1740-1769) do have such a “Dip-at-toe“:Fox William razor 3a1Fox William razor 3b
Coincidentally the razors without “Dip-at-toe” were found
in France. Together with the fact that the French (‘Jean Jacques Perret‘,
l’art du coutelier” 1771-’72“) at that time generally were not in favor
for the “Dip-at-toe” shape, I wonder if William Fox (and maybe others)
made razors without “Dip-at-toe“, specifically for the French market…


Jean Jacques Perret‘, “l’art du coutelier” 1771-’72
(many thanks to ‘Pascal MORIN’ (‘Lohar’))

img109 kopie
2  img112
2a
img114

(*) The French have always made razors with a straight form, as represented
in Fig. ’11’, ’15’, ’16’. The English have always distinguished themselves by the
form/shape (“of their razors”). See Fig. ’30’: we see a hollow in ‘Q’, a bump/dent
in ‘X’, another hollow in ‘P’, all does neither good nor bad to the razor; and there
are many people of good taste to whom this form/shape does not please.
What is a defect for the French is that the heel of the English razor is too short;
necessarily the thumb must be pressed onto ‘T’: being directly on the cutting edge
at the risk of cutting the fingers; on the other hand the end of the heel ‘y’,
which they leave elongated, also wounds the fingers; nevertheless those who
prefer this form can easily be satisfied, all the more so since it consists only in
the manner of giving it this form/shape with the file.


Further insights:

Fox & Norris 1aFamiliaeMinorumGentiumV40

Fox & Norris 1bFox & Norris 1cFamiliaeMinorumGentiumV40
& further: FamiliaeMinorumGentiumV40/#page/n11


* birth                  ~ baptisation, christening                      oo marriage
death                 [ ] burial                                                    ± approximate(ly)
s.p. – [Latin] sine prole; without offspring died without issue
(from Latin: decessit sine prole) link


*±1647 –
Stephen Fox of Little Sheffield

Fox Stephen, son of Stephen
Fox Stephen, son of Stephen, Little Sheffield, yeo., dec.; to Hydes William, cutler; 8, 1660, F1668
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

oo1674 Aug 25 married Margaret Ludlam (daughter of George Ludlam
of Little Sheffield (*1627 – †1721 Apr 25))
Children:

  • Hannah (~1676 Feb 3), married Peter Simon, Sheffield, cutler
  • Jane (~1675 June 21)
  • Mary (~1679 June 26
  • Margaret (~1683 May 7), married Robert Rawson
    (had daughter Margaret, who had daughter Mary (Jervis), who married Samuel Norris)
  • William Fox of Little Sheffield (~1685 Feb 22), (farmer), yeo.;
    1723 Mar 17 married Sarah Birks (of Norton) (ancestry, ancestry)
  • George (~1688 Feb 4)
  • Stephen (~1691 Jan 17), cutler & razor maker
    (had daughter Catherine, who had son Samuel Norris who married Mary Jervis)
  • Anne (~1697 Feb 10)

~1691 Jan 17 – †<1772 Sep 13
Stephen Fox, cutler & razor maker, Sheffield

Fox Stephen, son of Stephen
Fox Stephen, son of Stephen, Over Litt. Sheff., cutler; to Symon Peter, cutler; 9, 1703, F1712.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

Married Hannah Pearson (bp1690 Jan – 1772 Sep 13, a widow,
daughter of John Pearson of Sheffield)

Children:

  • John (~1714 Oct 12 – †unm. 1791 Oct 8),
    Razor maker, Sheffield, F1735 (→ Dr Joan Unwin”,
    Archivist of  “The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire”;
    *P mark, registered to John Fox in 1735):
1735 of 1737 F Fox JohnFox John, son of Stephen, cutler, deceased,  F1735 or 1737.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

†1791 Oct 8; [ ]1791 Oct 11 (fmp), the *P mark was let to
Samuel Norris for razors Oct 28th 1791.

  • Stephen (~1716 Jan 21 – †unm. 1773 Sep 28, [ ]Sep 30 (fmp)),
    Razor maker, Sheffield, F1736
Fox Stephen, son of Stephen
Fox Stephen, son of Stephen, cutler, F1736.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)
  • William (~1719 May 29 – †unm. 1769 May 11),
    Razor maker, Sheffield, F1740

    1740F Fox WilliamFox William, son of Stephen, cutler, to Rose Thomas, cutler; 5, 1736, F1740.
    (Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

    [ ]1769 May 14, William Fox, Cutler,
    1769 May 14 Fox William Burial 1b (fmp)

  • Catherine ( – †1746 Apr 14), married 1739 Nov 19 Matthew Norris of Sheffield,
    razor smith (*±1718 – †1761 Dec 21)


*±1679 – †1752 Feb 02
Benjamin Norris of Sheffield, cutler
(son of Alexander, Sheffield, cutler, son of George, Sheffield, cutler)
Apprenticed to John Greaves, cutler; 9, 1692, F1701

1701F Benj Norris, Hallamshire CutlersNorris Benjamin, son of Alexander, cutler, deceased; to Greaves John, cutler; 9, 1692, F1701.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

3 sons:
→ George (F1733), John & Matthew (F1738)

1738F Matthew Norris
Norris George and Matthew, sons of Benjamin, cutler; F1733 and F1738
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

*±1718 – †1761 Dec 21 (fmp)
Matthew Norris of Sheffield, razor smith; F1738
oo1739 Nov 19 marriage with Catherine Fox (†1746 Apr 14, daughter of
Stephen Fox of Little Sheffield)

Children:

  • Elizabeth (*1741 Jan 22 – †unm.)
  • John (*1743 Feb 08 – †1743 Feb 26)
  • Samuel (*1745 Aug 07 – †1817 July 16)
Norris Samuel F1767, F1786, F1791
Norris Samuel, son of Matthew, to Fox William, cutler, F1767; F1786; F1791.
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

Matthew Norris second marriage: with Hannah Smith (†1759 Dec 22)
Children:

  • Mary (*±1750 – †1752 Oct 10)
  • Matthew (*1754 May – †1775 June 06, s.p.(without offspring)).
1769, Matthew, son of Matthew Norris
Norris Matthew, son of Matthew, cutler, deceased; to Norris Samuel, cutler; 7, 1769
(Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

Matthew was an apprentice of his stepbrother Samuel in 1769 (for 7y.).
The mark ‘✙ROME’, which belonged to Stephen Fox was reserved to his
nephew Matthew Norris by will:

“29th Oct. 1773 resd. for Mathew son of Mathew Norris” 

Sadly, before granted his Freedom, Matthew Norris died in 1775,
leaving the ‘✙ROME’ mark to his brother Samuel Norris.

Samuel registered the ‘✙ROME’ mark in 1786 as his own.


*1745 Aug 07 – †1817 July 16
Samuel Norris of Sheffield
Merchant and razor manufacturer, nephew and heir to his uncle Fox’s,
apprenticed to William Fox, cutler, F1767, F1786, F1791, Master Cutler 1777

oo1770 Feb 27 (fmp) marriage with Mary Jervis (†1824 Jan 31, daughter of
John Jervis of Sheffield & Margaret Rawson, who was daughter of
Rob. Rawson & Margaret Fox)

  • *1770 Dec 09 / ~1771 Jan 4 (fmp) – †1850
    Catherine daughter of Samuel & Mary Norris Cutler
    oo1798 Sept 27 (fmp) married Rickards Ince of Wirksworth
    (in the presence of John & Samuel Norris)
  • 1772 Nov 13 (fmp) – †1779 July 16 (fmp)
    Margaret daughter of Samuel Norris Cutler
  • 1774 July 1 (fmp) – died in infancy
    Samuel, son of Samuel Norris, Cutler
  • 1775 Dec 29 (fmp) – †1779 Aug 12 (fmp)
    John Fox Norris, son of Samuel Norris
  • 1778 Oct 16 (fmp)- †1779 July 24 (fmp)
    William, son of Samuel & Mary Norris, Razor Maker
  • 1777 May 23 (fmp) – †1779 July 24 (fmp)
    Mary daughter of Samuel Norris Cutler
  • *1780 Jan 21 / ~1780 Feb 23 (fmp) – †1826 Sep 19
    John Norris, son of Samuel & Mary Norris Cutler
    John Norris was a razor maker, Sheffield, buried in Ecclesfield.

    1801F John Norris
    Norris John, son of Samuel, razor maker, F1801.
    (Hallamshire Cutlers, Eric Youle)

    oo1805 June 13 married:
    Frances Dixon (*1782 Mar 06 – †1842 June 21, daughter of
    Rev. James Dixon of Ecclesfield)

    John would be in the “Samuel Norris & Son” company not earlier then 1801.
    This company dissolved in 1804. His father Samuel Norris was declared
    bankrupt in 1809 and died in 1817. John continued as a razor-smith.

  • 1781 May 2 (fmp) – died in infancy
    Samuel, son of Samuel Norris Razor Maker
    One of the 2 Samuels †1781 Nov 18 (fmp)
  • 1782 Oct 11 (fmp)- †1816 Oct 6
    Thomas, son of Samuel & Mary Norris, Cutler
  • 1785 Oct 7 (fmp) – †1789 Sep 8 (fmp)
    Eliz Dau of Samuel & Mary Norris Razor maker


Here we have a William Fox, reground and restored:

William Fox 1a
(coupechouclub.cultureforum.net)

There are at least 2 William Fox’s, razor makers, who could have made this razor.
This razor is not made by William Fox (1740-1769).

In the 1774 Sketchley’s Directory there is notion of a William Fox, cutler, razor maker, cutlery/surgical instrument maker, Spring street, Sheffield, Yorkshire (ancestry.co.uk)

In the 1781 Bailey’s Northern Directory there is a William Fox listed who
was a penknife maker, razor maker, cutlery/surgical instrument maker
at West bar, Sheffield (search.ancestry.co.uk)

In 1787 William Fox is listed in the Gales & Martin Directory of Sheffield as
a cutler cutlery/surgical instrument maker at West bar, Sheffield, Yorkshire. (ancestry.co.uk)

Seeing the multiple possibilities of William Fox’s, it seemed
impossible to know who could have made this razor…

Until I read (thanks to theshiveringbeggar.com) a certain version of:
Reminiscences of Old Sheffield: Its Streets and Its People:, R.E. Leader.
(there are other versions with less information…)

Here we read:

“Two of William Fox’s sons were apprenticed to him—Joshua, who took out his freedom in 1780, and whose trade mark was I. F—X. ; and Samuel, admitted 1789, his trade mark being W. FOX. Joshua must have died early, as, after the father’s death, we find Samuel acting as head of the family and carrying on the business in partnership with his sister Ann, until her death in 1799, when she left all she possessed to him. The business seems to have died with him about the year 1815, but the workshops between New street and Westbar and West court still exist—most of them unoccupied.”

This is the one! So this razor is made by Samuel Fox, son of William Fox,
made between 1789 – 1815!


114                                                                                                 WESTBAR.
… Queen street chapel school-room ; and subsequently in Queen street, opposite the chapel.
EVERARD : It is a little curious and very creditable that sons of both Wild and Waterfall became bank managers.
WRAGG : Tom Smith, whom I have named, subsequently kept the Blue Boar, in Westbar, and afterwards the Royal Oak, King street. He accumulated considerable wealth; but Hinchliffe, his senior, a fellow constable and fellow pub lican, the father of “Jemmy Queer,” was not so success ful. He ended his days in the Shrewsbury Hospital. His family appears to have been in the scissor trade for more than a century, one of them, Mr. Robert Hinchliffe, having produced the first pair of hard polished scissors in 1761.
LEONARD : The story is that he was induced to attempt to make them in order to ingratiate himself in the affections of the girl who afterwards became his wife.
JOHNSON : Smith and Hinchliffe were the proprietors of the bowling green further on, from which the present street takes its name.
LEONARD : The Blue Boar had been Mr. Hagger’s house, with a coat of arms over it, and Smith new-fronted it. On the side nearest Snig hill—now the three shops between Woollen’s and Raby’s, was a large house, belonging to Mr. Norris —Sammy Norris he was called. There were steps leading up to it, and the workshops of Fox and Norris, who were makers of pen knives, table knives, scissors, razors and so forth, were up the yard behind. Samuel Norris was Master Cutler in 1777.*
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
* Samuel Norris had six sons and four daughters. All died in infancy with the exception of three—Catherine, born 1770, died 1850, who married Rickards Ince, a solicitor at Wirksworth, and was the mother of the late Mr. T. N. Ince, of Wakefield ; John, born 1780, died 1825, who married the daughter of the Rev. James Dixon, vicar of Ecclesfield, and lived at Firs hill and the Elms ; and Thomas, born 1782, died 3816. The family history is a sad one. The firm did business in Germany, and the son Thomas had gone to Leipsic with an unusually large stock of goods, when the French invading army came and the city was fired. Abandoning everything but the clothes he wore, he escaped through the instrumentality of an old woman, who concealed him. This was about the year 1808, and the misfortune was the first of a series that ruined the firm. The father, Samuel Norris, died in the Shrewsbury Hospital, July 16th, 1817. John lived in honourable poverty at Hillfoot ; Thomas entered the Church, was ordained Deacon in 1809, and obtained a curacy in Essex. He was afterwards appointed Chap lain to the Forces, but owing to an accident on the voyage out to his station he was invalided home, and died at Chelsea, October 6, 1816. The Norris trade mark—a star (*) over a capital P, was, after the misfortunes of the
EARLY TRADE ADVENTURESS.                                                                             115
LEIGHTON : On the opposite side of Westbar, up a pas sage, the father of the late Peter Frith began business as an optician, 70 years ago. He prospered, devoting himself more to the fancy branches than his competitors, and saved a large sum of money. The father of old Mr. Oakes, the tobacconist, still living in Westbar three doors from the corner of Colson street, had a meal and flour shop on the same (south) side of the street, belonging to the late Benj. Withers’ father. The rent was £9 per annum ; it has since been refronted and is now occupied by Mr. Barlow, saddler, and a tobacconist, at a very much higher rental. At the corner of Colson style was Mr. Denton, grocer, of Fox hill. He was brother to the late William Denton, of Pitsmoor.
JOHNSON : Old Mr. Oakes, who has been mentioned, is 86 years’ old, yet he relates that Westbar has not greatly altered in his lifetime. In the part of it nearest to Snig hill, the buildings are much the same, though most of the shops have been refronted.
LEONARD : Westbar had the honour of producing the first Sheffield manufacturer who ventured to open direct business communication with London. The story is thus told : — About the middle of the last century, Mr. Fox, of Westbar— he who built the lofty houses near West court, in one of which he afterwards lived, and Mr. Samuel Fowler in the other—was the first person to undertake a journey to Lon don for the purpose of selling his wares. It was necessary to go on foot, and before starting he made his will and gave a large farewell party to his friends. Nothing that his wife or friends could say to him could dissuade him from encountering all the fatigue, hazard, and difficulty of the journey. He started on foot, carrying his treasure on his back. The first day he walked as far as Mansfield, where he rested for the night. The next day he had to wait until a sufficient ‘number of travellers met together to venture across Notting ham forest, on account of the numerous robberies that were committed on travellers there, and also because of the intricacies of the road. He reached Nottingham in safety, and ultimately he reached London, sold his goods to his satisfaction, and obtained plenty of orders for more. His example …
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————Norrises, appropriated by one Harder, a German whom Thomas Norris had brought to England as a clerk, and who traded as Harder, Taylor & Co. For the connection between the families of Fox and Norris, and for some reference to the Foxes of West Court, see the Appendix.
•••
FOX AND NORRIS.                                                                                          359
… Sorsbye on the north-west, together with the moiety of all the shops, cellars, barnes, stables, gardens, orchards and backsides thereto belonging, late in the occupation of Thomas Creswick, late of Sheffield, yeoman, and since that time in the occupation of the said John Haugh.”
LEONARD : In reading pages 114 and 115 of this book, unless we bear in mind that there were two contemporary families of Fox in Westbar, we may get into confusion or jump to too hasty conclusions. Both were manufacturers, and their workshops, though not many yards from one another, were on opposite sides of the street. John Fox and Co., later Fox and Norris, were on the north, or Spring street side. This family descends from Stephen Fox, whose daughter Catherine married, November 19th, 1739, Matthew Norris, cutler and razor smith, of Westbar. He had sons, John, Stephen and William, born respectively in 1714, 1716 and 1719, and I presume it was the son of one of these who, in 1781, was in partnership with Samuel Norris, under the style of John Fox and Co. This John Fox died in 1793. The firm seem to have struck three different marks—P with a star (*) over it ; MATAS within a border, a heart at the side ; ROOM or ROME, with a Greek cross over it. The other family of Foxes, of West court, are descended from Joshua Fox, who having finished his apprenticeship to his father William, in 1723, was admitted to the Freedom of the Cutlers’ Company, John Smith being Master Cutler. He would be a contemporary of Stephen Fox over the way—could they be brothers or cousins ? This was the man who, if family tradition may be trusted, took the celebrated journey to London, described on page 115. He too, like Stephen, had a son William, who took out his freedom in 1749. Their trade mark was the word FOX, beneath a reversed dagger (†), the blade being twisted like a cork-screw. William Fox died in 1791, and a valuation made by Mr. William Fairbank, May 11th, 1792, of his properties in Westbar, Scargill croft, ” Gibralter,” and Spring croft, still exists, and confirms my statement that Mr. Fox lived next door to Samuel Fowler. The annual rent of the one house is set down at £24, and the other at £17. The property was valued at a total of £2,346. 3s., and it, or some of it, still remains in the possession of the family. Two of William Fox’s sons were apprenticed to him—Joshua, who took out his freedom in 1780, and whose trade mark was I. F—X. ; and Samuel, admitted 1789, his trade mark being
360                                                                                         FOX OF WESTBAR.
W. FOX. Joshua must have died early, as, after the father’s death, we find Samuel acting as head of the family and carrying on the business in partnership with his sister Ann, until her death in 1799, when she left all she possessed to him. The business seems to have died with him about the year 1815, but the workshops between New street and Westbar and West court still exist—most of them unoccupied. William Fox had also, besides other children, two daughters, Hannah, who married (the 12th August, 1802,) Thomas Tibbitts; and Sarah, who married (3rd January, 1798,) John Hoyle, of Netherthorpe. A son of the Tibbitts, James, married a daughter of the Hoyles—Barbara, they being, of course, cousins. Their son and grandchildren are still amongst us. Mary, daughter of Thomas and Hannah Tibbitts, married the late Mr. William Flockton. With regard to the Rev. Thomas Norris, let me add that he studied at St. Bees, was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Llandaff, 1809, and priest, 2nd September, 1810. He received a curacy in Sussex, and after wards acted as chaplain to the forces at Guadaloupe.
WRAGG: The German mentioned by you in the note on page 115, was John Henry Harder. He was in business as a merchant in Hoyle street, and carried on under the style of J. H. Harder and Company. His wife was a Webster, the daughter of a paper maker at Damflask, and the business was for many years carried on in the names of Websters and Harder ; and also in Hoyle street, on the premises of J. H. Harder.
JOHNSON : It seems to have been in Workhouse lane, not in Hicks lane (p. 124) that Michael Mellon, “chimney-sweeper to her Majesty,” as he called himself on his sign-board, lived. A further feature of his sign was a view of the barracks painted thereon.
WRAGG : I dispute Mr. Johnson’s statement (p. 130) that Mark and George Blackwell originated “frame polishing,” and I claim the merit of the invention for Mr. B. Micklethwaite and Thomas Amory, usually called Tom Emery. Frame polishing originated in the unreasonableness of pen- blade grinders some fifty years ago. At that time they were very despotic in enforcing their demands. They charged threepence a dozen more for polishing single pen-blade knives with ” cleaned insides,” than with ” black,” but the polishing was not done any better. “Cleaned insides” are when the springs are burnished and the scales glazed. At that period it was not an unusual occurrence, when grinders…

This gives us trademarks of the other Fox family:

The son of Joshua Fox F1723 (who was apprenticed to his father William),
William, cutler (†1791), took out his freedom in 1749.

~1699 Apr 2 Joshua, son of William Fox, Cutler (fmp, fmp)
~1728 May 22 William, son of Joshua Fox, Cutler, Sheffield, Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul (fmp)

Their trade mark was:

FOX, beneath a reversed dagger (†), the blade being twisted like a cork-screw.
This has to be (from the 1787 Gales & Martin Sheffield Directory):Fox William FOX kopie
Fox William FOX
Fox William, Westbar


Two of William Fox’s (†1791) sons were apprenticed to him:

  • Joshua F1780
    = Probably:
    ~1758 June 24 Joshua, son of William Fox, Cutler, Sheffield, Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul (fmp, fmp)

    Trade mark:

    I. F—X. 

  • Samuel F1789
    = Probably:
    ~1764 Sep 5 Samuel, son of William Fox, Cutler, Sheffield, Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul (fmp)

    Trade mark:

    W. FOX



A small elaboration about ‘WARRANTED’

“Warranted” was in use 1800-1830 (strazors.com), although there are
“Warranted” razors older then 1800.
Here we see a ‘W. REVITT’ razor which is, because the lack of a shoulder,
typical older than 1800. Perhaps not very much older, but still prior 1800:
Warranted 18th C Razor 1aWarranted 18th C Razor 1bWarranted 18th C Razor 1c
(link)


“Harwood – Warranted” (with “Dip-at-toe”)Harwood & Co Warranted 1a1(sharprazorpalace.com 1sharprazorpalace.com 2)
The Universal British Directory Vol. 4 (published between 1795-’98), lists Harwood & Co. Sheffield. Harwood is not listed in 1774 Sketchley’s, 1881 Bailey’s or 1787 Gales & Martin Directories.
Together with its appearance this razor would therefore be made around 1787 – 1790’s.

“Warranted”, probably made in the 1790’s:clark & hall???-Warranted

Evatt William “Warranted” (he made razors between 1791-1805,
this razor leans more towards 1791
Evatt William 1791-1805 1a
(sharpologist.com)




 

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