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Business and Family in the North of England During the Early Industrial RevolutionRecords of the Lives of Men and Women in Trade, 1788-1832$
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Hannah Barker and David Hughes

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266700

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266700.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

The Wilson Correspondence

The Wilson Correspondence

(p.34) The Wilson Correspondence
Business and Family in the North of England During the Early Industrial Revolution
Hannah Barker, David Hughes
British Academy

The Wilson family were Methodist snuffmakers who founded a snuff manufactory at Sharrow in Sheffield in the mid eighteenth century. Between December 1788 and December 1795 members of the family and their associates exchanged a series of letters offering a unique insight into a trading family in crisis. Joseph Wilson was not a particularly successful businessman, and he was declared bankrupt in 1775 and was bailed out both by his own relatives and those of his wife. A family dispute rumbled on from this point for several years until in 1780 it was agreed that the business would be divided into six parts, with Joseph and Ann taking one part and the remainder going to their children. Relations between father and sons were not cordial and the father was finally forced out of the business entirely in 1788. Joseph moved to London in the spring of 1789, and the couple lived apart until Ann’s death in 1795. Their letters to one another show that Joseph made a concerted effort to persuade Ann to join him, but that she refused.

Keywords:   Industrial Revolution, Trade, Work, Families, Business, Sheffield, Generation, Religion, Gender

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