Scope and Content

This series consists of correspondence received by Samuel Oldknow in the course of his business (there are also a few copies of Oldknow's own correspondence). Most items are routine enquiries from clients relating to supplies, orders and payments for goods, but there is also valuable information relating to the types and cost of goods produced by Oldknow (the most important of which were muslins, ballasores, cravats (jaconets), handkerchiefs, aprons, doyleys, huckaback, romals and calico). Overall there is much important information on Oldknow's business network with cotton merchants, suppliers, employees, drapers and customers, including opinions expressed about the quality of Oldknow's goods. The mechanisms by which Oldknow's goods were distributed around the country and the methods by which these were paid for can be traced, albeit indirectly, through these letters. Almost three-quarters of the correspondence dates from 1787-1794, when Oldknow's business was at its peak; relatively few letters exist for the period after 1800. This series contains some items deposited in 1951 which were not recorded in the original handlist. All letters are addressed to Samuel Oldknow unless otherwise stated.

Former reference: English Ms 751


The correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by correspondent.