Records of Tatham and Co. Ltd, lace manufacturers of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, and related family papers; 1894-1990

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

Signed minute book recording meetings of Directors, Annual General Meetings and extraordinary meetings, Jan. 1894-Jun. 1983 and Jan. 1989-Nov. 1990 (BTI 1);

Company papers: incomplete copy of a sale catalogue of stock-in-trade of Tatham and Co., in Bankruptcy, to be sold by tender in January 1894; certificate of incorporation of Tatham and Co. Ltd, 4 Jan. 1894; Articles of Association of Tatham and Co. Ltd, Jan. 1894; photocopy Memorandum of Association, Jan. 1894; Special Resolution passed 13 May 1908; copy Returns under the Companies Act, 1921-1928; bundle of share transfer certificates, 1897-1976; Rules of the Tatham and Co. Ltd Discretionary Pension Scheme, 1977 (BTI 2/1-8);

Plans of the Tatham and Co. site in Ilkeston, 1877 [20th century copy] -1984, plus a 20th century photocopy of a letter with plan attached containing a report on Tatham's property in Nottingham and Ilkeston, 1885 (BTI 3/1-11);

Photographs and newspaper cuttings: album containing portraits of Tatham family members, photographs of the Kensington Works, newspaper cuttings reporting the fire at the factory in October 1963, colour prints showing lace machines and the damage caused by the fire in February 1980, and newspaper cuttings reporting the fire at the factory in February 1980; folder of loose newspaper cuttings relating to the company, 1963, 1979 and 1980; and folder of black and white photographs of the factory site and workers, 1979-1980 (BTI 4/1-3);

Family history research papers: certified copy marriage certificate of Allen Tatham and Eleanor Redhead, 1891; calling card of Mr and Mrs A. Tatham on the occasion of the marriage of Eleanor Redhead and Allen Tatham, 1891; certified copy marriage certificate of Albert Leslie Jones and Nora Tatham, 1926; notes on the ownership of the land on which the factory was built, and the history of the company; and printouts of pedigree charts of the Tatham family, 1990s (BTI 5/1-5);

Framed painted portrait of Allen Tatham, first Chairman of the company at its incorporation in 1894 (BTI 6)

Administrative / Biographical History

The Tatham family were connected with needle and lace manufacturing in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from at least 1835. Benjamin, Edmund and Amos Tatham bought Kensington House in Ilkeston in 1859 and turned it into a lace making factory. Edmund Tatham extended the company's premises with further purchases of nearby land over the next fifteen years. The Kensington Works on Nottingham Road were built in 1887. The Tatham family also owned a house and outbuildings at 14 High Pavement in Nottingham, which was used as a lace warehouse. Tatham and Co. went bankrupt in 1893, but a new company, Tatham and Co. Ltd, was incorporated in 1894 with Allen Tatham as Chairman.

Allen Tatham died in 1932 but the company remained family-owned throughout its history. Successive Chairmen of the company were Allen's widow Eleanor Tatham (1932-1950), his daughter Nellie Tatham (1950-1961 and 1963-1968), Mr T. Ashton (1961-1963), and his granddaughter Miss Jennifer N. Jones, the last owner of the company (1968-)

The Kensington Works were leased to other companies from 1947 onwards, and were destroyed by fire on 15 October 1963. The original Tatham and Co. Works continued to be used for lace and textile manufacturing, despite being damaged by another fire on 25 February 1980. Several antique lace machines, which would have been donated to local museums, were destroyed in this blaze. The company remained in business until the early 1990s.


Items have been arranged into series according to form, and within series chronologically.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Custodial History

This small collection was acquired by Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham in May 2005.