Scope and Content

Arthur Shepherd opened a shop in Cornmarket in 1877, later taken over by Ernest Shepherd, his son, who amalgamated with Wilton Woodward, another tailor, in 1927 and moved the business to 109-114 High Street. The firm opened a branch shop in Summertown in 1967. Dennis Venables (b.1909) was apprenticed to the business and became tailor at Bartlett & Carter before opening his own shop with a Mr Bradbury c.1935. He bought Ernest Shepherd's share of Shepherd & Woodward in 1947 (when Mr Shepherd died).

This archive also includes records of two other businesses: J.Venables & Son, gunsmiths, began in 1790 and remained in the gun trade until the 1980s. James Clarke & Son, the academic robemakers, became part of Shepherd & Woodward in Sept.1966, and moved from Pembroke Street to Collins Street c.1968.

The records were received in several stages: the first batches as gifts in 1965 (accession 682) and Oct.1969 (accessions 831 & 832), then deposits in Sep.1978 (accession 1547) and Apr.1984 (accession 2248), and another gift in Dec.1993 (accession 3736). The material consists mainly of financial records, such as account books, ledgers, day books, cash books, wages' books and bank statements, but among the James Clarke & Son papers there are patterns for gowns and robes, as well as a few photographs. The catalogue has been divided into four sections, one for each of the companies whose records make up this collection. The documents which came to us in the 1960s were catalogued previously with the reference code "S & W"; a concordance of old and new references appears in an appendix to this catalogue.

Catalogued by Mark Priddey, October 1996

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