View Full Version : Shoemakers/Cordwainers
08-10-2006, 5:21 PM
Does anyone know whether our ships around the time of the Napoleonic wars would have a shoemaker/cordwainer on board as a a matter of course.I have William Dodds, cordwainer, born circa 1787 marrying Rebecca Chick in Portsea in 1810 in Portsea. I cant find any other connections with the area, only a vague family rumour that one of the family was among the crew of Nelsons fleet, possibly at the Battle of the Nile.
09-10-2006, 7:57 AM
They would take on anyone in times of war - however your man would have only been 11 at the time of the Battle of Nile so I doubt he would be the relation to whom the family rumours allude. You may need to go a generation back, or look at older siblings. Perhaps one joined the Royal Navy.
09-10-2006, 8:09 AM
Sorry, forgot to address the actual question - back those days the sailors were responsible for sewing their own clothing, and presumably responsible for any footwear maintenance too, so unlikely that one would be employed on board. My own ancestor who joined the Royal Navy was a trained shoemaker, but his function was a seaman gunner.
During this time the Impressment Gangs were still operating during wartime - collecting men for service on the ships.
09-10-2006, 4:45 PM
I only have Williams dob from his death certificate and as that makes him younger than his wife and I cannot trace his birth, therefore no siblings to refer to and I have my doubts about his exact age. The certificate shows 54 but I was wondering whether he was actually 64 and it had been wrongly recorded. The other point is I wondered what he would have been doing in Portsea if he was not in the navy.
09-10-2006, 5:09 PM
The other point is I wondered what he would have been doing in Portsea if he was not in the navy.
Not everyone in Pompey worked for the Navy. As well as the shipyard workers, there would of course have been the normal trades associaetd with living, one of them being a shoemaker - he may well have made shoes for RN officers?
Entry books for certificates of service in the RN are individually indexed on TNA's catalogue for this period.
Enter a name in the word or phrase field, enter ADM29 in the department or series code and search. If he was in the RN at this time, he should turn up.
10-10-2006, 10:36 AM
No trace at ADM29 Geoffers. Many thanks for all contributions to date. Any other ideas are very welcome.
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