Hatter in Ann Street

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 2Photos courtesy Maureen Galvani
A partition wall at the rear of a former hat shop in Ann Street. It looks as if DIYers have cleaned off their varnish and paint brushes on the surface of an old poster...
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 3
'Season   COOK, SON & CO.   1892
MEN'S BOYS & GIRLS TWEED CLOTH & VELVET CAPS.'
As this is specifically entitled in this way, one can assume that the shop was definitely a 'hatter', whereas women's headgear would have been sold by a milliner. The assumption is that the specialism noted on the poster is carried over to the business of the shop.
Cook, Son & Co. was one of the largest English wholesale clothing traders and drapers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, distributing wares throughout Great Britain and the colonies. The firm was created by William Cook in 1819. In 1822 he went into partnership with his brother James and in 1825 with Mr Gladstone. The firm moved to St Paul's Church Yard in 1834, becoming 'Cook, Son & Co.' in 1852. William died in 1869. His son, Francis Cook, was head of the firm until his death in 1901and the company continued as a family business. Francis was enobled in Portugal and in Britain and the company prospered; prior to his death he was considered one of the three richest men in Britain. Sir Francis Cook amassed a huge collection of art which was considered one of the most important in England at the time. It included works by El Greco, Titian, Van Eyck, Durer, Van der Weyden, Rubens, Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Turner. Under Francis Cook the firm concentrated on warehousing and distribution rather than manufacturing and employed commercial travellers who exploited the recently built railway network to make sales by visiting retailers with samples of the products. The shop in Ann Street was one such retailer.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 7   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 6
Products in the above details:
'Felt Sailor 18/9 to 36/-'
'military-style hats': 'Velvet Tam 12/11, 14/11 to 24/- ["PILOT" under an anchor on hatband]
                                    Cloth Tam 18/6. 21/9, 24/6 ["ECLIPSE" on hatband]
                                    Girl's Cloth Tam 9/11, 12/6, 15/6, 18/6
                                    Navy Cloth Fife 12/6, 14/9, 16/11, 18/11 [both Fifes with bow and feather]
                                    Tweed Fife 8/11, 10/6, 12/6, 14/6, 16/6'
'Collegiate 36/-, 42/-, 54/-'


Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 4   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 5
Halfway down: 'MEN'S BOYS HARD & SOFT FOX[?] HATS'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 5a   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 9  
Some of the products advertised:-
'Tweed Tourist 8/6, 10/6, 12/6, 15/-'
Bowlers: 'Satin Lined 48/-, 54/-, 57/-
                 Brown 51/-, 62/-, 72/-
                 Youth's Hard 21/9, 24/9, 28/6 to 42/-
                 Men's Fur Lined 36/6, 42/-, 48/-, 56/-
                 Men's Paget 12/11, 16/11, 18/11, 24/-'
'Clerical 42/-, 51/-, 60/-, 72/-'

At fifty-six shillings (two pounds, sixteen shillings) for the largest size of the Men's Fur Lined in, say, 1900 – that's 307.69 in today's money – these hats were quite pricey. The cheapest of the same model is thirty-six shillings and sixpence (one pound, sixteen shillings and sixpence) – today that would be 200.55. However, at the end of the Victorian era it would be almost unthinkable to go out and about bare-headed. Unsurprisingly the quality of one's apparel said a great deal about one's wealth and social standing.

As described above, the Cook, Son & Co. catalogue poster is certainly published by a firm supplying wares to shops such as this. It is thought that hat-making and repairs may have been carried out on the premises, too.


Researching the trade directories:-
No entries found for ‘Milliners’, nor ‘Hatters’ for Ann Street (White’s Directory of Suffolk, 1855).
45 Ann Street: Moffat, Andrew, travelling draper (‘drpr’) –
     next entry is -Cumberland Street- which suggests that no. 45 predates the terrace of houses down to the corner pub (Stevens Directory, 1871-2).
45 Thompson, S.           (Stevens Directory, 1881).
45 vacant                        (Stevens Directory, 1885).
45 vacant                        (Stevens Directory, 1894). [Note - Miss E. Cook, milliner is at 13 Orford Street (nearby).]
45 Oliver, John draper (Kelly’s Directory, 1906).
45             ditto               (Kelly’s Directory, 1909).
45 King, John         
      Oliver, John draper (Kelly’s Directory, 1910).
45 King, John                (Kelly’s Directory, 1912).
45      ditto                      (Kelly’s Directory, 1913).
45      ditto                      (Kelly’s Directory, 1914).
45      ditto                      (Kelly’s Directory, 1915).
 
The entries above suggest that the address was a residence, rather than a shop+residence.
The current owner: "I believe there was a teacher and his family of wife, six children and a maid living here in approx 1870s so it's unlikely that the hat shop was operational at that time. We noted that there was a travelling draper living here in the early part of the 20th century."

'Vine House' – the story continues
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 10
In the Ipswich Journal of July 23 1870 there is an advertisement entitled 'Flowers, flowers, flowers'.  'This beautiful and elegant art taught in all its branches by Mrs H. Rudland of London. Lessons given daily from 10 to 6 o'clock. French and German papers, and all the materials sold for making them. Muslin wreaths and wedding orders executed on the shortest notice. Vine House, Ann St, St Matthews, Ipswich.'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 12
On September 5 1874 appears the announcement: 'To be sold: a most commodious, substantial '.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 11
On October 10 1874 there is an advertisement for 'Genuine sale of household furniture'.

Both these mention a Mr H. A. Rudland, 'leaving the town and of a Gentleman removing' so he appears to be the former owner.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 13
Here, in two parts, are the particulars of the auction of Vine House in 1874. The handwritten note, added after the auction, reads: 'Sold to Mr Saml Thompson, 223 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich'. Kelly's Directory lists  Mr S. Thompson as still there in 1883, although in 1885 it was vacant. In 1875 & 1879 Mr Samuel Thompson is recorded as living there in Kelly's.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hatter 14
The 1881 census lists Samuel Thompson as a schoolmaster aged 50 born in Ipswich married to 44 year old Anna born in Mendlesham. They had seven children:-
Robert Samuel, 23, clerk to a corn merchant;
Frederick, 17, apprentice to a cabinet maker;
Hugh, 16, draper;
Edith, 13, scholar;
Bernard, 11, scholar;
Henry, 5, scholar;
Helen, 3,
and a Domestic Servant: Jessie Boulton, 18, from East Bergholt.


There does not seem to be any mention of the hat shop on the particulars so one wonders if the shop was a later addition. Mr John Orford was presumably the original owner – perhaps he had the house built after 1850. One also speculates that Orford Street, at thend of Ann Street, might be named after him rather than the Suffolk port. His name is mentioned in clause V. in Conditions of sale (shown above):-
'The title to the premises shall commence with a conveyance in 1850 from Mr. John Orford, whose covenant therein to pay certain annuities on the Brook's Hall estate and indemnify these premises therefrom, shall be accepted without further question. The earlier title shall not be investigated or objected to. The premises are sold subject to the covenants contained in the aforesaid conveyance, that no house shall be used for the trade of a beer-house keeper, butcher, baker, tinman, slaughterman, or any other noisy, noisome or offensive trade or business on the said premises. All recitals or statements contained in any deed or instrument of title
shall be conclusive evidence of what is so recited or stated.'



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