Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What is in a Label? Part ii London Cordwainers, Hose Family

In addition to Ridout & Davis (see earlier post) the author is also researching the work of the Hose family, London bootmakers and shoemakers. Their activity parallels that of Ridout & Davis from c. 1740s-1770s and can be found in several North American institutions, including this stunning pair of shoes owned by the Charleston Museum. 
They are several names associated with the family including William, John and Thomas but as of this writing, scant information is known regarding their training - just the survival of superlative Georgian footwear. The label provides the location for the concern, noted as "Lombard Street at the Sign of the Boot." Lombard Street was well located within the Ward of the Cordwainer. The fact that they may also have been bootmakers places them in the upper echelon of their craft.

This research will be presented, with London shoe designer Emma Hope, at the Costume Colloquium in Florence November 2012 as part of the paper "Brocade and Paste Buckles: The Work of Thomas Ridout, James Davis and Emma Hope."

Illustrations: (Top) Light blue satin, metallic braid, c. 1770s. Made by Thomas Hose. Originally worn by prominent South Carolina Lowcountry resident, Eliza Lucas Pickney. Gift of Mrs. William Wallace Childs. 
For further information on Mrs. Pickney, see charlestonmuseum.org and follow the Museum's eye catching and information rich, Textile Tuesdays. 
(Above) Hose shoes, courtesy Historic Deerfield, c. 1760s


  1. Very interesting reading this makes., I am Colin Michael Hose. Thomas Hose b.1762 is my 7th Great Grandfather and his father also Thomas b.1735 was also at 33,Lombard Street, London., If we can share information on these two Hose's that would be great., for instance Thomas junior was made a Freeman of London in 1784., I also have BMD of their immediate family.,
    Best Regards.,
    Colin Michael Hose
    Nr Stratford on Avon, (Shakespeares birthplace) England.

    1. Dear Sir - you cannot imagine how excited I am to receive your communication. I am preparing for a conference at the Royal College of Art and a colloquium in Florence and the Hose family's work will be featured. Information would be most appreciated and I am happy to share any material of use to you. Cheers!

  2. Sorry I missed your communicationI have been out of country and only just returned.,
    Some interesting facts about the Hose Pipeline (as I call it)Thomas's family came from Nottingham, England the first to move down to London was John Hose b.1699, then Thomas Snr and finally Thomas Junior. Thomas Jnr had to give up the Cordwainer (shomaker) business because of bad debts, after Lombard St he went to work for Lloyds Coffee House, later to be called Lloyd's of London (shipping insurance people). Thomas descendants included Rev GF Hose the Bishop of Singapore, Charles Hose famous for discovering the cause of beri-beri, put a stop to head-hunting in Borneo, discovering several species of fauna and flora and discovering the Miri Oil-field in Sarawak, others relations include Admiral Walter Hose from the Royal Canadian Navy., if you find that you do need to exchange further information please feel free to contact me., although I did inform Linda Pardoe whom I think has been in touch with you.,
    Best Regards
    and sincere apologies for the delay.,
    Colin Michael Hose


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