Sugar Refiners & Sugarbakers
...... Blog


Just a simple weblog to keep you up to date with the progress being made with both the website and the research, as well as mentioning the names surfacing from enquiries made to the website by fellow researchers.



19 April 24 ...

* 53k ... and still going !!

Name enquiries - WIEBKIN, WORSLEY.



# 22 December 23 ...

* The Wikipedia thing didn't last !!
Over the last couple of years my contributions have been deleted, added again by another contributor, and FINALLY deleted. Yes, finally, I'm told.
Initially, I couldn't use primary sources; next, I couldn't use my own book; then, when another researcher added the info with my book as reference, that wasn't good enough either - "Sourcing from the Hull archives is obvious original research (which we cannot do here), and with all due respect to you, the Anglo German [Family] History Society does not have the 'reputation for fact-checking and accuracy' that is required. Unless you have advanced qualifications in history, your website/books cannot be used." And more recently they've decided my info wasn't relevant anyway !!
1774 was the death date of grandfather ... Hague says 1776; did his publisher fact-check it?
1733 was when grandfather became a partner in the local sugarhouse refining slave sugar ... documents in Lambeth Archives, copies in Hull Archives; not relevant because none of the biographers have found it. "I think you should be allowing the readers to decide whether or not the fact that a grandfather's business investments involving refining slave sugar are relevant to the life story of a grandson who worked tirelessly to abolish the slave trade."
(Quotes from Wikipedia - William Wilberforce - Talk)



1 February 23 ...

* I've fully updated the Reading List.


24 October 22 ...

* 52k ... but unless SP relaxes its unhelpful Pay-per-View system, I can't see me adding too many more !

Name enquiries - PONSONBY.


24 September 22 ...

* ... and another one ... Smith & Tyers c1854 ... found in North Yorkshire.

Name enquiries - HEIGOLD, MINDERMANN.


6 March 22 ...

* I bought two more flagons this week, both Ramsden c1830. This has given me the opportunity to add some of their family history to the City page alongside the Smith info.
Most of the thousands of flagons used in the capillaire and spirit colour trade were broken up for road building when the firms stopped trading in Victorian times, but it seems just a few have survived.
The weight of a smaller stoneware flagon is quite enough for me by itself without it being filled with sugar solution. These two new ones are two and four gallons, and when filled might weigh 40lb/18kg and 90lb/40kg respectively. I have in my collection three six gallon flagons, which when full might weigh around 1cwt/51kg each. They have a single handle, so a one-handed lift ... were they expected to carry two at a time ?!?




10 January 22 ...

* 50,000+ entries now on the database ...

20 December 21 ...

* 49k .............. and lets all try and have a safe and sound Christmas, and 2022.



7 July 21 ...

* Just added my 500th will summary.

* AGFHS have recently had another print run of my book.

# ... and the Wilberforce page on Wikipedia is still OK !



# 15 March 21 ...

* Further to previous post ...
March 6 ... another contributor has changed the info again. Now we see that WW senior was "... in sugar refining. He was a partner in a business that built the Old Sugar House on Lime Street in Hull, which imported raw sugar from slave-based plantations in the West Indies.", with three citations - Jackson as before, Hull Daily Mail, and my book - to my mind all perfectly valid. Let's see how long this lasts !

# 21 February 21 ...

* Over 400 will summaries.

** Wikipedia is a site I often use as it covers such a wide range of topics. I know it has a reputation for being somewhat inaccurate, but I accept that is so because it can be changed, altered, amended by anybody who wishes. But I've just found out, after 20-odd years, that its rules actually imply that it will always be prone to errors and omisions ... did you know that, if each page is managed correctly, it can only accept the published word, not primary sources?

I have a bee-in-my-bonnet regarding William Wilberforce. Simply put, I cannot accept that factors within his early life did not affect his later life. WW was born (1759) into a wealthy merchant family. His grandfather of the same name purchased what we now know as Wilberforce House in Hull from the Thornton family after the death of his father-in-law John Thornton, and a year or so later joined the Thorntons and others as founding partners in the sugarhouse on Lime Street, Hull, in 1732/3. Young William would probably have been able to see the huge building from the bottom of his garden and would have no doubt visited it with his grandfather. [Did he know at the time that slave sugar was being refined in his local/family sugarhouse?] When his father died in 1755 he was left the house and the residual estate in trust, and when his grandfather died in 1774 he left £10,000 to him in trust. So when he reached the age of twenty one he received his inheritance and became a very wealthy young man. [He lived off his inherited wealth, part of which was from slave sugar, whilst fighting abolition - he wouldn't have been the only one, but was it a cause of his fight or did it just make it possible?]

Back to Wikipedia. I had not seen this info published and so decided to add it to the William Wilberforce Wikipedia page. Since it was already stated that his grandfather had made the family fortune in the maritime trade with Baltic countries, I simply added the fact that he was also a founding partner in the sugarhouse in 1733, giving the source as Lambeth Archives. All I wanted to do was to make this info public as none of his biographers had seen fit to do so. My words were deleted within days and on enquiring I was told politely by the keepers of the WW page that Wikipedia could not accept primary sources, only 'facts' from published sources were allowed, however my own book, a published source, could not be quoted as it was I who found the primary source. This was also the reason the page had doubts about his grandfather's death year, the biographers' ideas about this varied, but Wikipedia could not simply use the primary source from the parish registers. I eventually found a published source for the sugarhouse info (Jackson - Hull in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in Economic and Social History, 1972) and after some discussion this was added. Anything about WW's thoughts on living off the proceeds of slave sugar could not be included as none of his biographers mentioned it, either because they did not know of it or they did not wish to talk about it as it may have muddied the waters.

Name enquiries - SCHRODER/SHIRLEY.

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19 December 20 ...

* 48k .............. and lets all try and have a safe and sound Christmas, and 2021.


31 October 20 ...

* My thanks to Mary Godward for pointing me to her webpage (The Lincolnshire Farmers in Paraguay).
"The Settlers - The Lincolnshire Farmers emigration scheme took about 800 people from England to Paraguay in 1872. When it failed, some of the settlers found their own way out, hundreds were moved to Argentina and some stayed in Paraguay."
At least 3 of these emigrants were German sugarbakers from London ... JHH CORDES, WFC HADELER, J LUDWIG. They left with their young families, with the hope of a new life at the time London sugar refining was dwindling to almost nothing.

* I avoid mention/description/discussion of the slave trade that made the British sugar trade so profitable for no other reason than it would take up too much of my time and too much of the limited space of the website.
I break the rules here simply to inform readers that the excellent FutureLearn (MOOC providers to many) are offering an excellent, very graphic, 4wk course entitled "History of Slavery in the British Caribbean".


3 September 20 ...

* Still about, but can't get about. I fear we still have many months of this to contend with !!

Name enquiries - DOLGE, HOLTHOUSE, STROHLEIN, WHITEMAN ... and LANCASTER Sugarhouse.


1 July 20 ...

* 47k

Name enquiries - JENRICK, MYER.


6 April 20 ...

* 46k


15 March 20 ...

* 45k ... still searching :-)

* In the midst of coronavirus, it dawned on me that the early refiners had the plague to contend with !!



8 December 19 ...

* It's taken a while ... I've being searching the Bristol Parish Registers for sugarbakers ... maybe just one or two entries from each book of bpts (from 1813) or marriages (from 1837). I've added 250+ to the database, and though it's most of them, it may not be all of them.
When I add them one at a time to the database html, it's good to see how they often slot in amongst the previous entries for the same name, forming a timeline for that person.

* The controversial planning application for the site of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry has thrown us another bone with respect to existing sugar refinery buildings. The British Library's Chace Collection has a very detailed plan (c1805) of that whole Whitechapel Rd / Plummers Row corner showing the layout of the refinery building belonging to 268 Whitechapel Rd tucked in behind the bell foundry. The remains of a cellar have recently been found beneath, and aligned with, the sugarhouse.



10 April 19 ...

* Die deutschen Gelehrten, Kaufleute, Handwerker und Tagelöhner in England, Schottland und Irland, by Dr von Hoff, Mannheim, 1863.
My thanks to Thomas Fock for pointing this book out to me. I'm told it's 'basically about sugarbakers in London' !



1 January 19 ...

* Happy New Year to you all.

* I've now been compiling this database and website for 20 years. In that time the sourcing of info has become considerably easier, but, of course, new sources are now more difficult to find. There will always be oddments to add, but it seems I have to wait for the 1921 census, and for ScotlandsPeople to offer subscriptions, before I can add further batches of info to the database.
Why did I begin this work? ... because I thought it would help me find the origins of my 4xgt grandfather, but, of course, it has not. So now I must make a concerted effort to do that the traditional way ... proper genealogy, proper searching, and a lot of luck. So if anyone can contribute, here's the problem ...

Herman Almeroth born c1762 Germany(?)

... married Sarah Bass in London 1793 and signed his name ...

... children: Henry, John Herman*, James, Elizabeth Sarah*, Alice Sarah, Elizabeth Bass*, Mary Anne*, Thomas William*. (* died in childhood)
... died London 1812 aged 50.

The earliest verbal comment I have says that "Herman was a sugarloaf maker from Saxony", though I doubt this is the present state of Saxony, maybe Lower Saxony from where the majority of sugarbakers originated or just a general reference to Germany. I think Herman spent his early time in London working for Henry Mu(h)m, until he took his own sugarhouse in 1806. Henry Mu(h)m was a constant in Herman's life in London; he lent the family money, he helped Herman in his business, and he cancelled the family debts to him in his own will.

The earliest I have for Henry Mu(h)m is 1789 and this could indicate that Herman came with him, or soon afterwards. Mu(h)m and his brother-in-law Henry Martin, were executors to Herman's will. Both from Gleichen, Hessen, but Henry's brother and family appear in the churchbook of Schwabendorf, Hessen, along with a Jacob Allmeroth, and I wonder if this has anything to do with Herman's origins.
So was this just an employer/employee relationship, or did this closeness come from family, or neighbourhood, before Henry Mum migrated to London? Was Herman's first son named after Henry Mum, with his second son hinting at his own father's name ?Johan Herman??
(These are only my thoughts on connections, little is concrete.)


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15 November 18 ...

* 44k ... the latest additions increase our knowledge of those ordinary workers who laboured in the London sugarhouses of the first half of the 1700s. It's not easy to find info about these men unless the odd vicar or two adds the occupation to a church BMD entry, however the records of the Fleet Marriages give names, occupations and abodes of both parties, as well as the often unusual places in which they married. It's also possible in some cases to pinpoint the sugarhouses in which they may have worked, eg: Battersea - 26 workers named for the two sugarhouses; Paul's Wharf - 16 named for two sugarhouses; College Hill - 10 named for the one sugarhouse; and 7 in Southwark, and 4 in Mortlake, amongst the almost 200 entries ... and these are just from the records of those who married in unconventional places.


17 September 18 ...

* All seven together ... just an exercise for Flickr.


15 September 18 ...

* 43k ... just added 600 entries from Bristol and Liverpool censuses, with more Liverpool to come. Pity I can't get Greenock 1911. Otherwise not much going on.



1 January 18 ...

* Good health and successful researching for the new year !
* 42K.
* Spitalfields Life piece, with photos, on St George's German Lutheran Church, Alie St. Here

Name enquiries - GLAVESKY, LANGELUTJE.

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3 October 17 ...

* I now have just over 300 will summaries on the website and they vary enormously from simple instructions through to the overly wordy, from a few pounds to very many thousands, from the mention of just a relative or two to legacies to half the neighbourhood, but it was the 300th of these wills that has, at last, shown just how useful I hoped they could be and why I had persisted in reading so many.
We always hope that wills will provide new or corroborative evidence for our research, and we hope they will help piece together facts we already have, but it's the information they hold that may never have been available from other sources that gives them the most value.

By chance, the 300th will I studied for the website was that of Johann Diederich Neuhaus, a sugar boiler of Queen Street in the City of London. The will, dated 26 September 1780, appeared to be short and straightforward, beginning with the instruction that he was to be buried at the German Chapel in Trinity Lane, with no more than £25 to be spent on his funeral. (The register of the German Lutheran Chapel tells us he was buried on the 9th of October 1780, aged 66 and from Luneburg in Germany.) Legacies to friends - a couple of sugar refiners and a tailor - followed.
A number of sugarhouse owners left sums to be divided amongst their workers, but here Neuhaus - as the boiler maybe the only skilled man in the sugarhouse - left £10 to be divided amongst his workmates at Travers & Griffin as well as £10 to Claus Helmkin the 'second upstairs man'. What followed I've not seen before - he left £10 equally amongst his fellow boilers at neighbouring sugarhouses ... "Rudolph Bieger boiler at Mr Sprado's Queen St, Fidde Helmkin boiler at Mr Vaughan's Thames St, Mr Schutz sugar refiner of Russel St Drury Lane, George (whose surname I know not) boiler to Mr Gibson Pye Corner, George Coombe boiler to Mr Turner Pauls Wharf and Mr Hase's boiler of Thames St." He also left £10 to Mrs Cook the landlady of the Sugar Loaf in Queen St, undoubtedly where these workers drank.
The best bit he left almost to the end, he left £10 to Catharine Hogden the cook at Travers & Griffin. I've thought and talked about the Men's Rooms in sugarhouses often and the physical details have been found on deeds, but I'd never thought of how the men were fed, or by whom.
His boss, Benjamin Travers, witnessed his will, and it was proved two weeks after his death.

... you just don't get this sort of info from normal records !


26 September 17 ...

* Spent a day last week at the excellent Whitehaven Archives. A simple enquiry generated a pile of books, files and maps ... and the BMD transcriptions helpfully included the occupations, even back in the 1740s. Most grateful to the archivist and staff, for it's allowed me to correct and update the Whitehaven page, as well as add to the database.


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18 June 17 ...

* Researcher and author Joelle Million of Massachusetts has written an excellent history of sugar refiner and abolitionist Samuel Blackwell that details his part in the Bristol industry, his move to N America, and his pioneering work with beet sugar until his death in 1838. Published online in the New York History Review for us all to enjoy. CLICK here.
* A couple of months ago I was contacted by Alan Crosby of WDYTYA magazine asking if he could write a piece for the magazine regarding this website ... it is published in the July 2017 edition, in your newsagents now!



10 April 17 ...

* This was the day, 105 years ago, of two (amongst others, I'm sure) important events ... Titanic sailed, and my father was born !!
* I'm putting some time to the Survey of London - Whitechapel ...
* ... as well as reading the thoroughly enjoyable Spitalfields Life every morning.



1 January 17 ...

** 41,000 ................. Happy New Year.

* FRY n EGG     -     Wholesale Refined Sugar Dealers

Salomon & Fry, 12 Little Eastcheap, London, 1815-18
Fry & Egg, 12 Little Eastcheap, London, 1825-6
Salomon & Egg, 12 Little Eastcheap, London, 1834

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15 December 16 ...

* I seem to be searching for the unknown ...

The new Architecture page is a success, and new images are slowly coming to light, but the architects are staying hidden, if a record of them even exists. In front of the TV I'm reading Colvin, but so far A-F has given just one architect, James Craig, who designed the Sugar Sampling Room behind the Tontine in Glasgow ... I'll continue with that source. Walter Kinipple may have had a hand in the designs for the Sugar Warehouses at the James Watt Dock in Greenock. So, to date, it's just Charles Dyson, who was responsible for Bowman's huge sugarhouse at 78 Leman St and plans for an extension to Wagener's 27 Wellclose Sq both around 1850. There's a strong possibility that some years earlier Thomas Leverton, who was surveyor for the Phoenix Fire Office, "also erected large premises for sugar-boilers in London and New York" ... more work needed.

I now have some 270+ will/probate summaries, but the other day I had an email from John Roberts with a snippet from a 1694 will he'd been studying. Edward Keling, a London fishmonger, had various properties including "... a Sugar Howse on Breadstreete Hill in London with the utensills thereunto belonging ...". This is the earliest record so far of sugar refining in that street. I'm now wondering how many other references there are to sugarhouses in wills of folks not listed as, or known to be, sugar refiners.

Name enquiries - ERBE, KE(E)LING, SCHWIER.


18 October 16 ...

*Some of you might be interested in this project, now underway, to create a 1/1500 scale model of London 1840, starting with the East End. Click.
    I spent some time with Andrew, and the model, last week discussing sugar refinery buildings.
*Another project is also underway. The Survey of London - Whitechapel.
*I've added a little image to the Fatalities page ... only 13 years after I promised to do so !!



9 August 16 ...

* "Old London sugar money = today's German dwellings in Hessen" ... refiners often left legacies in their wills to family in Germany. Johann George Wicke was one such refiner and work by a German researcher has uncovered 3 or 4 houses built with his money. There are more dwellings still to be matched with refiners, eg. one in Zennern could have been built with Wicke or Harbusch money. Case study for J G Wicke.


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16 May 16 ...

* 40,000+



15 April 16 ...

* My thanks to Mike Greenall for an excellent Timeline for Tate Liverpool. (Mike is an ex-employee of T&L).
* Dundee page has been re-drawn and updated, thanks to a newly published report following excavations in the city that produced sherds of sugar pottery.



1 March 16 ...

* Just adding the baptisms and marriages from the registers of St Mark Whitechapel (Goodman’s Fields). The church (1839-1925) had been built on the Tenter Ground to the south of St Mary Whitechapel. It had become a poor and populous district, and the decision was made to create a new parish. ... The 1851 census lists the population of the parish as 15,790, in 1,757 'households' - an average of 9.09% per household, the highest in East London, and with the highest percentage of Irish and foreign-born residents (primarily from Germany, Holland, Poland and Prussia). ... In 1858 the parish was described, at a committee of the House of Lords, as ‘utterly unmanageable’. A high proportion of sugarbakers appear in the registers.
Quotes from the excellent website of St George-in-the-East Church, click then use the sitemap. It also details the even poorer neighbourhood [an infernal hole] of St Paul Dock St (fewer sugarbakers). Well worth a read.



12 January 16 ...

* For anyone interested, there's a new course from FutureLearn starting March 14 ...
Genealogy - Researching your Family Tree
run by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
... it's a MOOC (massive online open course) focusing on genealogical research techniques - and free to all. Click

Name enquiries - GAMBLE.

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26 December 15 ...

* Happy Christmas !

"Thursday 18th Mar [1830]
Thos. Glasby who has been Gardener to Dan. Sykes for some years has gone to live at Hull, their Goods went this day, his old Master has procured him a place in the Sugar House, and will further allow him five pounds a year, which is a very Gentlemanly action to an old Servant."
From - 'The Diary of Robert Sharp of South Cave, Life in a Yorkshire Village 1812-1837', ed by Crowther & Crowther, OUP, 1997.



3 October 15 ...

* Just back from Durham ... four days walking the city. It doesn't change much, I'm pleased to say, the cathedral's just as wonderful as ever ... even the Lego version - 179,000 bricks so far !
The Record Office holds one important sugar document ... a lease transferring family property from Stephen Hutchinson to his son Robert in 1707/8. Whilst most of the property was in Willington, a sugar house in Back Row, Newcastle upon Tyne, was also included. No more detail, but it must have been the earliest sugar house in the area and gives support to Angerstein's note that sugar was being refined in Newcastle in 1754.

Name enquiries - .


15 September 15 ...

* Have just added 500+ new Silvertown entries ... baptisms and marriages ... database now 38K+.

Name enquiries - BATGER, Hull Sugarhouse Disaster.


8 August 15 ...

* Would appear to have found another child for Herman and Sarah Almeroth ... Thomas William Ormroth 1807 s/o Almon & Sarah sugar refiner MENT bpt at St Dunstan Stepney. Herman was buried there 5 years later.

Name enquiries - LEIMBACH, MACFIE.


7 July 15 ...

* A very apt quote from fiction ...

"Wealth flows from the grinding mill of industry. And from wealth comes refinement.
      But nothing upsets the refined quite so badly as the smell from a factory chimney."
From - 'Unseemly Science' by Rod Duncan, pub. Angry Robot, 2015.



21 April 15 ...

* From Hull History Centre - an indenture regarding a mortgage - William Simpson sugar baker of York 1703. Married 1698, awaiting marriage bond. Was this the man who ran John Taylor's sugarhouse (because Taylor was rarely there !!)
* From the excellent ROLLCO website - 1637, Henry Smith sugar baker of Ipswich dec - has this shown us that the sugarhouse continued working after the death of Wm Blois to at least 1625 or 1626. See Ipswich page.
* WDYTYA 2015 (Friday) - I haven't been to previous ones in London, so cannot compare. Fewer visitors than I expected, not crowded at all. Too big (the room), but not big enough (the show). More atmosphere at smaller events. AND where was ScotlandsPeople ?

"Sugarbakers is almost mainstream !" - Peter Christian, at WDYTYA.



22 February 15 ...

* My research into the York sugarhouse and Dutch-gabled warehouses on Skeldergate is to be placed in the English Heritage archives to accompany their own RCHME material, with the comment that it "certainly sheds some light on the development of this part of York and challenges some long-held assumptions."

Name enquiries - DOTE/DOTTE/DOUGHT, HAGUE.


14 January 15 ...

* Belated Happy New Year to you all. Just plodding along finding more info.
* A couple of interesting websites to mention ... for Scotland, the Scottish Post Office Directories at the National Library of Scotland, with images so easily searched and pages so easily turned it knocks spots off the Old Directories site south of the border ... and for London, the London Lives website, with images of many early documents, again easily searched along with facility to enlarge and read documents clearly.


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3 December 14 ...

* Added more East End marriages.
* Links to two Greenock snippets ... a film clip of Walker's c1961, and a photograph of char women c1916. (Thanks, Monica)
* ... and a request (also on Rootschat) ...

ScotlandsPeople has not transcribed/indexed the occupations on the 1911 census. As there is no alternative source, I have no way of doing a 'sugar' keyword/occupation search in order to extract those people working in the sugar industry in Scotland in 1911, as I have done for earlier censuses.

It's likely that the vast majority of workers would have been in Greenock, and I'm wondering if folks may be able to help me, please, by emailing via 'contact' at the top/bottom of this page, the 1911 census details of any sugar workers they might stumble across in the course of their own research. I will then add them to the database.

I'm determined to at least try to complete all the UK censuses and I'm afraid this appears the only way to approach this one. May I thank you in advance for your help. Bryan.

Name enquiries - DORN, MUHM.


20 September 14 ...

** 36,000
* Have added details of some East End sugarbaker marriages, as well as details of fathers of bride/groom where their occupation is sugar-related. More to come.
* I've been on Rootschat for the past year. It's been quite useful and I'm also enjoying contributing to the research of others (not just sugar), but beware it can be time-consuming and addictive !!
* ... and our youngest grandchild started school !



26 August 14 ...

* Now to attempt to find the records of John Smith in his original Cheshire. His granddaughter Kate wrote "My father's father came from Cheshire, his family were famous in the Vale Royal and he was, I believe, the youngest of 19." ... and her younger brother Edward suggested Tarporley. (My thanks again to Chris Cobb.)
John Smith s/o John & Catheren bpt Tarporley 14 June 1752 may well be correct, with an initial search showing possibly 10, or maybe 12, siblings from 1724 to 1751 to John Smith and three wives. If anyone can confirm/add to this info, I'd be grateful. Thank you.



1 August 14 ...

* Just which Mr Smith of London 'treated with Mr Moore' in Liverpool in 1667/8 is unclear, but I've had a look at it on my West London page, along with the Battersea refiners.
* More London land tax records added to the database ... these prove more and more useful when searching for location/ownership/tenancy of buildings prior to the census records.



15 May 14 ...

* At last I've managed to put together a history of Smith & Tyers, Liquid Sugar Refiners of Upper Thames St, and later Green St, Southwark. Four generations of the Smith family from around 1800 to 1923. Five sugar flagons give us names, addresses and products. John Smith would appear to be the first of the refiners, having arrived in London from Cheshire prior to 1780 ... two of his gt grandchildren were C Aubrey Smith 1863-1948 the England cricketer and Holywood actor, and the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-1889.
My thanks to Chris Cobb for considerable family info. The history can be found on my City page.

Name enquiries - FEDDON, KRAMER, RADCLIFFE, SMITH of Battersea.


8 April 14 ...

* The Newcastle Courant of 1722 spoke of a Mr Bagnall being "the greatest sugar baker in Europe", and the Daily Post of 1729 said in his obit that he was "formerly one of the greatest sugar-bakers in England". The Norfolk Record Office at Norwich has a very nondescript, flimsy, little document, under ref: FEL 705, 554x7, that throws much light onto why this elusive gentleman earned such a reputation. It lists his sugarhouses in Mortlake, Battersea, Westminster, Paul's Wharf, Queen St, Leman St and Lambeth St, the leases of which he sold on to the new partnership of Fellowes, Houlditch & Emerson in 1722. Thomas Emerson had been in charge of the day-to-day running of Bagnall's sugarhouses, and continued in that role for the new partnership.



3 March 14 ...

* Just a little Health & Safety Announcement ...

"... [it was the] decision of the Directors [of Macfie's, Greenock] about 1840 to circulate a warning to their customers not to use ordinary paints for painting sweets, as several deaths had already occurred from this practice."
From - An Old Minute Book, Edinburgh Sugarhouse Co 1763-1773, by A C Cumming, c1937.

Name enquiries - ALMEROTH, FOSS, SCHRODER.


1 February 14 ...

* If anyone can tell me, please, what 'sail sugar' and 'sail molasses' were I'd be very grateful. Cropped up in New England herbal recipes early 19thC.
* New year's started with a number of books to read, including the summary of the 1763-73 minutes of the Edinburgh Sugarhouse Co and the London memories of Gordon D Hodge.

Name enquiries - SOTHERS & DALMAN.


1 January 14 ...

** 35,000 ................. Happy New Year.

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17 December 13 ...

* Researching newspapers at the moment, so it's mostly bankrupts, fires and deaths, but it can sometimes be amusing ...

"Two workmen having quarrelled in a sugar-refiner's at Valenciennes, one of them threw his companion into a copper of thick molasses. The latter scrambled out, covered from head to foot with the sugary stuff, and, angry at his adversary, rushed into the street, just as he was, to make his way to the King's Procureur to obtain legal redress.
It was freezing very hard at the time, and the sugar became so firm that when he arrived at the house of the magistrate he looked like a substantial stick of barley sugar. His arms were glued to his sides, and he was compelled to ask a by-stander to ring the bell for him. This curious exhibition attracted crowds of spectators, and excited much merriment. - French paper."
From - West Kent Guardian 28 Jan 1837.

Name enquiries - DETTMAR, Dundee Sugarhouse(s).


7 November 13 ...

* Many more entries added from various directories, as well as this snippett ...

Regarding Flamborough Head, E Yorkshire ...
"In the months of May and June, the rocks seem absolutely animated, being covered with innumerable birds of various plumage, exceeding in number the inhabitants of the largest city, and in varied hue the tints of the rainbow. ...
Hung in air as their nests seem to be, they are still not inaccessible to the depredations of man! Boys are let down the rocks by ropes fastened to stakes, and bring away bushels of eggs for the use of the sugar house in Hull, without seeming to diminish their countless number."
From - History, Directory & Gazetteer of Yorkshire, Vol. East & North Riding, 1823.



13 October 13 ...

* !!! Just spotted it ... PURYS is SYRUP ... so assumedly a Macfie own brand.

Name enquiries - WISSNER.


9 October 13 ...

*Anyone remember/know of PURYS Golden Syrup ? It was produced in Liverpool by Macfie's, but was Purys one of their own brand names or were they supplying another company ??
Interesting that golden syrup was being produced in the 1860s, some 20 years before Lyle's began their continuous production to the present day ... though, even Lyle's recipe has been 'adjusted' often over the years.

Name enquiries - BASTIAN, DREYER, KELLY, MACFIE, MOXHAM, PICKEL, RATHJEN, WREDE, Dundee Sugarhouse(s).


18 August 13 ...

* Another old flagon, this one a huge 7 gallon capacity. Weighs about 30lb empty, so around a hundredweight when full ... imagine lugging that around one-handed !
It's Smith & Tyers after they moved to Green Street, south of the Thames, and it's a high number, so probably late 1850s. These flagons held liquid refined sugar in the form of either capillaire syrup (a cordial) or spirit colour (used for colouring rum) ... more info.


8 August 13 ...

* York research completed for now and York page fully updated. Just looking for John Taylor's own, original, journal from which the info for both editions of his Memoir was taken.
* Excellent new info regarding the Ayr Sugar House now linked to the Ayr page ... my thanks to South Ayrshire Libraries.


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27 June 13 ...

* York research now ready for writing up. Sure there's more info to be found but at moment both City Archives and Art Gallery out of use. I'm certain, as were the archaeologists, that the sugarhouse pre-dated the Dutch gabled warehouses, but that they were on the same footprint.
* St George's German Lutheran Church in Alie Street - 250yr Anniversary marked next month. Check details for weekend of 20 July.

Name enquiries - BUDGEN, FEDDEN, RAMSON.


4 May 13 ...

* Good news from York.
Colin Briden, who managed the 1983 YAT dig, has the recollection that Taylor's refinery and the Dutch gabled warehouse were one and the same thing, and he suggests I check the details in the field report at YAT ...
... and YAT have invited me to see what I can glean from the archive of the dig. Great ... off to York again soon.

Name enquiries - .


28 April 13 ...

"Having the luck to find what you're looking for: among archival researchers - a profession that is best practiced as a calling - this is something so great and unusual that there is a special word for it: Finderglück. A German expression that can't readily be translated but whose original meaning is that you have the luck that is also required for your efforts to be crowned with success. On the other hand it doesn't mean that you're going to be happy once you do, for that's far from always the case.
... Researchers are well aware of the feelings that usually surface when this uncommon grace befalls you: the ambivalence, the doubt, the spiritual hangover or, in severe cases, even anxiety and remorse that can appear when you're sitting there with the find in you meager hands. And obviously the possibility that what you've found will unfortunately show that you've had it all wrong with your theories or hypotheses."
From : Leif GW Persson - "Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End".

... so having finally got my hands on the 1830 printing of John Taylor's Memoirs at the York Minster Library, I find that the 1710 Committee of the Quarterly Meeting that oversaw their initial publication decided to edit out "the latter part of his manuscript [that] contained many observations about [his] trade" !!
... and further gleanings from York throw doubt on the exact location of the sugarhouse with respect to the Bonding Warehouse. It seems only the excavation details at YAT will solve the puzzle.



24 February 13 ...

* Added a couple of hundred entries from the early London Land Tax records. More to come when another batch extracted. Whilst they often extend the records we have for the periods that folks owned individual refineries, most interesting for me are those records that produce an earlier date for refining in specific streets, eg. Wentworth Street just began 9 years earlier.
* I've been tinkering with the layout of the introduction page, and re-worked some of the location/history pages ... I hope they make navigation of the website easier.
* Just topped 34,000 entries on database. My work will stop one day, but the website will never be finished.



6 February 13 ...

* York City Archives have come up trumps with a document relating to the Skeldergate sugarhouse in York. There's a further update to the York page, and hopefully more research in York later in the year.
* George Wood, b.1882, appears to have been a boiler at Tate's Silvertown in 1901. Prior to the 1911 census he travelled to Borneo to work for the Island Trading Company in Sarawak. It's suggested that the trading company was part of Tate's. Can anyone help, please ?

Name enquiries - WOOD, ISLAND Trading Company (Borneo).


30 January 13 ...

* Current news items regarding dietary dangers of sugar and sweeteners ... they were saying the same things around 200 years ago, but did anyone take any notice ?
* Attempting to add more and more to the Archaeology page ... finding results of digs is not as easy as I'd thought.
* Also adding more wills.


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18 December 12 ...

* Happy Christmas to All ... thank you for all your help and all your info this year.



26 November 12 ...

* New info regarding Herman's sugarhouse. Land Tax records show he first paid tax on the property at 12 Church St, MENT, in 1806, earlier than previous research had shown. He took over from Blankenhagen & Co who paid tax for 1804-5, but pity records not available for few years before this to see when the sugarhouse was built.



28 October 12 ...

* New Sugar Moulds & Collecting Jars page.
* New, and ongoing, Archaeology page.
* "Peter Wilbart, potter, of Stoke" supplied the Ipswich sugarhouse with moulds and jars in 1618. Whilst there is a Stoke in Ipswich, I can to date find no evidence of a pottery or of a Wilbart. Research into the Woolwich pottery 1650s-1680 refers to the Wilbert family, potters, of Lambeth, Greenwich and Woolwich, however with missing years 1615-1629. There is also mention of Stock(e), nr Chelmsford, being a 16th-17th century pottery centre in Essex. No hard evidence yet of Wilbert/Wilbart there, but seems a logical location to both supply Ipswich and provide the Wilbert family with work prior to their moves to Greenwich and Woolwich.

Name enquiries - BUTLER, CHANTRELL.


11 October 12 ...

* Yesterday evening's Who Do You Think You Are - Celia Imrie ... they went down the paternal line. However, if they'd gone down the maternal line they'd have come to William Blois 1562-1621, merchant and sugar refiner of Ipswich. If you study the hand-written tree they used, sugar refiner Blois was the father of the William Blois who married Cecily Wingfield.

Name enquiries - .


27 September 12 ...

* Interesting that the ITV News reporter in York yesterday evening should report on the flooding whilst standing up to his knees in water on Skeldergate immediately in front of the site of the 17th century sugarhouse. The arched building behind him replaced the building that replaced the sugarhouse. This made me wonder about earlier times ... did the River Ouse flood in John Taylor's time thus inundating his sugarhouse, or was there more opportunity for the river to flood adjacent meadows that at that time had not been built upon ?
* Just to remind folks that there is a huge amount of info regarding insolvency data, public notices, honours and awards, and much more (for government, business or individuals) to be found on the website of the London Gazette. The advanced search extracts fine detail, down to a single word and a single day, back to the late 17th century. Results in .pdf format.

Name enquiries - BROOMFIELD, CAMPE, GAFGA.


12 September 12 ...

* Long weekend in Liverpool ... had hoped for much research either side of Conference, but little opportunity owing to archive restrictions. Pity.
  - Small display of sugar mould and jar fragments at new Museum of Liverpool (1st floor - Manchester Dock, though found in the infill of the dock known to have come from the digging of one of the Mersey Tunnels). Fragments are red clay and moulds relatively small and unglazed, which points to quite early. At least one piece made locally by Ashcroft of Prescot.
  - A pleasant meeting with fellow researchers at the Adelphi for the AGFHS 25th Aniversary Conference - German Immigration, Germans in Liverpool & German Pork Butchers.
  - Guided tour of Slavery Museum, then Maritime Museum.
  - Unscheduled and unexpected highlight of the weekend ... at the Big History Weekend in St George's Hall (Sun pm), a local history Q&A session fronted by Roger Phillips of Radio Merseyside, with the panel of Steve Binns, Ken Rogers and Ken Pye. A variety of very local, specific questions from a large audience in the Concert Hall, all answered with great skill and incredible unscripted detail. Thank you, Gentlemen, for a wonderful hour.
  - Few sugar-specific records in City Library/Archives, but obits for 3 generations of John Graham (partners in Macfie & Co) will soon be added to website. The Library is temporarily in the excellent World Museum.


29 August 12 ...

* Added more info regarding York, thanks to Bobbie. Answers a number of questions regarding John Taylor's life, travels, beliefs and business.
* Andrew Laurie Macfie (1860-1936) and his nephew James Allan Macfie (1872-1958), both Liverpool refiners, player lawn tennis in the Northern Tournaments, 1882-1908 and 1894-1908 respectively. Thanks, Mark.



5 August 12 ...

* Little research at moment ... fitting a kitchen, thunderstorms, and Olympics.
* Just on very edge of Olympic Park was the Essex sugarhouse at Stratford ... doubt the workers ever thought the wet ground amongst the rivers it over looked would ever be built on !!



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4 June 12 ...

* Work on 1911 census completed. Now studying Liverpool Parish Registers - just a pity those of the Roman Catholic churches don't add occupations.
* Still struggling with the York research. York page updated with findings regarding the exact location, but no joy yet with the deeds and therefore the early research. It seems likely that the sugarhouse began maybe 20 years prior to the 1690 date given by YAT, however I think only the deeds will prove it one way or the other. Disappointed York Archives could not locate the deeds for me when I visited, and no word since, but as they were deposited there well over 30 years ago perhaps they'll come to light soon.



2 May 12 ...

* Spent a pleasant week in York with plenty to see and do, though research into John Taylor's sugarhouse was far from productive. As you'll see on the York page, facts are few, as is documentary evidence ... more questions than answers. More time needed in York !
* "The Sugar Girls" was rather narrower in scope and location than I'd expected. Limited to 1940s and 50s for the most part and to just the few departments where girls (many had to leave when they married) predominated. Disappointed there was not more on the roles of women across the company during WWII. Location was almost totally Plaistow Wharf (Lyle's), so actually a good modern compliment to Oliver Lyle's "The Plaistow Story".



29 March 12 ...

* New book arrived this morning (pre-publication order from Amazon) - "The Sugar Girls" by Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi, Collins, 2012. Memories and tales from mid-20C Tate & Lyle, Silvertown. That's my holiday reading !!

Name enquiries - BATGER, CLARK, COLE, WEBB.


5 March 12 ...

* Last year Graeme in Oz asked if I knew what a fugleman was as he'd found two relatives with such occupations working in the Australian sugar industry. I could not help other than point him to the popular book on the Australian sugar company, CSR. He found the book excellent and decided to contact CSR to see if they could help. Most of the company records are held at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, and an archivist was most helpful, providing employment details for his relatives at the New Farm Refinery 1900-1930.
Once Graeme saw the correct spelling of fugalman he knew just what they did ... operated the centrifugal machines !



22 February 12 ...

* Currently working on the 1911 censuses for Silvertown and Liverpool ... almost 500 entries on database in next couple of weeks.
* The French, according to Daily Telegraph 11 Feb, have sugar cubes in five sizes ... they find it more accurate than our teaspoon !



26 January 12 ...

* I've extracted just over 1300 "sugarbaker baptisms" from the parish registers of St George's in the East and St Mary Whitechapel 1831-1881. Once siblings were combined, this has provided some 750 new entries for the database ... all now added.
* I'm in the process of searching the 1901 census for Silvertown sugar workers. In the few little streets opposite Tate's - Parker, Constance, Andrew, Drew, Gray - out of the 154 refinery workers living there an astonishing 119 were Polish ... with another 27 in Emma St. No mention of these in the Tate/Lyle histories.



1 January 12 ...

* Happy New Year to all readers ... may your research progress !
* Currently working on parish registers for St Geo in the East 1831-81 ... database update soon.



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1 December 11 ...

****** The new revised and updated edition of the SUGARBAKERS BOOK is now available. ******

Name enquiries - WESTHOFF.


28 November 11 ...

* Edinburgh, I had always thought, had two sugarhouses, but on closer inspection, the earlier was actually a warehouse, a shop, an outlet in the city for the sugars of the South Sugar House of Glasgow. The later, in Sugarhouse Close in Canongate, began in 1752 and the first minute book of the company has survived giving us a day-to-day record of sugarhouse activity.
The notes and findings from my short research time in Edinburgh are now on the Edinburgh page.

Name enquiries - BRECHT.


13 November 11 ...

* Ipswich page, with notes and transcriptions, now complete ... at least for the time being. Tremendous detail of 4 years business from late 1617 to late 1621.


27 October 11 ...

* Fascinating stuff again from the Ipswich ledger ...
"Paid to Robert Wilson cooper the 18 day of January 1618 for small hoops and great hoops set upon the great forms ..... the sum of 17s.6d"
... showing that the previously mentioned conical moulds (known then as forms) were cracking/breaking and were being strengthened with iron(?) hoops.
Will add much more to Ipswich page soon.



14 October 11 ...

* Excellent holiday, with a day and a half of research, in Edinburgh. My thanks to the staff of both the National Archives of Scotland and the Central Library. Both archives hold original 18thC sugarhouse 'books', and I hope to get round to writing up my findings for the website soon.
* The Ipswich ledger transcriptions continue, and now much more on the Ipswich page. I'm now searching the general pages for more sugar info. The moulds and pots for the sugarhouse were made in Stoke [Ipswich?].


* 1860s storage jar, abt 31cm high, wide neck, maybe cork stopper, Fryer, Benson & Forster. More details on the Manchester page. Anybody know what it originally held, please ?
My thanks to Evelyn in Oz for the picture of a family heirloom once used to hold umbrellas near the front door.




2 September 11 ...

* Have added to the transcriptions of the Ipswich account book. It contains more useful info than I first thought (that's perhaps because I can now read it !). Now getting a clear picture of just how many eggs were used per refine ... you have to wonder where Blois came upon a batch of 400+ eggs every few weeks. And the cost - 7 for 2d.
Will add the other few pages I have in the next couple of weeks.



31 July 11 ...

* The Ipswich Record Office holds one of the earliest physical records of UK sugar refining ... an account book for the businesses of William Blois (Bloys) and partners of St Nicholas parish in Ipswich. They ran a sugarhouse there from 1617 to the death of William Blois in 1621. The sugarhouse was close to his dwelling house 'The Christopher' ... can this be located ?
The accounts book has numerous entries related to the sugarhouse and I hope to transcribe many of them once I've become more familiar with the hand(s). Meanwhile, there are four of the entries on the Ipswich page including one that confirm that eggs were used in large numbers before it was found that bullock's blood would assist the initial clarifying of the raw sugar (probably) much better and much more cheaply.

Name enquiries - HALLIDAY, MARTIN, MEIER.


5 July 11 ...

* Sat in the garden this morning shelling peas (food-miles - 15 yards) considering the fact that I started this website 11 years ago with a "Locations" map showing just the 4 main refining centres. I've now just re-annotated that same map ... it now shows 30 refining towns and cities, plus the two for which I have info in Germany. I've added the latest 'finds' and I hope to get further info regarding Ipswich from research there later this week.

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30 June 11 ...

* Still no progress with the website, but cleared backlog of 'other things' (which included completing the revision of my book), and can now begin to catch up on those new refining locations. Sorry for the delay.



29 May 11 ...

* "... and so many more still to find", I said in my previous post ... which should have begun with a research holiday in Greenock and Edinburgh, however a serious arm infection, with complications, put me in hospital for 10 days and so the Scotland trip was cancelled. Still not right yet, with writing and typing painful, so I'm sorry there'll be no progress on the website for a while yet.

Name enquiries - BANISTER, CARTWRIGHT.


19 April 11 ...

* 30,000 entries ... and so many more still to find !



18 March 11 ...

* Two new refining locations just come to light ... IPSWICH and YORK.
Both 17thC, though Ipswich is exceptionally early - 1617-21.
Pages on these two, as well as Aberdeen and Dundee, will follow soon.



17 February 11 ...

* With kind permission of the Watt Library in Greenock, I've just finished extracting the sugar-related entries from their wonderful online BMD Index. These are now on my database, however there are undoubtedly many more entries in the Index regarding sugar people that do not actually say so. So don't assume I've listed them all, visit the website for yourself, download a 'letter' or two and have a good search of the newspaper insertions regarding births, marriages and deaths early 19thC to early 20thC. A great resource ... just CLICK.
* Also from Greenock - the McLean Museum & Art Gallery - a bundle of images of refiners, broker, merchants, workers, etc., now on my Portraits page.

... and just a little snippet from sugar-ancestor researcher Carolyn in Brisbane regarding the recent flooding there. It helps restore your faith in folk ...

"An amazing community spirit helped us cope with the floods. They asked for volunteers to help with the clean-up and they came in their thousands. Each day of the weekend following the peak of the flood, there were about 13,000 volunteers out and about. It was a pretty amazing thing to witness".



31 January 11 ...

* Oh Dear ! ... Sgt Pepper - track 9.


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22 December 10 ...

** Best wishes to all for Christmas and New Year. My thanks to all contributors ... and my thanks for all the enquiries ... the whole website continues to grow and it could not do that without your help.



28 November 10 ...

* Some topical news ...
... our road salt has now got molasses in it !!
... and it is written that Kate Middleton has both the Martineau and Rankin sugar refining families in her ancestry !
* The Watt Library in Greenock has a wonderful BMD Index online ... information from local newspapers for roughly the 100yrs to 1913 ... click.

Name enquiries - JOHN WALKER & Co, Greenock ; PEASE/T&L Transport.


4 November 10 ...

* 76 Bangor Road, LEITH ... in the 1891 census this household included 48 sugar labourers - 36 from Austria, 7 from Hungary, 3 from Russia, and 2 from Scotland ...
* ... and at the same time in Union Street, GREENOCK, there was the House run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, which had amongst its patients 29 former sugar labourers - 23 from Ireland, 5 from Scotland, and 1 from France. However, the records prove that at least some sugarbakers lived to a ripe old age ... 10 were in their 60s, 9 in their 70s, 7 in their 80s, and 2 in their 90s.
[The Little Sisters of the Poor are still helping the elderly in Greenock ... having begun in Union St in 1884, they opened a new £12.5m residential care village on the same site in 2004.]



6 October 10 ...

* Believe it or not, the oldest refinery building still standing in UK was being used 1653-60.
The Bishop's Palace in Exeter was not built as such, but was certainly used as a sugarhouse during those 'Cromwell' years.

Is there evidence of an older refinery building still existing ?


1 September 10 ...

* Anybody know when the Greenock - Roxburgh St Refinery chimney was demolished ?? (photo)



1 August 10 ...

* 25,000+ !!

Name enquiries - KNOOP, MUHL, NIALL, OETGEN, ROSE.


4 July 10 ...

*** What would old Henry and Abram say ??? 130 years or so after they scrimped and saved to set up their individual businesses, which were joined long after their deaths, Tate & Lyle have announced the sale of their Sugars and Golden Syrup divisions to American Sugar Refining Inc for £211m in cash.    The end of an era !!

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5 June 10 ...

** Emily, born this morning, a sister for Lucy. :-))


1 June 10 ...

* Mrs Jane Clowes, a Manchester confectioner in the early 19thC, would not normally figure on this website, but her business acumen and her dealings with Brancker's in Liverpool were worth noting then, and are again now. The interesting account is in Miscellany.
* I have an original letter written by the Liverpool merchant Stanley Percival in 1830 to Sir Henry Fitzherbert of Tissington Hall, Derbyshire, regarding consignments of sugar and rum from his plantations in the West Indies. Details also in Miscellany. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the meaning of the codes/monograms/symbols used regarding the shipments. As Fitzherbert had Jamaican plantations named Blue Mountain, Forest, Grange Hall and Vere, perhaps the upper letter in each case refers to these (Blue Mountain and Vere). The lower 'letter' appears to be a monogram, maybe that of William Perrin, or his son William Philp Perrin, the previous owners from whom Fitzherbert inherited the plantations.



12 May 10 ...

* Having spent some hours with the Gloucester ledger and recorded much of the contents, I've added a summary of the accounts to the Gloucester page ... and they make interesting reading. However, I am now far less certain who was the original owner ... for it to have been that of James Lodge would seriously call into question the professionalism and integrity of Harman Samler !!

Name enquiries - MAIS, POTTER, ROCK, STARTIN.


30 April 10 ...

* Database just topped 24,000.
* Further work on Gloucester ledger now on Gloucester page ... next job to analyse the accounts - details soon.

Name enquiries - George CLARK & Son, GEISS, MILLAR, TASTO.


19 March 10 ...

* Ancestry has added to its Immigration & Emigration section with "England, Alien Arrivals, 1810-1811, 1826-1869".
This expands the dates covered by AGFHS Len Letzner's Ships Lists as well as adding the two early years although they are only for smaller ports. Ancestry has not recorded the professions of the migrants into their database so we cannot search by "sugarbaker/sugar refiner". I've browsed those early years as best I can and the results are on my database, but the rest will need searching by name (or a high degree of patience turning all the pages of all those books), so if you do find sugarbakers that are not on my website, please let me know ........... and for those who can't find their ancestor arriving when they should, it would appear that ships' captains did not consider it a necessity to record the names of sugarbakers, hence the entries that read - "H Mehrens sugar baker and 5 others", "27 sugar bakers", "a sugar baker", "10 sugar bakers" amongst others.

Name enquiries - WARNCKEN.

2 March 10 ...

* The Gloucester ledger I believe to be that of James Lodge, and for a few weeks, John Fendall ... more work to do. (see Gloucester page)

"On the question 'Who were the emigrants?' we should note that they were probably among the most venturesome persons in their native district. Timid persons who thought about the matter too much preferred to remain at home. Since those who emigrated were used to hard work, and knew how to 'pitch in', almost all of them prospered in America." - W Klenck : 'Heimatkunde des ehemaligen Kreises Neuhaus an der Oste'.
From : Jacob Adler - "Claus Spreckels - The Sugar King in Hawaii".
(Spreckels was born in Lamstedt, Germany.)



4 February 10 ...

* Searching for info on Alexander Innes of St. Benet Paul's Wharf, London, Sugar Refiner, 1780s, if anyone can help, please.
* More Will summaries on website ... Blancken, Bradburne, Handasyde, Lear, Wiple.
* New ! ... Hull History Centre now open. Hopefully some more info from there next time I'm visiting the area.



8 January 10 ...

I've just finished reading "The Informant" by Kurt Eichenwald ... the huge 1990s investigation into global price-fixing in the food products industry. A 'cooperating witness', a major American food company, and the US law enforcement agencies ... an unbelievable comedy-of-errors by all parties, with, by today's standards, a predictable outcome at the initial trials.
The knock-on effect of the fixing of prices and volumes saw ADM and their alleged worldwide competitors/collaborators, each in turn, settling lawsuits with US Department of Justice to the tune of many millions of dollars. In 2004, Tate & Lyle settled out of court for the alleged role of their US subsidiary A E Staley Manufacturing with regard to the production and sale of the sweetener high fructose corn syrup. They paid $100 million.*

I wonder what the founders of the original, and separate, Tate and Lyle refineries in Silvertown would have thought of the ADM mantra - "The competitors are our friends and the customers are our enemies" **, and as for agreeing to fix prices ... "The competition between Tates and Lyles was always intense" and "Old Henry Tate is said never to have met Old Abram Lyle. There was never a meeting or discussion or a message passed between the heads of the two businesses ..." !! ***

* Washington Post, 29 July 2004. (online)
** "The Informant" by Kurt Eichenwald, Portobello Books Ltd, 2009. p51 & p303.
*** The Plaistow Story, by Oliver Lyle, Tate & Lyle Ltd, 1960. p40.

Name enquiries - COATES, SCHULER.

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22 December 09 ...

*** My thanks to all readers and contributors, and may I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a very healthy and 'researchful' 2010 (doesn't time fly!).
* The Will of George Shum has now been completed ... my thanks to TNA DocumentsOnline for their excellent response and hard work that recovered the two missing pages.
* Circumstances dictated that the family got together for Christmas last Sunday. The little ones had one of their occasional meetings and were mesmerized by each other.

Name enquiries - HEISSENBUTTEL.


8 December 09 ...

* Now over 130 wills. The latest are those of George Shum 1805 (if anyone has the details from the missing pages, I'd be grateful to hear from you) and Samuel Buttall of Plymouth and Topsham 1723 that confirms the presence of a sugarhouse in Plymouth long before local literature suggests.
* I've added a page of images of St George's German Lutheran Church, Alie St, London ... my thanks to Chris.
* ... and some text and an image of New York waterfront 1877-86 on the Refineries page.
* My thanks to Kaye for pointing me in the direction of the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks Projects ... parish registers of Liverpool particularly interesting.



8 November 09 ...

* New Exeter page ... more detail needed, though.
* John Gardner ran the Cheltenham Original Brewery as well as being a sleeping partner in the County of Gloucester Bank, but was he, or a member of his family, a Sugar Broker in London in the 1770s ???

Name enquiries - BUTTALL, SHUM, ZIEGLER.


26 October 09 ...

* New Gloucester page now up and running ... one hundred years of refining - on and off; and an accounts ledger with a mysterious past.



7 October 09 ...

* Sorry, getting far behind with the work ... this is the start of me trying to catch up !!
* Been on holiday, which if I can wangle it has to include a Record Office. Gloucester RO has some interesting stuff. Considering the city tended to be dismissed as a "failed attempt" where refining is concerned, there's evidence of sugarhouse(s) for almost 100 yrs. New page soon.
* New page on St George's German Church, Alie St, soon as well.



30 August 09 ...

* Not a lot going on on the website at the moment ... busy at home - heating, chimneys, kitchen, shower.
* Lucy had her second birthday last week, and little Noah was six month old - his christening next weekend - doesn't time fly !!



21 July 09 ...

* As 'regulars' will know, I try to answer queries both promptly and to the best of my ability. Even though I now try to reply using the name of the person being researched as the subject line rather than 'sugar' or 'research', which both get picked up by spam filters, the number of acknowledgments from new enquirers is still limited. Please remember to check your spam filters, and if you've not received a reply then let me know and I'll re-send.

Name enquiries - DOH(R)MANN, LANCKENAU.


1 July 09 ...

* The introduction of the wind-driven sugar mills to Barbados in the 17th century improved efficiency enormously but had the unexpected effect of reducing the productivity of the cane fields. The mills were previously driven by animals ... no animals, no manure for the fields, reduced growth !!


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21 May 09 ...

* The Museum of London Archaeology has a large collection of pottery sherds, from sugar moulds and collecting jars, found during a recent dig on the site of the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard in Shoreditch. Centred on Patience St, the finds were spread over a considerable area as well as showing possible dates ranging from the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries. Just why the sherds were there is still being questioned ... there's, as yet, no evidence of a sugarhouse or a pottery in the immediate vicinity ... and I have suggested the possibility that such a huge quantity might represent the moulds and jars from a large refinery that closed in the 1850s and was used for hardcore under the new railway buildings. We'll see !
* I've added more detailed info to the page for Newcastle under Lyme ... my thanks to Barbara and Pam.

Suor Maria Celeste, daughter of Galileo, wrote to her father from her convent in Arcetri, near Florence, on 4 January 1629, enclosing a short shopping list of the more costly items - "white sugar, almonds and fine confectioners' sugar" - needed "for making a platter of pastries" for the wedding feast at her brother's marriage later that month.
From : Dava Sobel - "Galileo's Daughter".



30 April 09 ...

* Collections were often made in churches to provide financial help to those who had suffered tragedy and loss due to fire, storm, illness, etc. These can sometimes be found listed in parish registers under the heading of 'Briefs' or 'Collections', and were not just for local events but appear to have been for events much further afield. I have two references to a sugarhouse fire (the earliest found to date) at the premises of Juxon & Sheppard of Cole Harbour, London, in 1672. In September 1672 the Parish of Bunbury in Cheshire collected 11s 10d and in November 1672 the Parish of Uppingham in Rutland collected £1 0s 2d, with 77 good folk subscribing to the latter ... I wonder how many more parishes collected for the same fire? If anyone spots further collections referring to this or any other sugar-related event I'd be grateful to hear from them.
* I've visited Newcastle upon Tyne ... little on sugar at Tyne & Wear Archives, but the wonderfully tranquil Lit & Phil Library has a series of early directories from which I've extracted the sugar info. My thanks to both for their help. New info now on website. If anyone has access to the 1811 directory (fiche missing at Archives) I'd be grateful if they could find any sugar refiners for me, please.
* We've also made it onto Andrea Bentschneider's blog. She runs the German/English website 'Beyond History', so for those who can read German try this link to C12H22O11.

Name enquiries - ROCK, WESTHOFF.


31 March 09 ...

* Sorry, little new at the moment ... a touch busy, but I do have waiting some excellent info on Newcastle-under-Lyme and I'm building a collection of info on sugar moulds - just need time to write them up.



23 February 09 ...

** Our second grandchild, Noah, born today ... a cousin for Lucy. :-))



17 February 09 ...

* Thanks to Alan for prompting me to look in more detail at the refiners Wainwright & Gadesden. In doing so it has become clear that it was James Gadsden, refiner and partner at Thornton, Watson & Co in Hull, who ran this company followed by his son Augustus William Gadsden. The Gadesden and Gadsden surnames for this particular family appear to be interchangeable.
* Have now added a Bremen page ... 9 sugarhouses, though Horst comments that sugar refining never had an important role in the city.



31 January 09 ...

* I've added a Deptford page, part of the London section. Some refining but more importantly, I think, its potteries supplied sugar moulds and collecting pots to the refining trade for maybe 150+ years.
* My thanks to John Boden for the details of the will of William Boden of Friend & Boden of Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel. He retired to Bristol having made his fortune from sugar, but there is no mention of his past occupation in his will, although he did 'remember' some of his Whitechapel friends as well as the London Hospital and the Infants School.

Name enquiries - BODEN, LIST.


17 January 09 ...

* New Belfast page just added. 2 sugarhouses, much info, new map. Any more info gratefully accepted.

Name enquiries - FITCH, FORTMAN, MEHRTENS.


8 January 09 ...

* New info added to the Stockton page ... my thanks to Geoff.
* Working on a lot of new info regarding Belfast ... my thanks to Steve ... and a much improved map soon.
* Alan Godfrey Maps are now producing a series of very useful "A Yard to the Mile" OS maps of Liverpool ... every house, court, alley and sugarhouse !!


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21 December 08 ...

** Merry Christmas to you all **
... and many thanks for all the info, all the queries, all the compliments, and for keeping me busy !
And, of course, thanks for buying my book !!

Name enquiries - STUHR, WARE.


3 December 08 ...

* LIVERPOOL - Love Lane Lives ...
The History of Sugar in Liverpool & The Continuing Effects of the Closure of Tate & Lyle's Love Lane Refinery.
For a number of years now, Ron Noon, Senior Lecturer in History at LJMU, has been trying to develop a project highlighting the struggles of the former employees of Tate & Lyle's Love Lane Refinery in Liverpool, both before and after its closure in 1981. With invaluable help from others, and Lottery funding, the project website went online 1 Dec 2008. Still an ongoing project, the website already includes a 46 minute film, background notes and Ron's blog. A facility will be developed to enable people to submit video histories to the project team. These will be edited and made available on site.
A 'must' for those researchers whose recent ancestors have worked at Love Lane ... talk to your folks and submit those oral histories.
Click to visit Love Lane Lives, the film, the history, the blog.     ** Do watch the film ... highly recommended !! **

Name enquiries - BRUNS, HOWARD, WREDEN.


31 October 08 ...

* Maps for Belfast, Cork and Goole have now been added. More research needed at Goole.



18 October 08 ...

* ... and the database has just nudged above 23,000 !!



18 September 08 ...

* It is considered most likely that the TATE photograph previously discussed was taken on the occasion of the visit of King George V in March 1917, following the Silvertown Explosion of 19 January 1917.



27 August 08 ...

** Lovely Lucy is one year old today :-))

Name enquiries - ZARFAS.


13 August 08 ...

* Have placed the transcript of the Macfie letter 1839 (mentioned 30 April) on the Miscellany page.

Name enquiries - UHTHOFF.


5 August 08 ...

* If anyone had menfolk working at TATE's, Silvertown, 1905 to 1930, they might want to look at picture in Portrait Gallery to see if they recognise a familiar face. See previous two entries.


11 July 08 ...

* Re: previous entry ... I've added a cropped version (only the men) of the T&L photograph to the Portrait Gallery. If anyone can help with the date, it would be appreciated. Naming the men may take longer !!
........... Could it be the King's visit following the Silvertown Explosion in 1917 ??????
........... Could it be at the end of WWI ??????

Name enquiries - PLAXTON, PUES.


3 July 08 ...

* I have a new T&L (might just be Tate), Thames Refinery, photograph. Trying to date it. About 80 men ... in Saville St ... hats, coats, collars and ties, very wide flat caps ... one euphonium, one cornet ... wet, rainy, misty. No names, no date, but it still says Henry Tate over the gate !!
* A large proportion of the site of the main Hull refinery in Lime St has been cleared ready for the building of a car park. Apparently planning permission was granted in 2005 but with no requirement for archaeological investigation before development takes place. I wrote to many last year, without reply, and I fear this month's letters and emails will be treated similarly ... but if you don't try !! All I ask is that somebody wakes up to the fact that this is an important site in Hull's industrial history and at least makes an attempt to see if any evidence remains underground before the diggers ruin any further chances. I visited again 2 weeks ago and have added a bit more to the Hull page; and I'll visit again in 10 days or so.


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7 June 08 ...

* The number of sales ads. on the Sales page has just increased by almost 50% to 110+. These are a clear indicator of the state of the industry, as well as showing the developments of the machinery and hardware used within it. Often the reasons for the sales are given. Current listing - 1717-1913, but will keep searching for more.

Name enquiries - 'firemarks', 'hogsheads'.


29 May 08 ...

* Carolyn's newspaper info has added about 550 new entries to the db, and I'm still adding sales, fires and fatalities ...
... and then hopefully some more from various 19thC directories.



30 April 08 ...

* So much for addresses! This is how William Macfie of Greenock addressed a letter to his brother John in Edinburgh back in 1839 ...

... William was clearly thinking of the new year. I'll transcribe the full letter when time permits !!

* Carolyn in Oz, to whom I'm very grateful, has been searching the old newspapers for 'sugar' evidence. I'm slowly working through the files adding to the sales and fatalities pages and uploading to the website as I go, and to the database which may take some time to update. I've a further long list from Ann in Canada to add as well.



27 March 08 ...

An interesting few days ....
* I found that the website and book had both been mentioned in a podcast, 26 Jan 08, by the Genealogy Guys in US.
* I was contacted by a descendant of one of the old Hamburg refining families of the 18thC. Four generations of the Bauck family refined there (in 1799 at Rodingsmarkt 63), until the business was destroyed by fire - possibly by the French (???).
* I received pictures of another sugar flagon - Smith & Tyers again, but later - see Capillaire page.
* And I found this little gem in a hitherto unknown (to me) history of T&L ...

The personnel of a Bristol sugar refinery in 1878.
No. of employees Occupation Weekly salary
78 unskilled workers 15s 6d
2 pan operators 50s
2 boiler-men 25s
1 person in charge of bone black filter 26s
1 head engineer 47s 6d
84 Total £87 4s 6d
Source: Bristol Chamber of Commerce, 1879 - quoted in
'The Making of a Sugar Giant, Tate & Lyle 1859-1989' by Philippe Chalmin, 1990.



29 February 08 ...

* Sorry, out of action for some time - back gone again. Just returned for occasional very short spells at computer.
* Excellent, well researched, hype-free article about 125 years of Lyle's Golden Syrup in the Daily Mail 16 Feb 2008. I have their permission to include this as a link.



23 January 08 ...

****** AT LAST !!! The SUGARBAKERS BOOK is now in print. ******



1 January 08 ...

* Happy New Year ... and if you're on this side of the planet, Lucy says "Wrap up warm for winter!"
* The saga of the book continues. It should have been available the week before Christmas but an elementary error on the cover means it has to be reprinted. Definitely, probably, very soon, maybe !!!!

Name enquiries - MELMOTH, MEYNCKE, WICKE.

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18 December 07 ...

** Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.**
My thanks to all who have contacted me regarding their sugarbaker research and to those who have provided new info for the website. My thanks also to all those anonymous folk who have visited the website and hopefully found it of use and/or interest.


9 December 07 ...

* Collected the various 'people pictures' together into a Portrait Gallery - can you add to it ? (jpeg / max 300 pix ht)



3 November 07 ...

* London's Museum in Docklands opens its new exhibition London, Sugar & Slavery on November 10.
Full details at their website.



14 October 07 ...

* The news regarding the book is now somewhat more promising !!?????!!



17 September 07 ...

* More than 15 months since the book went to AGFHS !!!



27 August 07 ...

** Our first grandchild was born today :-))

Name enquiries - TIELHEN, SANKEY SUGAR Co.


18 August 07 ...

* James Vl of Scotland granted the sole right of refining sugar within the kingdom of Scotland to three gentlemen in 1619 for a term of 31 years, though as yet there's no evidence they ever produced any sugar. (See Glasgow page.) Could this, and maybe other such fruitless monopolies, be the reason refining began in Scotland some 120 years later than England ??

Name enquiries - BOOTH, GERDES.


21 July 07 ...

"I did and do believe, after all that I've seen and done, that if you project yourself into the mass of things, if you look for things, if you search, you will, by the very act of searching, make something happen that would not otherwise have happened, you will find something, even something small, something that will certainly be more than if you hadn't gone looking in the first place ... . There are no miracles, no magical coincidences. There is only looking, and finally seeing, what was always there."
Extract from : Daniel Mendelsohn - "The Lost ... A Search for Six of Six Million".


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27 June 07 ...

* Slowly working through the London Gazette online ... bankruptcies, estates, executors, etc ... some interesting info. Have finished the searches for sugar bakers, and up to 1800 for sugar refiners ... these are on the db. When London Gazette completed will see what the Edinburgh Gazette gives us.



9 June 07 ...

* The blog is one year old ... I hope it has been of use. The first thing mentioned was the 'Sugarbakers' book ... I look forward to its long-awaited publication !!!
* The Hamburg maps are now loaded to the 'Locations' section of the website. Further info regarding Hamburg refiners would be gratefully accepted.

Name enquiries - McMARTH, TRINGHAM.


23 May 07 ...

* As 'regulars' will know, I have been answering queries to this website for seven years - I hope promptly and to the best of my ability.
The last six months or so have seen a marked increase in the number of new enquirers who have not responded to my replies. I don't think the world is becoming more impolite, but I do think that maybe my replies are getting lost in spam filters, which are not being checked regularly. 'Sugar' and 'Research' are both words likely to be picked up by filters.
If enquirers have not received a reply recently then let me know and I'll re-send.



13 May 07 ...

* I've begun work on a set of Hamburg pages (similar layout to the East End ones). The Hamburg index page and the directory page are both now on the website and I'm about to start work on the maps of the 4 quarters of Hamburg, and those pages will go up as they are completed. I've located 100 of the 108 streets listed using an 1840 map ... if anyone has access to an earlier map, I'd be grateful to know the exact positions of the 8 missing ones, please. They are ... Ebräergang, Gäberstrasse, Hanckentwiete, Kannengiesserot, Kugelsort, Lieschengang, Scheelengang, Stavenpforte.

Name enquiries - SCHWIER.


30 April 07 ...

* Have added the findings from our visit to Lime St, Hull, to the Hull page . I wonder if it would be possible for there to be a professional look into this site once it is vacated and before it is inevitably redeveloped ... perhaps any new development might include the names "Old Sugar House" and "Sugar House Wharf".

Name enquiries - MUHM, WHITEMAN.


19 April 07 ...

* HELP wanted in Greenock. Ross Ahlfeld writes, "The old sugar warehouse in Greenock (image) is getting seriously dilapidated and in real danger of being pulled down. However, the local paper 'Greenock Telegraph' is going to start a campaign to try and raise awareness about the historical significance of the building." Also at risk in Greenock is Lyle's old Glebe Refinery building in Ker St (image). There is surprisingly little evidence left in the UK of a once important industry ... if anyone can help with case studies, family tales, pictures, etc, it would be appreciated.
* On the same theme, Hannah & I visited the site of the Old Sugar House in Lime St, Hull, last week. Maps, the picture of its fall, pacing-out, photographs and chatting to local workers has hopefully got me closer to working it all out. One piece of old wall still stands, but I now have to try to decide which part of which building it was. Will add to website soon.
* Have located the 1780 Stockton sugarhouse building on 1897 OS map, and found a picture. Have added a Stockton page. No info on who owned/ran it, though.



26 March 07 ...

* On a number of occasions over the past few years I have tried to contact Tate & Lyle regarding their archives and public access to them. Having had no response, last month I wrote to Iain Ferguson, the Chief Executive, at Head Office. My letter was passed to the person responsible for the archives, from whom I have received a very pleasant reply clearly explaining the current situation and the future of the archives. If researchers with T&L interests wish for further detail, just email me.


12 March 07 ...

* Peter has completed his very gentle editing of my Sugarbakers book ... and so to the printer. As promised I'll keep you informed of its progress.
* Following the piece in Ancestors, there's a Google Blog of 20 Feb regarding sugarbaker Carl Reins. Both use the website heavily, but I suppose that's the risk of publishing on the Web.



22 February 07 ...

***** Yesterday I was told about an article in Ancestors (TNA's monthly magazine) regarding London Sugar Bakers. Needless to say "A Sticky Business" is not mine, even though much of the detail is either on my website, in one form or another, or has been sent by me to members of the Almeroth family. I have good reason to doubt the author's desire to contact other researchers. *****


19 February 07 ...

Having transcribed the wills of over 100 sugar refiners, I have just come across the first instance of an owner leaving legacies to all his workers. Johann George Wicke wrote his will in 1828. He left £100 to each of his boilers and £100 to each of his clerks with £150 to his chief clerk, which was not unusual for the time, however he also left £12 to each of his labourers who had worked for him for 2 years or more, and £6 to each of those who had worked for less than 2 years.
This was probably the act of a truly considerate man, for he also instructed that when he died all stock was to be worked up and sold, and then his executors were to sell his sugarhouse(s), possibly leaving his employees without work. [see Will summary.]


13 February 07 ...

* Bristol Burgesses completed.



28 January 07 ...

* Sorry ... new computer ... new things to learn.
* Part way through uploading early Bristol Burgesses info ... thank you, Val.



4 January 07 ...

* I last mentioned "the book" in August. I can't explain the hold up here, but it will be in print within the next few months.
* Talking of books - the much-quoted 'Art de Rafiner le Sucre' by Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau, first published 1764, has been beautifully reprinted in Paris and is available for around 40 euros. Also reprinted, for around 30 euros, is the excellent 'L'Industrie du Sucre' by Louis Figuier, from 1870. Both are in French. I'll happily supply further info if you'd like it.

The EoLFHS referred its members to a rather different book - 'The Small House in Eighteenth Century London' by Peter Guillery. This is very good, and just for good measure contains 2 pictures of Pennington St and one of Wellclose Sq. Built c1680, 109 & 134-143 Pennington St would have been similar to those lived in by the sugarbakers in the same street. The cover picture is of No.26 Wellclose Sq and typical of the timber houses built there, however immediately behind it can be seen the sugarhouse that had belonged to John Wagener. It exactly matches the plans of the 1850s held at LMA (MBO/Plans/440-2) for an extension to his premises [see Refineries page].


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20 December 06 ...

* Merry Christmas to all researchers, contributors & readers ... and many thanks for your support throughout the year. We'll certainly see the book in print next year !!
* I've just added some 400+ more entries from the London 1841 census, and will now go back and do further searches of the 1851.

Name enquiries - BEHNKEN.


1 December 06 ...

* Batger's CHINESE FIGS ... does anyone know if they or their like are still available, please. I've had two enquiries about them in the last month.
* Added a couple more wills (Gadsden, Reimels). My thanks to Carolyn and Marge.
* I've searched the 1815 and 1865 directories, added the info to the directory, and will now get on with adding it to the db and the maps.

Name enquiries - BRUNS, BURGINGER.


11 November 06 ...

* Added the entries from the 1846 London Post Office Directory to the db, directory, maps, etc.
* (Are there any fireworks that don't go "bang"?? When I was a kid only 'bangers' did so ... and they weren't the sort of fireworks you had !)

Name enquiries - SMITH.

1 November 06 ...

* Very busy week or so with the enquiries, which included Peter sending info showing the inter-marrying of sugarbaker families - Muench/Mogge & Mogge/Uffelman. Ellen is looking for evidence of her Gumbel ancestors who she thinks worked in London, perhaps for Harman Harbusch, for a few years before continuing to New York. Marge sent a great piece of info found in Australian records whilst searching for Reimels that put Carsten Bulwinkle in Hall & Boyd, London, then New Zealand, and finally running a sugar mill in Australia.



19 October 06 ...

* Chris has sent me a copy of George Blue's apprenticeship papers - 1905-12, Abram Lyle & Sons, Plaistow Wharf. It also includes a short testimonial from John Lyle, 1912. So now we have a new page ...Indentures & Testimonials... and I've moved Claus Schuhmacher's testimonial onto it too.
There must be more of these documents lying around ... all would be welcome.



11 October 06 ...

* I've just added a DIRECTORY of SUGAR HOUSES, which brings together onto one page all the info behind all of the maps. It's linked to each map, and the maps back to the directory. There's a direct link from the front page as well as the site map and history pages. I hope it will prove of use.

Name enquiries - SCHWIER.


7 October 06 ...

* A mere 68 entries from the Liverpool census 1841 - the enumerators did not identify the labourers' types of work .....
* ..... but better news ... Liverpool John Moores Uni are about to appoint a leader for an oral history project with the former Tate & Lyle workers beginning this December. As soon as I have details of the project website, I'll publish them here.

Name enquiries - STUHR.


30 September 06 ...

* Added more from London 1861 census, prompted by another enquiry regarding Dunk St, Mile End New Town. It's only that small area though.

Name enquiries - BOGGAN, BRUNS, MULLER/MILLER, NOVAK, SCHLOBAUM, WOOLLEY, and Alex SCOTT & Sons (Greenock).


19 September 06 ...

* I have my doubts regarding the 41 census for Liverpool ... I don't think the enumerators are identifying the various types of labourer. Whilst I'm picking up a few owners and a few sugarbakers (listed as such because that's what they called their occupation when asked), there are no 'labourers in sugar house' etc.
* Just added another case study ... GERKEN ... thanks to Kaye in New Zealand. I'm hoping a WELBROCK one may follow soon. :-)



11 September 06 ...

* I've added the entries from the 1861 Bristol census. If I've missed any, I'm sure you'll tell me.
* Started scrolling through the 1841 census for Liverpool.
* Back in June, I said, "... do some decorating or something." Well, I'm still doing it ... and I've found the excellent Ecos paints - odour-free - how pleasant.

Name enquiries - GERKEN, WELBROCK.


31 August 06 ...

* Needless to say, this blog is an 'unofficial' one that I add to only when I have new material or something to say. I've just noticed that Google allows you to specifically search (click 'more') the 'official' blog sites. A search for 'sugar refiner' produced this extract ... "... today I discovered that a lot of the ornamentation inside St Mark's building [Philadelphia] was designed by Charles [Eamer] Kempe, who is a rather distant cousin of mine: his great-grandfather was Harman Samler, a sugar-refiner in London in the 1780s, who was my dad's dad's mum's dad's dad's mum's dad. Why someone has seen fit to make a webpage about Harman I don't know, but it shows you can find almost anything on the web these days."

Name enquiries - KURHT, MULLER, and the ALBION SUGAR Co.


19 August 06 ...

* Sorry, folks ... been away in County Durham and Yorkshire. What a pleasant change from this neck of the woods !
* The book has hit a rather serious (in their eyes) and unexpected problem, but we'll get there in the end. I'm not going to let so much hard work come to nothing.
* So it's back to the website and a lot to catch up on.

Name enquiries - CHARD, DERX, HOPMAN, KRITE.


28 July 06 ...

** ... and our son was married today !!

Name enquiries - BREYER, LOHDUR/LOHDEN.


20 July 06 ...

* I've just been told, "It's very unlikely that the book will be ready for Christmas." Thoroughly disappointed and frustrated, but what can I do ... the editorial team at AGFHS is just 4 volunteers with an unbelievable workload; they desperately need more help !

Name enquiries - SCHULTZ.

14 July 06 ...

* Just added some wonderful pictures of John Thomson, who ran the Sankey Sugar Works, to the Earlestown page. I'm assured it was spelt without the 'p', although the census enumerators wrote otherwise. Need to find him in Bury in the '51 census.
* Also added to the Schwier page ... detail of the sugarhouse in Dunk St / Kingward St both before (Zabell) and after (Martineau/Tutte) the Schwier family ran it.
* Last entry mentioned Althoff. I've now been sent John Althoff's will, and it looks highly probable that John worked for Harman Harbusch. Am about to decifer HH's will.

Name enquiries - DAVIS (Bristol), HARBUSCH, HEUSER, MICHAELS.


6 July 06 ...

* I need to research 2 more locations where refining is said to have taken place - Stockton and Exeter.
- Stockton-on-Tees - around 1780, refinery at 'Sugar House Open' (1). Will visit next month, but in the meantime any help welcomed.
- Exeter - basic archaeological evidence around 1700 shown at RAMM Museum, Exeter, and on a couple of websites (2). I think this will be researched from a distance, so would appreciate any help with further evidence, please.

* By the way, I found the Monck info regarding his purchase of Tower Place (see 27 Jun) in 1668 in 'Sugar Spices & Human Cargo' - Joan Anim-Addo.

Name enquiries - ALTHOFF, FICKEN.


1 July 06 ...

* Uploaded the rest of the 1881 names, as well as a map & names for the refinery at Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire for the same year. The database has now topped 20,000.
* New ongoing census search is for Bristol 1861.

Name enquiries - WICKE.

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27 June 06 ...

* The book - I'm told publication will take some time. Be patient, Bryan - do some decorating or something.
* There were more names than expected in the 1881 census, but they'll be finished by the end of month.

English soldiers in Portugal in the 1660s were often paid in sugar, the London brokers then selling it on their behalf (1). I've read somewhere that George Monck, who could be said to have founded the British Army, apparently owned Tower Place at Woolwich some time before Wm Pritchard who in turn sold it to King Charles II for the building of Woolwich Arsenal. I have known for a while that Tower Place had "sugarhouses" when sold in 1676 (2), but this new info makes me think they were more likely to have been for storage than refining. Have not yet found a map or further info.
(2) LMA - E/MW/C/229.



8 June 06 ...

** The wedding day was a resounding success ......

* Finally relinquished my hold on my "Sugarbakers" book ... sent manuscripts, illustrations, etc to the publishers (AGFHS) today.
* Decided to finish entering on to the database the 1881 sugar workers from the census - Scotland, Essex, etc.



31 May 06 ...

* The "Sugarbakers" book is finished, and I've thoroughly enjoyed writing it. I now need to get back to the work on the website, but how will you know what I've added? Whilst I update it almost weekly, now that the site is that much bigger it's not obvious where the updates are ... perhaps this irregular weblog may be the answer.
* Well, off to our daughter's wedding this weekend, where Bryan has to wear a suit for the first time in maybe 35yrs!

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