John Brearley’s notebook 1772-73

It is great news that this historic document has been acquired by YAHS – a precious and unique record of the fulling and wool trade in Wakefield in the 18th century.

The Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society has just bought at auction a memorandum book kept by John Brearley, a cloth frizzer in Wakefield, covering the years 1772-3. The volume contains about 140 drawings of machines, devices and power systems used in textiles and other industries.

The hammer price was £5,000 (plus auctioneer costs). YAHS’s president David Asquith negotiated substantial grant aid from Friends of the National Libraries and the V&A Purchase Fund. 

Brearley’s book will join YAHS collections in the Brotherton Library Special Collections, University of Leeds.

But can you help YAHS with information? This is Brearley’s 12th memorandum book. 1758-62 has been transcribed and published in the Society’s Record Series. But where are the rest? Please let them know if you have any idea.

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