Clerk Green Mill; sometimes known as the Old Craft Mill
Some information about this mill comes from Theodore Cooke Taylor's "One Hundred Years" Having examined deeds he mentions one dated May 5th 1796 which describes it as :-
"That mill or building lately erected ...for scribbling and carding and spinning of wool at Clerk Green.... and also the steam engine with its appurtenances and also the engines and machines now made or to be made and fixed for the purpose of scribbling and carding and spinning of wool"
The mill may at first have lacked fulling facilities, but by 1804 Taylor finds a mention of fulling stocks.
According to Taylor the original Company who worked the Mill were:- Thomas Hudswell and George and Barnabas Ineson. Thomas Hudswell was cousin to Theodore Taylor's grandfather, Thomas, whilst George Ineson's wife was also a Taylor who may well have been a connection of his, and this Thomas Taylor is said to have found work for the mill and gradually bought shares in it, owning it by 1832
Old books are said to show that rag-pulling for shoddy was done there by 1829. Names mentioned among customers include, Blackburn, Blakeley, Brearly, Burnley, Day, Fenton, Firth, Hall, Healey, Ineson, Nelson, Popplewell, Preston, Senior, Sheard, Smith, Stubley, Talbot, Taylor and Walker. The mention of Blackburn is interesting as my elusive 3rd great grandfather William, is listed as of Clerk Green, and could well have been amongst them.
The years around 1840 were ones of poor trade when many clothiers were out of work and there were many bankruptcies. Thomas Taylor hit hard times himself, and Theodore tells us that after 1840 the machinery was owned by a company called Brearley, Terry and Company. This must have involved the elder Robert Brearley
We hear from William Hall's account that the mill did not escape the boiler tappers in the troubled days of 1842.
There are indications of varying partnerships, but Taylor tells us that in 1853 a firm now known as Brearley Hall and Company bought the mill. Thomas Hall is said originally to have worked as a fuller for Robert Brearley, who married his daughter Dorothy. From then the two families were closely entwined, and we find many of Thomas's descendants in the business
The census of 1851 shows those who appear to have been partners then, since all are shown as in a firm of eight with similar numbers of employees. (They do not quite agree on numbers, but these themselves may have fluctuated.)These are:-
The first five were Robert, and his sons, all grandsons of Thomas Hall, whilst Henry Hall was Thomas's son and the two Williams his grandsons through their mothers.
The firm is said to have flourished for a time, and the younger Robert Brearley felt confident enough to set up a venture of his own at Queen Street Mill
By 1880 when Willans wrote of Clerk Green Mill it had passed into the hands of a Mr Robert Colbeck Hemingway, listed as an innkeeper in censuses.
By the 1920s, though, it was in the hands of Joseph Auty, another man who had risen from modest beginnings. A piecer in 1861, he rose to be an overlooker, then set up on his own, at one time occupying part of Bank Foot Mill