The Barcham Family

Drapers - the Blakelys of Norwich and the Shalders of Worstead

Our Barcham forebears were worsted weavers. In the 17th century this and other trades, such as blacksmithing, were cottage crafts. With the industrial revolution, people moved from the countryside into the towns where manufacturing displaced the cottage crafts. It is interesting to note that there is a weaving shed at the rear of Norfolk House, Worstead, where Phoebe (Barcham) and Jacob Shalders had their grocery, drapery shop and post office. Other examples of the move to the towns are:

Edward Blakely (b. 1796, at Thrandeston, Suffolk) the brother of John Rix Blakely, was a ‘silk mercer to Her Majesty’. In 1841, in addition to his wife and family, there were five assistants living over his workshop at 15 and 16 London Street, St Andrew’s parish, Norwich, one of whom was Naomi Shalders (b. 1814, at Worstead), the daughter of Phoebe (Barcham) and Jacob Shalders. In 1851, Edward’s son, Edward Theobald Blakely (b. 1827) was an exhibitor at the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park. The Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition includes the following entries:

Mr. BLAKELY, of Norwich, contributes some splendid SHAWLS, woven expressly for the Exhibition . . . ; it must suffice to say that they are of the very best order of design and workmanship . . .

Among the beautiful shawls and scarves exhibited by Mr. Blakely . . . is an elegant SCARF of Cashmere, of which a portion is here engraved : in its simple yet elegant design, and in tasteful arrangement of colour, it is everything to be desired. We understand the scarf has been purchased at the Exhibition by the Queen.

In August 1847, Naomi Shalders, then aged 33, married Thomas Short, a draper. They emigrated to New Zealand in 1853, and settled in Auckland, near her brother Richard Barcham Shalders, see above.

There were other Shalders families living in Norwich who were probably distantly related to the Shalders branch of the Barcham family. In White’s 1845 Directory and Gazetteer of Norfolk, a Thomas Shalders was a blacksmith in Westlegate; and a William Shalders was a furrier, leather merchant and patent pump manufacturer in Bank Plain. An advertisement in Kelly’s 1853 Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, gives a description of the ‘Patent Fountain Pump’ invented and manufactured in various sizes by William Shalders, Junior who described himself as an ‘Hydraulic Engineer’. The pumps had leather valve parts and copper-riveted leather hose pipes.  The advertisement mentions that William Shalders also exhibited at the Great Exhibition: ‘. . .  Class 5, No. 402, where W. S. Jun. had 25 varieties and sizes of Patent Fountain Pumps and Engines, and other important Hydraulic &c, Fittings, with honourable mention.’

One of the shawls exhibited at the Great Exhibition is now on display in the Shawl Museum at Carrow House, Norwich. This information comes from David Blakely, a descendant of Naomi (Barcham) and John Rix Blakely.

David Blakely is the author of Ships, Shawls and Loyal Service, a family history about three Blakely brothers, published in 2016 and available from Troubador Publishing