The Wolverhampton Gunlock Makers

© C. V. Clark 2004

(Last Revision October 2014)


A John Stanton patent rebounding gunlock made under licence c.1870 by Joseph Brazier & Sons

This site was published with the aim of detailing the author's ongoing research into the obscure history of those families and individuals who carried on the trade of gunlock (or gun lock) making in Wolverhampton. Historically, this trade has to a large extent been overlooked or ambiguously recorded and there is a scarcity of documented evidence specific to the trade. However, from many sources, including church records, civil registration documents, censuses, etcetera, and in collaboration with the descendants of gunlock makers, it has been possible to establish not only the genealogy of many of the Wolverhampton gunlock-making families but also their involvement and associations with the trade.

Although the author had originally made available online the full version under the sub-heading 'A Sketch History from Within the Trade' (February 2004), now only the abridged version is accessible, along with an explanation of basic gunlock mechanisms. 

The author can be contacted specifically about the following families' involvement with the Wolverhampton gunlock trade and their genealogy:- [St] Aubin, Bassett, Brazier, Brittain, Chilton, Dodd, Daly, Grainger, Homer, Law, Mansfield, Rigby, Stanton, Stilliard.

While researching the Wolverhampton gunlock trade it has become apparent that there was once a general gun trade in the town. Many of the gunlock makers obviously had the skills necessary to carry out a range of gun work not limited to just locks. Evidence suggests some cross-over, where gunlock makers would sometimes describe themselves as gunmakers or gunsmiths and vice versa. For this reason the author includes all those names he has found who were involved or associated with the town's gun trade. Without doubt, complete guns were made in the town by various makers. However, very few examples of these guns are known to still exist, so it would seem that they were only ever produced in small numbers. This assumption might be misleading as guns may have been made and supplied for retailers elsewhere to sell under their own name (a practice that was carried on extensively throughout the British gun trade and which still continues these days, albeit to a very much lesser extent). 

The linked page is an explanation and simple animation of: How Gunlocks Work

The author can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions or for any purpose outside his control for which this work and the information it contains might be used.

 The author can be contacted on: 
wolverhampton-glms (at) fsmail.net

********

Gunlock-Making in Wolverhampton

"Up early, and off to Wolverhampton to see Mr. Brazier, 
  the great [gun]lockmaker of Britain, about the lock 
for my new stanchion [gun]. I had a terrible job to find 
the right man, as the name of 'Brazier' here was like 
'Smith,' too universal to be distinguished. After an 
hour's tramp in mud and filthy streets, I got on the right 
scent, and found him at his little country seat, called 
'The Ashes,' and ascertained that 'Joseph Brazier, Esq.' 
was the precise direction to catch him.
"
 

 Extract of November 16th 1849 from:
'The Diary of Colonel Peter Hawker 1802 - 1853'
(first published 1893 by Longmans, Green and Company)

***

Wolverhampton, now a city within the English West Midlands, has always been involved with metal-working industries. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the town's proximity to the extensive coal, iron ore and limestone underground deposits, Wolverhampton saw a considerable increase in artisan trades working in iron and steel. All kinds of tools, implements and fittings were produced for an ever-increasing diversity of markets. A contemporaneous expansion of nearby Birmingham and its established gun trade led to a need for gun part manufacturers, upon which the skilled metal-workers quickly seized. 

An integral part of any gun is the mechanism by which it is fired, and is referred to as the lock (as in the old saying 'Lock, stock and barrel'). Within a relatively short period and mainly through their growing reputation for quality work, the Wolverhampton gunlock makers ensured that the prestigious London gunmakers became principal patrons of their trade. By the mid-nineteenth century many London-made guns were being furnished with locks from Wolverhampton.

It is not known who the first gunlock maker was to set up in Wolverhampton, and it is unlikely that they would have been engaged solely in gunlock-making; the trade not then being as specialised as it would become. Around 1660 John Perry was known as a gunsmith in nearby Bilston, a chapelry of Wolverhampton. Of some significance are the suggested associations between the Perry family and several Wolverhampton families later involved with gunlock-making. 

Gunlocks were being produced in Wolverhampton before the beginning of the eighteenth century, although there is very little documented history of the town's small businesses prior to the last quarter of that century. The neighbouring villages of Coseley and Ettingshall had various types of lock making industry. In that area  Edward Brassman and Joseph Bullock were recorded around 1760 as carrying on their trade as gunlock filers. The parish records of both All Saints and the later Roman Catholic St George's churches of adjoining Sedgley contain the surnames of many of the families who became known as gunlock makers of Wolverhampton: Perry, Newton, Homer, Brazier, Stanton, Law, Grainger. Of those, Thomas Newton was shown in the 1780 Birmingham Directory as carrying on his trade of gunlock maker in St John's Square, Wolverhampton.

The gunlocks produced up until the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century were flintlocks for fowling pieces (shotguns), muskets and pistols. A lucrative source of income was government contract work for military weapons such as the famous 'Brown Bess' musket. A new best quality London double-barrelled flintlock shotgun was then priced in the region of £45, the pair of locks for which costing about £4. Flintlocks continued in production throughout the 1800s, long after the invention and adoption of the percussion cap during the 1820s.

The gunlock trade was comprised mainly of businesses having just one or two tradesmen. Eventually the larger gunlock businesses had an owner/master gunlock maker, skilled in all aspects of his trade. The employees were generally divided into specific sub-trades: forgers, filers, pin (screw) makers and spring makers. Some were engaged as outworkers in their own small workshops, and a few undertook the manufacture of a variety of gun components such as sights, trigger-guards, butt-plates etcetera. The work was labour-intensive, with the smiths working at forging hearths, benches, vices and foot-treadle lathes. The hammer, chisel and file were his principal hand-tools, with simple dies, jigs and implements made in-house specifically for particular operations. The whole job of the gunlock maker required the considerable skill acquired through an apprenticeship which was typically for a period of seven or more years and ended on the person attaining the age of 21. After apprenticeship, and in common with other trades, the qualified gunlock maker was then usually classed as a 'journeyman', meaning that he was paid for his work by-the-day ('journeyman' being derived from the French word jour = day). Often a journeyman gunlock maker worked for several employers at their premises, and this sometimes entailed him travelling far and wide in search of work. Nonetheless, the trade continued on the common practice of employing family members; usually a father apprenticing his son either to himself or a relative, with the accepted presumption that the family business would be passed down through successive generations. Occasionally, the widow of the head of a family continued to run the business, either using the deceased's name or their own. Whether or not these widows were involved with the actual practicalities of gunlock-making is not known.

With motive power in the form of steam engines driving overhead take-off shafts and the increasing availability of machine tools, the preliminary 'roughing' procedures became more mechanised, particularly the forging of bar steel into rough components. Progress in the steel-making industry led to improved quality control of materials. Better and more closely controlled grades of steel led to greater reliability in gunlocks through the components being more durable and the tools with which they were made being more efficient. The transition from muzzle-loading to breech-loading guns after 1860 saw the gunlock industry of Wolverhampton take on the production of breech-loading actions and expand accordingly. Then the trade had become as large and specialised as it would ever be, with the companies of Joseph Brazier & Sons, John Stanton & Co and Edwin Chilton & Son recognised as the finest gunlock makers in the world.  

The last decade of the nineteenth century saw the development of new metal-working and engineering industries catering for mass-markets. Bicycle manufacturing and then the automotive trade became the town's large employers. Because the wages were better with such companies as Sunbeam and Clyno, many skilled men left the gunlock trade in search of a higher standard of living. From around 1900 until WWI it became increasingly difficult to attract young men into gunlock-making apprenticeships, particularly when the trade began to be regarded as not only underpaid but declining. Although both WWI and WWII saw the remaining gunlock companies involved once again in government contract work, there was to be no long-lasting renaissance for the trade.

The quality of the best gunlocks made throughout the second half of the nineteenth century has been equalled but never surpassed. Sub-contracted production drop-forging and electric motor-driven precision machines running high-speed-steel and tungsten-carbide tooling progressively reduced the time taken for roughing out, but the hand fitting and finishing have always remained essential operations.  

By the late 1950s, although the three most famous Wolverhampton gunlock-making companies were still in existence in the town, the families whose names they bore played no part in them. Within twenty years the trade was reduced to two companies. Another twenty years saw just one company remaining in the Wolverhampton area which could offer a production facility for gunlocks. In 2006 that last company moved elsewhere, bringing to an end the long, distinguished era of gunlock-making in Wolverhampton.

********

  

A List of Names Involved with the Wolverhampton Gun Trade

© C.V. Clark 2004 

(Last revision October 2014)

Please Note:

The following alphabetical list is only a general guide. The approximate period date only refers to that time where there is some evidence to support it. It does not imply that the individual was only working during that period. Likewise, the addresses given may not be the only ones where that person worked/lived during their working lifetime. Where a person founded a company, that company may have continued after the founder’s death, either as an ongoing family business or not. For reasons of privacy etc., the list only covers those who are deceased.

There is a source of confusion that the reader should be aware of: Some gunlock-making families had more than one relative with the same forename. In the absence of descriptive genealogies (intentionally omitted), misunderstandings and incorrect conclusions may arise where there are multiple same-named individuals in the same working period or not. A most pertinent example of this occurs several times in the Brazier family; just two illustrations of which are the three individual Benjamins being father, son and great-nephew, and the four individual James', being uncle, nephew and two great-nephews.   

The person may have had more than one trade during their lifetime; where that is known the other trade (or trades) is given. Some trades were carried on in conjunction with others, often of completely dissimilar nature. 

Much of Wolverhampton has changed over the years. Therefore places that went under a particular name may now have another name or even not exist, eg: what was the location of St Paul’s church is now a car park off the St John’s ring road.

The author cannot accept any responsibility for errors or omissions.

 

Surname/Forename

Trade*

Approximate Period

Locations

Adey Solomon

GLM

1871

71 Zoar St

Allcock Charles

GLM

1877 - 1939

Employed by 
Edwin Chilton & Son Ltd
(Res 8 Lloyd St)

Allmark Thomas

GLM

1851

Ablow St

Andrews Kenneth Joseph

GLS

1932

Gloucester St, Whitmore Reans

Arnold Lesley T.

Owner of 
'Joseph Brazier Limited'

1982 - 1992

'Ashes Works' [within Stella Works], Ash St, Bilston 
& 'The Beeches', Brewood

Aston Noah

GLS

1802

37-38 Bilston Rd

Aston William

GLF

1852

Moorfields [St John's]

[St] Aubin Charles

GLM & LS

1838 - 1869

Pountney St & 
Guardian Wks, Gt Hampton St

[St] Aubin William Henry

GLM & GAM

1865

Wolverhampton

Badger Joseph

GLS & GLF

1813 - 1815

Bilston

Badger Thomas

GLF

1853 - 1854

Dale St

Bagley  Joseph Jnr.

GLM

1718

Bilston

Barnett James

App GLF & GS

1861 - 1912

Bradmore & Zoar St & Brickkiln St
& Graisley Row

Barnett William John

GLS & GS

1861 - 1904

Zoar St & Pool St & Graisley Row & Bilston Rd & Chester St

Barrett James

GLS

1901

Owen Rd

Barrett Thomas

GLS

1866

Ash St

Bassett Henry 

GSM,
GL Forger & GLM

1861 - 1910

82 Ash St & Gt Brickkiln St

Bassett Henry Thomas

GSM,
GL Forger & GLM

1861 - 1925

Cherry St & Owen Rd & 
 248 Gt Brickkiln St

Bassett Sydney

GLM & GLS

1901 - 1932

39 Oak St  & Owen Rd

Bassett Stanley Harold

GLS

1901

39 Merridale St West

Bassett Thomas

LS, GLS & GLM

1861 - 1918

Peel St & Oak Road & 39 Oak St  & Richmond Rd

Bassett William 

GS

1874 - 1876

Clifton St & Ash St

Bate Joseph

Gun barrel Borer

1834

Bilston

Beddows Alfred

GLF & GLS

1891 - 1927

2 Gough St & Snow Hill &
Pipers Row

Beddow[e]s William

GLM

1851 - 1861

Merridale St & Franchise St & 
Moorfields & Gt Brickkiln St

Bellingham Richard

GLS

1871

29 Zoar St

Bennett James

GLF & GLM

1871 - 1875

3, Zoar St & Gt Brickkiln St

Blanton Charles S.

Lic Vic & GS

1881

‘Wheatsheaf Inn’, Gt Brickklin St

Blanton Henry Edward

GLF, GS, GLS & Lic Vic

1861 - 1880

37 Russell St & Lewis St & 
‘Wheatsheaf Inn’, Gt Brickkiln St

Bowen David

GLM

1840

Gough's Buildings

Bolton William

GLF

1861

Russell St

Booth John

GLM

1727

Bilston

Bowden Edward

GS

1700

Wolverhampton

Bradney James

GS

1861 - 1871

Bradmore

Bradney John

GLS & GLF

1852 - 1857

Sidney St & Lewis St & Penn Rd

Bradney Joseph

GLM

1861 - 1864

15 Union Mill St & St Mark's St

Brassman Edward

GLF

c1760

Bilston (Ettingshall)

Bratt Thomas

GLF & GLS

1813 - 1815

Ettingshall Lane & Ettingshall Rd

Brazier Benjamin

GLM & GM

1787 - 1832

Ettingshall & 9 Gt Brickkiln St

Brazier Benjamin

Lic Vic, GLM, GLS  & GS

1861 - 1898

31 Noakes Buildings & 
‘Nag’s Head,’  Mary Ann St
& Raglan St

Brazier Benjamin

GM

1833 - 1840

Cock St & (latterly) London

Brazier Charles

GLM & GLS

1861 - 1898

22 Temple Street & Merridale St & Victoria Rd & Bradmore

Brazier Donald Bernard

GLM & Cycle Maker

1861 - 1931

22 Temple St & Raglan St &
(latterly) Birmingham

Brazier Edwin

GLM

1841 - 1861

Tanhouse Lane & 
(Lodging at) Townwell Fold

Brazier Mrs Eleanor1
(widow of James)

GLM

1862 - 1880

22 Temple St

Brazier Mrs Elizabeth2
(widow of Thomas)

Lic Vic & GLM

1857 -1872

‘Yew Tree’, Pool St

Brazier [Brasier] Frederick

GLM & GLS

1845 - 1871

Russell  St & Pountney St & Pool St & Drayton St & Merridale St & 
Zoar St 

Brazier George

GLS & GLM

1861 - 1918

Townwell Fold & Drayton St & 
Oak St & Shore St & Strode Rd & 
Mander St & 28 Brevitt Rd 
& 40 Cobden St

Brazier Mrs Helena3
(widow of Richard)

Owner of 
'Joseph Brazier & Sons'

1866 -187?

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Brazier [Brasier] James

GLM

1815 - 1845

St John’s Square
(12 Bond St)

Brazier James

GLM & Maltster

1826 - 1864

‘King’s Head’, Bell St & 
21 Stafford St & St Peter's Square 
& 12 Bond St

Brazier James1

GLM & Brewer

1845 - 1862

Pountney Place & Bloomsbury St & Market St & Lewis St & 
Graisley Hill & 
17 Pool St & 22 Temple St

Brazier John

GLM, GAF & Lic Vic

1861 - 1884

Townwell Fold & Pool St & Paul St 
& Drayton St & Wellington (Shrop) &  Aston, Birmingham

Brazier Joseph Sidney

GLM

1887 - 1908

Strode Rd

Brazier Joseph

GLM, GIM, GAM & GM

1811 – 1864

Gt Brickkiln St (later at ‘Ashes’)

Brazier Joseph
 

GLM

1858 - 1879

North Rd & Ash St

Brazier Joseph
 

GLM & GLS

1861 - 1911

Townwell Fold & Oak St & 
Ablow St [ Mander St] & 
Shepherd St

Brazier Richard3

GLM, GAM
Watchmaker & (latterly)
Owner of 'Joseph Brazier & Sons'

1841 - 1864
1864-1866

‘Ivy House’, Tettenhall &
'Ashes', Gt Brickkiln St

Brazier Sarah?
 

GLS

1841

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Brazier [Brasier] Thomas2

Lic Vic GLM, GLF & GM

1805 - 1857

‘Seven Houses’, Dudley Rd & Pountney St & Bloomsbury St.... 
Also (earlier) Birmingham

Brazier Thomas

GLM & GS

1838 - 1884

Gt Brickkiln St &
Baker St & Cock St & 
26 Bennett’s Fold & 
34 Stafford Rd

Brazier Thomas

GLM

1838 - 1881

Tanhouse Lane & 
Pountney Pool &
Cleveland St &
Townwell Fold

Brazier William

GLM, GS &
Lic Vic

1851 - 1877

Graisley Hill & Pountney Pool & 
100 Gt Hampton St & 
24 Upper Vauxhall & 
'Swan Tavern', Pool St

Brewster Edwin

GLS

1871

46 Pearson St

Brewster William

GSM

1861

Oak St

Brier John

GLS

1875

Walsall St

Brindley John

Gun Barrel Borer

1813

Wolverhampton

Bristow Joseph

GLS

1871

72 Zoar St

Brittain Bernard

GLF

1861

Oak St

Brittain [Britton] James

GLM, GLF & GS

1859 - 1881

Graisley Row & Oak St & Herbert St
& Gough St

Brittain Samuel

GLS, GLF & GLM

1841 - 1859

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St & 
Brickkiln Lane

Brittain Thomas

GLF & GS

1861 - 1892

Zoar St & Canal St

Broadbent Charles

GLS

1861

Dale St

Brotherton Samuel

GS

1861

Pountney's Fold

Brown Thomas

GS

1868

Duke St

Brueton [Bruerton Brewton] Thomas

GL Forger, GLS & GLF

1818 - 1823

Wolverhampton

Bullimore Edward

GLS

1868

Little's Lane

Bullock James

GLS & GS

1861 - 1868

Gt Brickkiln St & Sidney St

Bullock John Thomas

GLM

? - 1925

Employed by 
J. Stanton & Co Ltd

Bullock Joseph

GLF

c1760

Bilston (Ettingshall)

Bullock Leonard

GLS & GLM

1895 - 1901

Baker St & 166 Merridale St West

Butler George

GL Forger & GLM

1852 - 1880

Merridale St & Philip St? & Dale St

Butler Joseph

GLF

1847

Wolverhampton

Butler Thomas Snr

GLF

1846 - 1847

Wolverhampton

Butler Thomas

GLF

1846

Wolverhampton

Butler William

GLF

1730

Bilston

Callaghan Luke

GLF

1861

Court 1, St Peter's Sq

Callaghan Thomas

GLF

1861

Court 1, St Peter's Sq

Cartwright Isaac

GLS & GLF

1861 - 1897

Pool St & Pearson St 
& Hallett’s Row

Challinor Thomas

GLF

1861

Townwell Fold

Chilton Edwin
(also as proprietor of Joseph Brazier & Son)

GLM
 

1872 - 1924
(1921 - 1924)

Lowe St &
41 Newhampton Rd West

Chilton William Bradshaw
(also as proprietor of Joseph Brazier & Son)

GLM
 

1901 - 1964
(1924 - 1864)

41 Newhampton Rd West &
189-190 Sweetman St

Choles James

GLS

1861

24 Waterloo St 

Churm John

GLS & GLF

1901 - 1916

5 King Edward's Row
(off Little Pountney Street) 

Clempson John

GS

1699

Wolverhampton

Cliff Henry

GLF & GLS

1866 - 1879

Oak St & Graisley St & Graisley Row & Yew St

Cliff Richard

GLS

1874

? St John's

Cliff Robert

GLF & GS

1873 - 1876

Bilston St & Zoar St

Collins Thomas

GSM

1861

Oak St

Cook[e] George

GM

1905 - 1907

9 Mars St

Cooper George

GLS

1861

Melbourne St

Cooper James

GS

1853

Merridale St

Cotterhill Joseph

GLM

1839

?

Cotterhill William

GS

1861

‘Prince of Wales’, Russell St

Cox Joseph

GLS

1847

Salop St

Cresswell Anthony

GLM

1717 - 1725

Bilston

Cresswell Benjamin

GLM

1793 - 1802

Wolverhampton

Cresswell James

GM

1860

Wolverhampton

Curtis William

GLF

1848

Wolverhampton

Daly William  
(Also as a founding partner of Law & Daly Co.)

GLF & GLM

1861 - c1900

c1900 - 1913

  68 Pountney St & 44 Pearson St & 197 Dudley Road & 2 Perry St &
244/248 Great Brickkiln St &
20 Paget St

Daly William Bernard
(Also involved with
Law & Daly Co.)

GLF & GLM

1891 - c1935

2 Perry St &
244/248 Great Brickkiln St &
20 Paget St & 
Mancroft Road, Tettenhall

Daly Frederick Raymond
(Also involved with
Law & Daly Co.)

GLF & GLM

1891 - c1935

  2 Perry St &
244/248 Great Brickkiln St &
52 Kimberly St & 20 Paget St

Daly Arthur Valentine
(Also involved with
Law & Daly Co.)

GLF & GLM

1901 - c1935

  20 Paget St &
244/248 Great Brickkiln St

Dangerfield Adam

GLS

1875

Lowe St

Dangerfield Edward

GLS, GLM & GLF

1846 - 1888

Penn Rd & Bradmore
Gt Brickkiln St & 
67 Ash St

Dangerfield Noah

GLS

1861 - 1918

Gt Brickkiln St & 
Green Lane [All Saints]

Darlaston John

GLS

1841

Merridale St

Davies John

GLM

1719 - 1726

Bilston

Dawes Jesse

Gun worker[?]

1852

Little Brickkiln St

Dawes William

GLS

1819

Bilston

Devey Thomas

Military GLM

1861

Oak St

Dewel Martin

GIM

1854

Sidney St

Dodd George

GLF

1901 - 1915

30 Zoar St & 12 Bond St

Dodd Henry

GLF & GLS

1861 - 1881

Oak St & Gt Brickkiln St & 
8 Zoar St

Dodd William Henry

GLS & GS

1884 - 1903

Zoar St

Drew Joseph

GLF

1861

Russell St

Dudley Joseph

GLF

1754

Wolverhampton(?)

Dudley Thomas Snr

GLF & GLM

1841 - 1864

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St & 
Merridale St

Dudley Thomas

GLM

1901

Wolverhampton

Dudwell Edward

GS, GLM , GLS & GS

1871 - 1926

'Fox Inn' & 28 Zoar St &
Salisbury St & Laburnum St

Dudwell William Henry

GLM

1916 - 1962

Employed by J. Stanton & Co Ltd

Duncombe George

GL Forger

1901

86 Gt Brickkiln St

Edge John

GLS

1861

3 Compton St

Edge Thomas

LS & GLS

1861 - 1871

3 Compton St

Edwards John Frederick

GM

1872

Townwell Fold

Edwards Joseph

GLF

1863

Walsall St

Edwards William

GLF

1923

West St [Christ Church]

Evans William

GLM

1853 - 1863

Birches's Lane, Penn & 
Finchfield, Compton 

Faulkner Benjamin

GLM

1875

Ettingshall

Fellows [Fellowes] Henry

App GLM, GLF & GLS

1841 - 1861

Paradise St & Merridale St & 
Pool St & 25 Lewis St

Ferrett Francis

GLF

1861

23 Gt Brickkiln St

Fisher Benjamin

GLS & GLF

1844 - 1853

Zoar St & Merridale St

Fisher Henry

GLS

1861 - 1871

  63 Pountney St & 
Church Lane, St John's

Fisher William

GLM

1853

  Wolverhampton

Fletcher Joseph

GLS & GS

1871 - 1874

Upper Vauxhall & Berry St

Fletcher William

GLM, GLF & GS

1861 - 1874

26 Salop St & North St & 
StJames St

Fossbrook Peter

GLS

1863 - 1883

Dale St & Tettenhall Rd

Foster Charles

GLF

1865

Falkland St

Foster Thomas

GLF

1865

Wolverhampton

Foster William

GLF

1848

Brickkiln Lane

Fox John

GLM

1727 - 1730

Bilston

Gandy Charles

GLS

1822 - 1825

Bilston Mill

German [Jerman] Richard

App GLF & GLS

1861 - 1869

Oak St & Merridale St

Gibbons Edward

GLS

1861 - 1884

Brazier's Buildings, Little Brickkiln St & Phillip St

Gill James

GLS & GLF

1856 - 1861

Merridale Fields & Oak St

Golcher Emmanuel

GLS

1802

Bilston Rd

Grainger James

GLM

1841 - 1869

Pountney St & Merridale St & 
Oak St & (latterly) London

Grainger James

GS & GLM

1861 - 1874

6 Clifton St &
St Mark’s St & Upper Vauxhall

Grainger John

GLS

1841 - 1881

Brickkiln St & 57 Herbert Street 
& Molineux Fold

Grainger John Jnr

GL Forger & GLS

1907 - 1935

57 Herbert St & 63 Lord St &
Newhampton Rd

Grainger Joseph

GLF & GLM

1835 - 1841

Gt Brickkiln St

Grainger Thomas

GLF & GLS

1851 - 1860

Brickkiln St & Ash St

Grainger Joseph

GLM?

1871

Molineux Fold

Gregory James G.

GLS

1861

Townwell Fold

Griffin Richard C.

GLF

1861

Russell St

Griffiths Giddeon

GLF

1846 - 1848

Zoar St & Brickkiln St

Groom Joseph

 Gun Sight Filer

1861

Dale St

Groom Richard

 GLS ?

1849

Gt Berry St

Grosvenor Edward

GLS

1870

Russell St

Groves Joseph

GLM

1874

Court 7, Walsall St

Guest Joseph

GLS

1824

Bilston

Gutteridge Joseph

GLM

1841 - 1851

Merridale St

Hadley William

GS

1872 - 1883

York St & Gt Hampton St

Hancher William Fletcher

GLS

1869

Ash St

Hand William

GLS, GS & GLF

1816 - 1863

Wolverhampton & 
West Bromwich & 56 Church Lane (St John's)

Harnett [Harnitt] 
Benjamin 

GS & GLM

1833 - 1850

Wolverhampton

Harper Samuel

GM

1842

Princes St

Harris Thomas

GLF

1856 - 1875

Ettingshall

Hawkins Henry

GLF

1841

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Hayes Henry?

GLM & GIM

1920 - 1922

Hayes & Co, 59 Queen St
(res) 6 Howard St

Hemmingsley [Hemingsley] George

GLF & GLM

1846 - 1861

Graisley Green & Gt Brickkiln St

Hemmingsley [Hemingsley] John

GLF & GLM

1861

Gt Brickkiln St

Hickin [Hicken] Thomas

GS & GLF

1863 - 1866

Graisley St & Merridale Rd 
& Merridale St

Hill Isaac

GLF

1849

Wolverhampton

Hill Josiah

GLF

1851 - 1867

Merridale St & 23 Clifton St

Hill Thomas

GLF & GLM

1849 - 1851

Graisley St

Hipwood George

GLM

1861

Gt Brickkiln St

Hodgkins Charles

GLM

1871 - 1881

Gt Brickkiln St

Holden John

App GLF

1861

Bradmore

Holland Thomas

GLF

1861 - 1866

Cannock Rd & Franchise St

Homer Edward

GLM

1722

Bilston

Homer Edward Charles

GLF

1814

Catchem's Corner, Ettingshall

Homer James

GLM

1851

Bloomsbury St

Homer Kemsey

GLS

1791 - 1829

64 Berry St & 30 Stafford St &
Horseley Fields

Homer Richard

GLF & GLS

1820 - 1828

Rough Hills (Ettingshall) & Wolverhampton

Homer Richard

GLM, GLF & GS

1826 - 1861

Bell St & Bloomsbury St & Pool St

Homer William

GLM

1820

Ettingshall Lane

Hughes Benjamin

GLS

1820 -1826

Catchem's Corner, Ettingshall

Hughes Edward

GLS & GS

1861 - 1871

'Pheasant', Zoar St & Littles Lane 
& Berry St

Hughes Edwin Harry

GS

1897

Stanhope St

Hughes George

GLF

1861

27 Bloomsbury St

Hughes John

GLS & GLF

1813 - 1825

Catchem's Corner, Ettingshall

Hughes John

GLS & GLM

1822 - 1834

Bilston

Hughes John

GLF

1861

Philip St

Hughes Samuel

Gun Barrel Borer

1839

Wolverhampton

Instone [Inston] John

GLS & GLF

1861 - 1902

10 Clarendon St 
& Baker's Buildings, Red Cross St
& Rupert St

Jackson Reuben

Gun Stocker

1863

Bilston St

James John

GLF

1901

86 Gt Brickkiln St

Jessup George

GLM

1871

Dale St

Jones Allen

GLS

1861

Dale St

Jones Alfred

GLS

1881

16 Raglan St

Jones Henry

GLS

1861 - 1881

Gt Brickkiln St & Graisley St & 
16 Raglan St

Jones John

GLS & GLM

1861 - 1865

23 Noakes Buildings 
& Little Brickkiln St

Jones Joseph

GIM, GLM & Powder Flask Maker

1821 - 1858

Wolverhampton & 102 Salop St

Jones Richard

GLM , GLS & GM

1865 - 1916

66 Zoar St & Middle Vauxhall

Jones Roger

GLM

1718 - 1727

Bilston

Jones Thomas

GLF

1814 - 1825

Wolverhampton

Kingston William

GLF

1861

Court 1, Horsefair

Lambert Robert

GLS

1846

Wolverhampton

Landred Dennis

GS

1877

St James's Square

Law Alfred

GIM, GBM, GAF & GM

1871 - 1881

Merridale St & Ash St & Lord St & Chapel Ash

Law John

Lic Vic & LS

1818

‘Star & Garter’, Cock St

Law John

GLM, GLF & GS

1827 - 1887

Bell St & Temple St & 
Tettenhall Rd & 
Belle Vue Terrace, Compton Rd
& Merridale Lane & Inkerman St

Law John 

GIM, GLM & GS

1861 - 1869

Oak St & 46 Snowhill 

Law Joseph

GIM & GAM

1861 - 1921

Oak St & 6 Little Brickkiln St

Law Peter

GIM & GS

1851 - 1881

Merridale St & 72 Ash St

Law Richard

GIM & GS

1851 - 1861

Merridale St & Oak St

Law Stephen

GSM & GAM

1861 - 1869

Oak St & 44 Darlington St &
5 Clarence Place 
& (latterly) Birmingham

Law Thomas

GLM

1841 - 1881

Woolley's Buildings ( Darlington St) & Salop Row & Gt Brickkiln St & 
'Model Houses', Raglan St 

Law Thomas

GLM

1881

Clarence Place, Clarence St 

Lawson Richard

GLS, GLF   & GS

1880 - 1895

Court 1, Merridale St & Zoar St
& Sheperd St

Leonard Patrick

GLM

1861

Littles Lane 

Ling Richard Snr

GLS

1871

73 Zoar St

Ling Richard Jnr

GLS

1871

73 Zoar St

Littleward Robert

App GLS

1861

60 Pearson St

Lockley Edmund

App GLM

1861

65 Pearson St

Lockley Harry

GLF

1901

24 Sweetman St

Lockley William

GLS

1871

63 Zoar St

Luckruck James

GS

1837

Canal St

Mander 
James Haycock

GS

1866

Middle Vauxhall

Mansfield Samuel B.

GLM & GS

1867 - 1930

Oak St & St Mary's Terrace, Waterloo Rd & 44 Waterloo Rd &
63 Sherwood St, Whitmore Reans

Mansfield William
(also as proprietor of Joseph Brazier & Son)

GLM & GAM
 

1880 - 1901
(1880 - ?)

111 Lord St West & Oak St &
61 Darlington St & 21 Birch St & 
Wrottesley Rd, Tettenhall

Mantle Edward

GLF, GLS & GS

1861 - 1877

'Spin Cottage' (St Paul's) 
& Dale St

Marlow William

GLS

1830

Wolverhampton

Marrias [Marrian?] John

GSM

1862

Merridale St

Marrian James

GLM & Gun Sight Filer

1860 - 1861

117 Merridale St

Marshall Richard

GS

1871 - 1873

Brickkiln Croft & Bennett's Fold

Marston Jonah

GLM

1859

Ash St

Marston Mark

GLS

1859

Ash St

Martin Aaron

GLF

1861 - 1871

Dale St & Monmore Green

Mason John

GS

1793 - 1802

St John’s Square

Mason Joseph

GLM

1719

Bilston

Matthews Francis B.

GLF

1901

82 Rayleigh Rd

Matthews George F.

GLF

1901

82 Rayleigh Rd

Matthews William M.

GLF

1901

82 Rayleigh Rd

McLaw [M'Cleur] Charles

GLS

1861

Ash St

Miles Joshua

GLS

1861

Clifton St

Mills Herbert

GS & GLS

1891 - 1897

Southampton St & Herbert St

Mills Richard

GS

1848

Graisley St

Mitchel Edward

GLF

1861

Graisley Hill

Moore John

Manager of 
Joseph Brazier 
gunlock works

1861 - 1871

'Ashes', Great Brickkiln St

Moore John Richard

GLM

1880 - 1894

Gt Brickkiln St & 
2 Victoria Terrace, Bradmore

Morris George

GLF

1821 - 1823

Wolverhampton(?)

Morris John

GLS, GS, GLF & GLM

1846 - 1881

Graisley St & Merridale Fields & 
Oak St & 4 Elm St

Morris Thomas

GLM

1861

Oak St

Moseley [Mosely] Joseph

App GLS

1861

Mary Ann St

Moseley [Mosely or Mosley] James

GLS

1866

Dale St

Moss Robert

GLM

1726

Bilston

Mosse John

GLM

1717 - 1722

Bilston

Mosse Robert[?]

GLM

1717

Bilston

Mountford John

App GLM & GLF

1839 - 1848

(App to Joseph Cotterill) & Brickkiln Street

Munn Ernest
 

GLF

1901

Walpole St
(employed by Edwin Chilton?)

Munn George
 

GLF

1901

Walpole St
(employed by Edwin Chilton?)

Munn Joseph
 

GLF, GLM, GLS & GS

1861 - 1875

Shipton St & Dudley Rd & 
Court 3, Melbourne St

Munn William

GLM

1861 - 1901

Court 3, Melbourne St & Warwick Terrace & Walpole St
(employed by Edwin Chilton?)

Newton John

GLM

1841 - 1851

Catchem's Corner, Bilston (Ettingshall)  

Newton Thomas Snr

GLM

1780 - 1841

St John’s Square & Catchem's Corner, Bilston (Ettingshall)   

Newton Thomas Jnr

GLM

1841

Catchem's Corner, Bilston (Ettingshall)  

Parker Benjamin

GS

1701

Wolverhampton(?)

Parker Henry

LS

1871

79 Zoar St

Parker Isaac

GLF

1813

Bilston

Parker James

GLF

1814

Bilston

Parker John

GLM

1871

79 Zoar St

Parker Joseph

GS

1699

Bilston

Parker Richard

GLM

1871

79 Zoar St

Parkes John

Gun Barrel Borer

1815 - 1817

Wolverhampton(?)

Parkes John

GLF

1822

Wolverhampton(?)

Parsons Joseph

GLS & GLM

1851 - 1861

Gt Brickkiln St & 3 St John's Square

Partridge David

App GLM

1861

Gt Brickkiln St

Perkins Richard

GLM

1727

Bilston

Perry George

GLF

1841

‘Ashes’, 
Gt Brickkiln St

Perry Homer

GLF

1823

Wolverhampton(?)

Perry John Snr

GS

c1660 - 1665

Bilston

Perry John Jnr

GS

1715 - 1723

Bilston

Perry Thomas

GLM

1834

Catchem's Corner, Bilston (Ettingshall)

Perry William

App GLM

1841

Pountney St

Phillips Thomas

Gun Action filer

1879

Upper Vauxhall

Pilsbury John

GS

1861

Lower Vauxhall

Pinckston Peter

GS

1702

Wolverhampton(?)

Poole [Pool] John

GLF

1813

Wolverhampton(?)

Poole [Pool] William

GLM & GLF

1814 - 1861

Wolverhampton(?) & North Rd

Powell? Charles

GLM

1851

Gt Brickkiln St

Povey Thomas

GLF

1871 - 1875

Merry Hill (Penn) & Brickkiln St

Radcliffe George

GLF

1861

Clarence St

Rees William Edward

GLS

1905

Molineux Alley

Richards Meshack

GLS

1861 - 1872

Old Mill St

Rigby Daniel Snr

GLF

1860

 Dale St

Rigby Daniel Jnr

GLF & GS

1867 - 1872

Bradmore & Baker St & Dale St

Rigby John

GLM

1855 - 1892

Zoar St & Bradmore

Rigby Thomas

GLS, GLM & AM

1854 - 1880

Merridale St & Bradmore 

Riley Josiah

GLS

1813 - 1841

Wolverhampton

Roberts James

GLS

1903

Haden Hill [St Mark's]

Robinson Alfred

GS

1871

Wednesfield

Rock William

GLF

1864

Dudley Rd

Russell John

GBM

1805 - 1811

Horseleyfield Square

Rycroft Thomas

GLF

1861

5 Portland Place

Savage Thomas

GM & GL Finisher(?)

1845 - 1858

Gt Brickkiln St

Scotcher John Adams

GM

1853

Walsall St

Shale John

GLS

1813

Bilston

Shaw Thomas

GLM

1838

Bilston

Shaw William

Gun Barrel Borer

1816

Wolverhampton

Short John

GLS

1861

65 Merridale St

Simkin Thomas

GLS

1837

Wolverhampton(?)

Skipwood John

GLM

1871

Ash St

Slater Benjamin

GLF

1851

Old Church Yard (St Peter's)

Slater William

GLF

1851 - 1858

Wolverhampton

Smith Edward

Gun Finisher

1875

2 Havelock Place

Smith Elijah William

GLS

1862 - 1863

Dudley Rd & ‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Smith Francis

GLS & GLF

1861 - 1902

18 Bloomsbury St & 32 Clifton St
& Herbert St

Smith Frederick [Oliver]

GLS

1861 - 1925[?]

18 Bloomsbury St & Sweetman St

Smith George

GS & GM

1845 - 1885

Salop St & 26 Middle Vauxhall

Smith Samuel

Gun Finisher

1875

Wolverhampton

Smith William Thomas Charles

GLM & GS

1926 - 1978
1978-1980
1980-1985

Employed by 
Edwin Chilton & Son Ltd & 
Magnum Arms Co Ltd &
Joseph Brazier Ltd

Spinke John

GLS

1802

1 Garden Houses, Stafford St

Spink[e] William Snr

GLM & GLF

1815 - 1861

Wolverhampton & 
5 Portland Place

Spink[e] William 

GLF

1863

5 Portland Place

Stanton Bernard

GLM, GAM, GIM & GM

1869 - 1930

13 and 30, Clifton St & 
17 and 41, Merridale Rd

Stanton Frederick Richard Hall

Proprietor of
John Stanton & Co

1925 - 1954

41 & 89, Merridale Rd

Stanton George

GLF

1874

15 Dudley Rd

Stanton John

GLM, GAM, GIM & GM

1841 - 1871

113 Tower St &
13 and 30, Clifton St

Stanton John Bernard

GLM

1901

17 Merridale Rd

Stanton John Charles

App Engraver

1881

13 and 30, Clifton St 

Stanton Thomas

GLM

1876

Wednesfield 

Steatham Joseph

GLM

1839

Wolverhampton 

Stiles Frederick

GS & GLM

1841

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Stilliard Charles

GIM

1871

Gt Brickkiln St

Stilliard Cornelius

GIM

1851 - 1861

Merridale St & 37 Gt Brickkiln St

Stillyard [Steelyard] Frederick

GLS

1851 - 1861

Salop St

Stilliard George

GIM, GLF & GAF

1871 - 1881

Gt Brickkiln St & Zoar St &
61 Merridale St

Stilliard Martin

GLM & GLF

1861 - 1871

Gt Brickkiln St

Stokes John

GL Fitter

1844 - 1865

Wolverhampton

Stokes Joseph Stephen

GLF

1865

Waterloo St

Stokes Thomas

GLM

1721 - 1727

Bilston & Dublin[?]

Stubbings [Stebbins] Edmund

GLS, GLF, GS & GM

1861 - 1871

Horsefair [St Peter's] & Brickkiln St

Styche [Stych] John

App GLM  
(to John Newton) 
& GLM

1841 - 1891

Catchem's Corner, Bilston (Ettingshall) & 48, Franchise St & Summer Row (Ret'd Res)

Stych Edward

GS

1861 - 1864

'Prince of Wales', Russell St & Pearson St

Taberner George

Gun Fitter

1856

Berry St

Tayler Robert

GLM

1724

Bilston

Taylor Jeremiah

GLF  & GLS

1861 - 1867

Cobden St & Hall St & Dudley Rd

Taylor Thomas

GLM

1728

Bilston

Taylor William

Gun Finisher

1865

Ettingshall

Terry George

GLS

1861 - 1881

Dale St & Zoar St & 5 Elm St

Terry Samuel

GLM

1875

Wadhams Hill

Thomas John

GLF

1865

Russell St

Thomas William

GLS

1860 - 1861

Baker St & Russell St

Tibbetts William

GLF & GS

1860 - 1877

Baker St & 
Back of ‘Cross Guns’, 
Brickkiln Croft & Dale St

Tonks Eli

GLF   & GS

1861

Zoar St

Tonks John

GS

1864

Russell St

Tonks Thomas

Military GLF & GLS

1861 - 1862

Zoar St & Bradmore

Troman William

GS

1840

Bilston

Tuckley Joseph  

  App GLS & GLM

1901 - 1962

65 Zoar St & Employed by 
J. Stanton & Co Ltd 

Turner John

GLF

1813

Bilston

Turner Joseph Snr

GLF

1838

Wolverhampton

Turner Joseph

GLF

1838

Wolverhampton

Turner William

GLM

1874

Mill St, Ettingshall

Turton George

GLS

1878 - 1880

Little Brickkiln St

Underhill Richard

GLM

1735

Coseley

Waddams John

GLM

1851

Gt Brickkiln St

Wadhams William

 

1851

Gt Brickkiln St

Wakeman Frederick

GLF

1901

45 Merridale St

Wakeman Joseph

GLS, GLM, GLF   & GS

1861 - 1901

46 Snow Hill & 45 Merridale St

Walker John

Gun Stocker

1863

Drayton St

Wallin A. Robert

GLM

1964 - 1976
1976 - 1998

Employed by 
Edwin Chilton & Son Ltd.
Co-founder of York & Wallin Ltd

Walls Edwin Henry Snr

GLF & GLS

1901 - 1903

83 Owen Rd & 195 Merridale St West

Walls Edwin Henry Jnr

GLF & GLS

1901 - 1903

83 Owen Rd & 195 Merridale St West

Ward Thomas

GLS

1844

Brickkiln St

Warren William

GLM & GLF

1871

23 Russell St & Baker St

Watkin Reginald

GS

1901

17 Gibbs St

Wesley John

Gun Finisher & GLS

1868 - 1871

Russell St & 20 Zoar St

Weston John

GLS

1861

42 [Royal Exchange] Waterloo St

Weston Joseph

GLF

1861

Dale St

Westwood Thomas

GS

1830

Wolverhampton(?)

Whitehouse George

GLF

1863

Wharf St

Whitehouse Jesse
 

GLM

1861

Grove St (St John's)

Whitehouse John
 

GLF

1863

Wharf St

Whitehouse Joseph

GLF

1855

Wolverhampton

Whitehouse Samuel

GS & GLF

1864 - 1865

Elm St & Graisley Green

Whitehouse Sarah 
(Mrs. Jesse) 

GLM

1861

Grove St (St John's)

Whitehouse Thomas

GLF

1717

Bilston

Whitehouse Thomas

GLF

1855

York St

Whittingham John

GLM  & GLS

1861 - 1901

10 Paul St & 2 Russell St  
& Alexandra St

Wicks Edwin

Gun Polisher

1875

10 Ash St

Wilkes Daniel

GLF

1861

Barratt's Yard (St John's) & Oxley St

Wilkes George

GLM

1853

Horseley Fields

Wilkes John

GLS & GLF

1846 - 1848

Merridale St

Wilkes Samuel

GLF

1840 - 1861

Walsall St & 
Barratt's Yard (St John's)

Wilkes William

GLM

1846

Wolverhampton

Wilkins John

GLS

1861

Bennett's Fold & Dudley Rd

Wilkinson William

GLS

1861

35 Graisley St

Wilks Edward

GLS

1860 - 1871

Bennett's Fold & Dudley Rd

Wilks Thomas

GLF

1865

Monmore Green

Wilson John

GLS & GLF

1843 - 1861

Graisley St & Ashland St & Brickkiln Lane & 'Ashes', Gt Brickkiln St

Wilson Thomas

Powder Flask Maker

1841

‘Ashes’, Gt Brickkiln St

Wilson William

GLF

1853

Wolverhampton

Wires Louis

GLF

1867

Whitmore Reans

Wood John

GLM & GM

1840 - 1850

Darlington St

Wooley Edward

GLM

1726

Bilston

Wright Edward

GM & Engineer

1861

Worcester Rd

Wright Enoch

GS

1880

Petit St

* Trade Abbreviations and Explanations (where necessary):

LS = Locksmith = Generally, a maker of locks other than gunlocks, e.g.: mortice locks.

GL Forger = A person who forges iron and steel bar into roughly shaped gunlock parts.

GLF = Gun Lock Filer = A person who files up forged parts of a gunlock.

GLS = Gun Lock Smith = Vaguely, a maker and repairer of gunlocks but not springs.

GLM = Gun Lock Maker = A maker of complete gunlocks, including springs.

GIM = Gun Implement Maker = A maker of screws, pins, triggers, hammers etc. for guns.

GSM = Gun Sight Maker.

GBM = Gun Barrel Maker.

GAF = Gun Action Filer = A person who files up gun actions (see GAM)

GAM = Gun Action Maker: [in a breech-loading gun] the action being the body around which the lock(s), stock and barrel(s) are integrated.

GS = Gunsmith = A repairer of guns.

GM = Gunmaker = A maker or finisher of complete guns from component parts.

Gun Finisher = A person who does the final assembling of a gun. 

Gun Stocker = A person who makes and fits the wooden stock to a gun.

Lic Vic = Licensed Victualler = A person licensed to sell intoxicating drink.

Maltster = a person who malts barley for the beer brewing trade.

Powder Flask Maker = A maker of gunpowder charging flasks for muzzle-loading guns.

App = Apprentice = Strictly, an indentured or legally bound trainee (often a loosely used term).

********

The author would like to acknowledge all the help he has received during more than thirty-five years of research from: 
Wolverhampton Central Library
Birmingham Central Library
 
Wolverhampton Archives & Local Studies
 
Wolverhampton City Council (Law & Resources Dept.)
 
Lichfield Joint Records Office
 
Staffordshire County Records Office
 
Dti Companies Registration Office
 
The William Salt Library
 
The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
 
Dudley Archives & Local History Service
Free UKGEN (FreeBMD, FreeCen, FreeReg)
 

and the individual contributors: 
Maj. D. H. L. Back
Hon. Richard Beaumont (at James Purdey & Sons Ltd.)
E. Dora Billingsley
Barry Brazier
David Brazier (at the Brazier surname website)
Rev. Fr. Francis Brazier
Hugh Brazier
Joseph Brazier
Lilias H. (St Aubin) Brazier
D. J. Brown
Anthony V. Bullock
J. Harlan Buzby
David Chilton (at the Chilton surname website)
Mr. & Mrs. F. R. Daly
Rev. Fr. Peter Dennison
Joanna Donohue
Charles Eaves
Peter Edridge
Christine Ellis
Cyril Gibbons
S. James Gooding
Harry W. Griffiths
Lesley B. Hampton
Chris Henry (The Museum of Naval Firepower)
Kathryn Hill
H. Hodson
June James
Clive Law
Victor Mitchell
Pauline Nicholson
Julia A. Pursehouse
Ian Rooke
Andrew Short
Anthony Smith
John Stanton & the Stanton family
Elsie Van der Star
Iris Tudor
David Wakelin
Dr. H. A. S. Walker
Mark Wallin (at York & Wallin Ltd.)
John Wilkinson

W. H. Clark (1933 - 2005) and W. T. C. Smith (1912 - 1987)
 

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