John Horrocks - A Textile Pioneer
The Friends want to raise £12,000 to complete the cataloguing of an archive of national importance, one which reflects Lancashire's position as the centre of the world's textile industry in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - that of Horrockses, Crewdson & Co, Preston.
It is essential that archives are made accessible - there's little point in having them if people cannot use and enjoy them. Producing catalogues and making these as widely available as possible is the most fundamental way of helping people engage with archives.
Some work on the collection was completed last year with £1250 from the Textile Society. This generous grant enabled us to improve the online listing for the earlier period of the company's history, up to the 1870s. There's still a great deal to do though and £12,000 would pay for a qualified archivist to complete the project and promote the collection's use.
If you would like to contribute, you can do so online using the link below or send a cheque to:
Friends of Lancashire Archives
c/o Lancashire Archives
Established in 1791 by John Horrocks in Preston, the company became one of the pioneers of the Lancashire "factory system" by which the cotton industry was revolutionized. Within ten years Horrocks owned seven large mills and in 1816 the company, which became Horrockses, Miller and Co, also employed 7000 handloom weavers working at home. In 1887 Horrocks, Crewdson & Company was established after mergers with two other Preston based textile companies and by 1891 it was running thousands of looms and hundreds of thousands of spindles in Lancashire at a time when the county dominated the international cotton textile industry. In the 1940s the company created its iconic Horrockses Fashions brand, the first collection being launched in April 1946 to rave reviews.