Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Samuel Oldknow papers, 1782-1924, bulk 1782-1815

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0949
Bib ID 4079736 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Oldknow, Samuel, 1756-1828
Title Samuel Oldknow papers, 1782-1924, bulk 1782-1815
Physical Description 2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Cataloged correspondence, A-Z. (Boxes 1-3); Cataloged documents, A-Z. (Boxes 4-5); Miscellaneous materials. (Box 5).



Correspondence, account books, invoices, insurance policies, ledgers, payroll and wage records, receipts, and galley proofs. The records concern his cotton spinning mills in Stockport and Mellor. There are letters from merchants, tradesmen, manufacturers, and others relating to textile manufacturing and its mechanization in England during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Included among the correspondents are: Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning jenny; his son, Richard Arkwright; Henry Norris; Samuel Oldknow; Thomas Oldknow; Richard and Susannah Pennant (Baron and Baroness Penrhyn); Samuel Salte; and William Salte. Also included are the galley proofs for those letters published in George Unwin: SAMUEL OLDKNOW AND THE ARKWRIGHTS (London, 1924)

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Samuel Oldknow papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Related material can be found in the Samuel Oldknow Collection at the Johns Hopkins University Library. Also, the Manchester Reference Library, and the John Rylands Library (Ms. Nos. 751-840), Manchester, England


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Provenance: Edwin R.A. Seligman purchased a selection of the Oldknow papers offered to him in 1926 by Arthur Hulme, a contributing author of SAMUEL OLDKNOW AND THE ARKWRIGHTS. Those letters not purchased by Seligman were acquired by the John Rylands Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Date of acquisition--1929. Accession number--M-1929.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Entered in AMC HR 02/--/91.

This original call number for this collection was MS Arkwright/Oldknow. The collection is labelled and shelved as Arkwright/Oldknow in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Revision Description

2020-04-02 EAD finding aid created by CCR.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Account books Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Galley proofs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Insurance policies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invoices Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ledgers (account books) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Payrolls Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Receipts (financial records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Arkwright, Richard, 1755-1843 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Arkwright, Richard, Sir, 1732-1792 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cotton manufacture -- England -- 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cotton manufacture -- England -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cotton spinning -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cotton textile industry -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cotton weaving -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Industrialists -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Industrialization -- Great Britain -- 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Industries -- Great Britain -- 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Labor -- England -- 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Labor -- England -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manufacturers -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manufactures -- Great Britain -- 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manufacturing processes -- Great Britain -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Merchants -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Norris, Henry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Oldknow, Samuel, 1756-1828 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Oldknow, Thomas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Penrhyn, Richard Pennant, Baron, 1737?-1808 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Penrhyn, Susannah Anne Warburton Pennant, Baroness Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Salte, Samuel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Salte, William Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Textile industry -- Great Britain -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Oldknow was an English industrialist, the first successful maker of British muslin. He was born in Anderton, Lancashire in 1756. After serving an apprenticeship, he set up as manufacturer of cotton goods and fustians in Anderton. In 1781, as the cotton industry became mechanized, Oldknow began producing muslin products. In 1784, he erected a factory at Stockport and became recognized as the foremost muslin manufacturer in Great Britain. In 1790, Oldknow built a mill at Mellor and acquired land for his personal estate. He used the latest technology in his cotton spinning factories at Stockport and Mellor, including the Arkwright spinning jenny and the Watt steam engine. His enterprises resulted in the growth of the community in Derbyshire. He became a scientific and experimental agriculturist and planned for roads, bridges, and canals.

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Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

Box 1 Andrew, Littlewood

Box 1 Andrew, Samuel

Box 1 Arkwright, Richard Sr.

Box 1 Arkwright, Richard Jr.

Box 1 Bancroft, Robert

Box 1 Barton, John Bayley

Box 1 Blackwall, Robert

Box 1 Blundell, John

Box 1 Boulton and Watt

Box 1 Briscall, James

Box 1 Bromehead, William

Box 1 Cartwright, Thomas

Box 1 Chorlton, John

Box 1 Clerkenwell Parish Overseers (London)

Box 1 Cowpe, John

Box 1 Crowther and Stutt

Box 1 Crowthers, E. and R.

Box 1 Curnuth, John

Box 1 Drinkwater, John

Box 1 Evans, Thomas and Son

Box 1 Ferns, George and R.

Box 1 Gant, William

Box 1 Goodwin, George

Box 1 Grimshaw, Robert and Sons

Box 1 Hall, S.

Box 1 Hallerond, Roger

Box 1 Heywood, S.

Box 1 Hindley and Bradshaw

Box 1 Hindy, Thomas and Sons

Box 1 Hope, William

Box 1 Hudson, E.

Box 1 Hunt, Mrs. C.

Box 1 Hyde, John

Box 1 Kale, I.

Box 1 Kirk, Matthias

Box 1 Kirkham, Ralph

Box 1 Leame and Spalton

Box 1 Lingard, R. and R.

Box 1 Lingard and Smith

Box 1 Linnen, G.

Box 1 Lister, Thomas

Box 1 Liuston and Southwaite

Box 1 Lomas, Thomas

Box 1 Lowe, Robert and Co.

Box 1 Lowe, Thomas

Box 1 Lycett, William

Box 2 Mallalieu, James

Box 2 MuGuffog, James

Box 2 MacKenweda, Edward

Box 2 Manchester and Buxton Turnpike Trustees

Box 2 Markland, John and Sons

Box 2 Mason, Charles

Box 2 Mather, Samuel

Box 2 Merryweather, T.

Box 2 Miller, Thomas

Box 2 Millar, Thomas

Box 2 Molineux, W. and G.

Box 2 Mycock, George

Box 2 Nelson, Ann

Box 2 Newland, James

Box 2 Nightingale, Peter

Box 2 Noble, Miss

Box 2 Norris, Henry

Box 2 Norris, Thomas

Box 2 Oldknow, B.

Box 2 Oldknow, Joseph

Box 2 Oldknow, Samuel

Box 2 Oldknow, Thomas

Box 2 Oliver, William

Box 2 Osbaldiston, Joseph

Box 2 Page and Bennet

Box 2 Parker, Abraham

Box 2 Parker, Robert

Box 2 Parkinson and Willson

Box 2 Parsons, William

Box 2 Parson and Hurles

Box 2 Parsons, Studley and Co.

Box 2 Paulson and Siddon

Box 2 Peak-Forest Canal

Box 2 Pearson, James

Box 2 Penrhyn, Richard Pennant, Baron

Box 2 Penrhyn, Susannah Pennant, Lady

Box 2 Percival and Condell

Box 2 Pitches, Robert

Box 2 Potter, John, Benjamin and James

Box 2 Prescott, Mrs.

Box 2 Radley, Samuel

Box 2 Ramsden, Harrison and Co.

Box 2 Rathbone, William and Sons

Box 2 Reynolds, James

Box 2 Reynolds and Warner

Box 2 Rigby, Peter

Box 2 Robinson, John

Box 2 Roe and Co.

Box 2 Roward, Stephen and Co.

Box 3 Salte, Samuel and William

Box 3 Sawyer, John Martin

Box 3 Seedhouse, William

Box 3 Shaw, James and William

Box 3 Shaw, Miss and Joel Ratcliffe

Box 3 Shepherd, William

Box 3 Siddon, John

Box 3 Siddon, Samuel

Box 3 Siddon, William

Box 3 Sims, Oliver

Box 3 Smith and Blackwell

Box 3 Smith, Payne and Smith

Box 3 Steven, Thomas

Box 3 Stock, James

Box 3 Stock, Cooper and Watson

Box 3 Stocks, Sam

Box 3 Stringers, Thomas

Box 3 Strutt, Joseph

Box 3 Strutt, Joseph and Sons

Box 3 Strutt, William Jr.

Box 3 Stubbs, George

Box 3 Swainston and Lythgoe

Box 3 Tarleton's and Backhouse

Box 3 Thompson, Edward

Box 3 Towkinson (?),Henry

Box 3 Von der Beck, Brothers

Box 3 Whitehead, David

Box 3 Wood, John

Box 3 Worthington, George

Box 3 Worthington, James

Series II: Cataloged Documents

Box 4 Agricultural Society

Box 4 Allen, James

Box 4 Arkwright, Richard Sr.

Box 4 Arkwright, Richard Jr.

Box 4 Arnsworth, P. and Sons

Box 4 Arrowsmith, J.

Box 4 Ashton Canal

Box 4 Bennison, Thomas

Box 4 Bertles, William

Box 4 Bibby and Downhall

Box 4 Boardman, P.

Box 4 Booth, Samuel

Box 4 Bowden, Thomas

Box 4 Briscall, James

Box 4 Brook, Benjamin

Box 4 Brown, Charles

Box 4 Brown, Isaac

Box 4 Brown, Thomas

Box 4 Bury, John and Sons

Box 4 Callico and Fustian Printers

Box 4 Carrington, William

Box 4 Chatterton, John

Box 4 Chatterton, William

Box 4 Clarkson, Knight and Pratt

Box 4 Clegg, William

Box 4 Coppock, William

Box 4 Darlington and Henderson

Box 4 Davenport, Charles

Box 4 Derby, County Constable of Mellor

Box 4 Derby, County Overseers of the Poor

Box 4 Downes, William

Box 4 Ellison, Matthew

Box 4 Ferns, George

Box 4 Ferns, R.

Box 4 Gardner, Edward

Box 4 Garside, Samuel

Box 4 Gaskill, John

Box 4 Hargreaves, Robert and Sons

Box 4 Hatfield, Thomas and Sons

Box 4 Huchinson Mallalieu and Co.

Box 4 Jowett, Robert and Jonathan

Box 4 Keeling, Benjamin

Box 4 Killer, J.E.

Box 4 Lee, Charles and Co.

Box 4 Lee, William

Box 4 Lindley, George

Box 4 Lings, Charles and Neb.

Box 4 Lloyd, J.

Box 4 Manchester Infirmary and Dispensary

Box 4 Moorcraft, Ralph

Box 4 Morris, John

Box 4 Morris, Richard

Box 4 Newby, William

Box 4 Nicholson, George

Box 4 Norbury, Bradford

Box 4 Norris, Thomas

Box 4 Oldknow, Joseph

Box 4 Oldknow, Samuel

Box 5 Oldknow, Samuel

Box 5 Parker, Robert and Co.

Box 5 Peak Forest Canal

Box 5 Percival, Joseph

Box 5 Pott, James

Box 5 Roberts, John

Box 5 Rothwell, Richard

Box 5 Salte, Samuel and William

Box 5 Sanderson, James and Co.

Box 5 Sandford, Richard

Box 5 School for the Blind

Box 5 Shaw, James and George

Box 5 Sims, Ollive

Box 5 Sleigh, William

Box 5 Sun Fire Office

Box 5 Swire, Longbotham and Co.

Box 5 Thornhill, John

Box 5 Topham and Sowden

Box 5 Von der Becke and Co.

Box 5 Wade, William and Co.

Box 5 Whitehead, David

Box 5 Whitehouse, John

Box 5 Wild, Immanuel

Box 5 Wood, William

Box 5 Worthington and Harrop

Box 5 Wright, John

Box 5 Wright and Brown

Series III: Arranged Materials

Box 5 Unidentified Documents

Box 5 Printed Materials