Rowell and Sons, Boot makers from Melton Mowbray
Interestingly this advert is in the Gospel Standard (1875)
ROWELL AND SONS
The estate agent on the right-hand side of Church Street was once Rowell & Sons. Established in 1837, they were famous for making boots for hunting and provided them to the three main hunts in Melton Mowbray, the Quorn; the Belvoir and the Cottesmore. They also provided to hunts further afield in Warwickshire, West Percy, Seavington and Middleton. Besides boots they also sold related products including Jaeger wool socks and stockings which ‘keeps skin between toes dry & prevents soft corns.’
Rowell & Sons had a good range of customers from Melton Mowbray and all over the country. The numerous hunting lodges in the town often requested many boots during hunting season. Records from 1903-4 demonstrate this range of customers which included Mr R. Sherriffe of Wyndham Lodge who requested shooting boots; Me Everard of Peterborough who wanted boots with a full-rounded toe and regular customers Mr J. Jeffs and Mr J. Gretton Esquire of Stapleford Park who requested ‘Same as last year.’
As the advert for Jaeger wool stockings show, hunting and riding took a toll on feet, often resulting in corns or blisters. Sometimes boots were requested to take account of this. Mr C. Moss and Lord Percy of Burton Hall in Loughborough requested boots that had ‘no loop strap, centre toes knuckle up’, so his raised knuckles did not get blistered. Other times people merely wanted comfortable footwear for their home. Mr Furness of Craven Lodge ordered boots ‘for indoors’ and Mr Harper of Egerton Lodge ordered some boots ‘light for indoors.’
If you would like to learn more about Rowell & Sons and see some of the boots they produced, please see the exhibition at Melton Carnegie Museum.
Trail: Melton Heritage Trail
The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland
- Rowell & Sons, livery bootmakers, Melton Mowbray: boot measurement books, with ephemera, photographs 1899-1924 (DE6345)
Rowell and Sons, the last bootmakers (“riding boots our speciality”) who were established in 1837 shut up shop in the 1980s but by then just sold shoes.
A carnival procession winds its way along Sherrard Street from the town centre, with one of the town’s public urinals on the right, and The Marquis of Granby pub on the left. The first float is possibly a Stilton cheese-maker, the second belongs to Rowell and Son, boot-makers to the gentry, and later to the Duke of Windsor.
List of Names Included
Extract from White’s Leicester and Rutland Directory 1877
Rowell George, bootmaker, Church street
Rowell Thomas, bootmaker, Chapel street