1) The OED has references for combmaker from <i>c.</i>1450 but none for combsmith although the latter is on record quite frequently from the fourteeenth century.

One example has been noted in the Norfolk poll tax in 1379 but the earliest Yorkshire evidence is in York: 1392-3 Rob. de Bolton, cambesmyth

1427 William Spaldyngton, camesmyth

1445 William Routh de Eboraco, camsmyth. In his will this William Routh left a stithy, a sleck-trough and a fore-hammer to his brother John. There were also combsmiths in Richmond from the late 1390s and it seems likely that these urban smiths were producing iron combs for the woollen trade. The occupation’s apparent decline there may reflect the industry’s changing fortunes. In fact, occasional examples are found later in the textile towns: 1659 William Hobson of Kirkheaton, Combsmith and it occurred also as a surname in the Wakefield area from the late fifteenth century. There were, though, individuals referred to as combmakers in Sheffield from the late seventeenth century: 1699 Samuel Prior, combemaker

1706 Joh’is Bamcroft, Combmaker and they were possibly making metal combs for the jersey weavers: 1700 Joh’es fil’ Eduardi Williams, jersey comer

1736 John Hawley, jersie-weaver.

spellings combsmith
dates 1393-1392 1427 1445 1450-1500 1659 1699 1700 1706 1736

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0