razormaker

1) Occupational term for a maker of razors.

In 1285, William le Rasorer was a tenant of Wakefield manor, living at Thornes, and it is possible that he made razors. Otherwise the first mention of the occupational term is in Rotherham, more than two centuries before it has been noted in Sheffield: 1459 John Dolfyn, rasursmyth, Rotherham. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that Sheffield cutlers were making razors long before it became recognised there as a specialist occupation. In 1681, for example, the Cutlers’ Company presented Sir John Reresby and his clerk with six razors, two of them with silver caps, in recognition of their help in the fight against the hearth tax, and in the same year John Greaves was described as a razormaker. References in the Sheffield parish register increase from the early eighteenth century: 1709 Thomas Wilson, Razorsmith

1710 John Slack Rasor smith

1721 Thomas Betts, razorsmith. The Castleton family of Dove House followed the trade over several generations and they were at the heart of a close-knit community: 1737 John Castleton, Razer smith

1770 John Castleton, Razorsmith

1883 William Castleton, Razor-hafter. Specialist razor grinders are on record from the 1700s and not just in Sheffield: 1786 Samuel Knot of Ackworth, Razor Grinder, Wragby

1786 Joseph Turnpenney of … Birstall, Razeor Grinder, Hartshead. The concentration of the trade in Sheffield gave rise to razor strap making as a subsidiary industry by the late eighteenth century.

spellings razor hafter razor grinder razorsmith
dates 1285 1459 1681 1709 1710 1721 1737 1750-1799 1786

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