1) Occupational term, for a workman making wire by drawing a metal rod through a series of holes.
The drawing of wire is a practice that goes back to antiquity, and the occupation of wiredrawer is on record even in England from the thirteenth century. The earliest Yorkshire references are in York: 1300 Rad. de Notingham, wirdragher
1312 Rogerus le wirdragher. At that time the technique involved reducing the thickness of a metal rod by drawing it through a series of holes in a metal plate, of decreasing diameter
tongs or pliers were used to pull the wire steadily. By the sixteenth century the craft was established in many parts of the county: 1506 Garrard Yonger, York, wyrdrawer,
1563 Rauf Beckett, Selbie, wyer drawer
1583 George Bucktroute … Harewood, wyerdrawer. Wire production was mechanised towards the end of the sixteenth century, thanks to technology brought from Germany, and the inventory of Robert Salmon of Sheffield in 1718 records The Lease of the Wheel and wire miln tools thereunto belonging Ł100. There were wiredrawers also in the Derbyshire village of Hathersage from the Elizabethan period and when Thomas Heaton married he set up business in Sheffield: 1713 Thomas Heaton Wire-drawer.