The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Silk Weavers named Collier

Francis Dearman

On 13.4.1856 Charles Collier’s daughter Maria married Francis Dearman, Weaver (age 21) at St Thomas Church, Bethnal Green. (Also see further family connection in Note 1)

I recently obtained a secondhand copy of the book, The London Weavers’ Company 1600-1970, by Alfred Plummer.

In the book there are the following contents:

(i) a photo of Francis Dearman (1831-1904) Silk Weaver, Globe Road, Spitalfields. (see Conclusions)

(ii) An entry on page 374:

"...Miss Rose Dearman, who left school in 1899 at the age of fourteen to become a silk weaveress. She was taught by her father, Francis Dearman (1831-1904) - see Conclusions - who owned four looms and occupied a weaver's house in Globe Road, where he worked, when trade was brisk, from 6.30 a.m. to 8 p.m., taking a break for breakfast and "sometimes a rest in the afternoon." This suggests from eleven to twelve hours a day actually at work in his loom. The weaving shop was on an upper floor of his house and was entered through a trap-door. (This particular house was pulled down in 1905). After dark they wove by the light of hanging oil lamps with green shades. Miss Dearman remembers that they worked mainly for J H Buckingham & Co of Ropemaker Street, on 27-inch and 36-inch men's and women's figured silk scarves and mufflers. The firm's foreman paid occasional visits to the Dearmans and a long-standing friendly relationship seems to have existed between Mr Dearman and his employers. During the early years of the twentieth century, as more and more work went to the power looms, the length of the "play" or waiting periods between orders greatly increased. Miss Dearman continued to weave for some ten years after her father's death in 1904, but in the end she was forced to give up silk weaving and go over to the millinery trade." (see Note 2. below for entry for the family living in Globe Road per 1891 Census)

An entry on page 414:

“In Class III (figured silk with one or two shutters) an “honourable mention” certificate was gained by Francis Dearman, whose daughter worked with him as a weaveress and is (in 1969) living in Weavers’ House, Wanstead, as an almswoman of the Company.”

Note 1.

St Jude, Bethnal Green

On 25 December 1870 Elizabeth Sophia Crease (19) 11 Fleur de lis Street
(father Lewis Crease, Hot Presser)
Charles Henry Collier (19) Cigar Maker of 11 Carter Street
(father Charles Collier, Weaver)
Witnesses: Lewis Crease, Mary Ann Crease

Note 2

Certificates Held

Full name: Francis Dearman (of: 6? Matthews Buildings)
Occupation: Weaver (Age: 21)
Father: Francis Dearman, Silk Weaver
Married at: St Thomas’ Church, Bethnal Green (Date: 13.4.1856)
Spouse: Maria Collier (of: 16? Hare Street)
Occupation: (Age: 18)
Father: Charles Collier, Silk Weaver
Relevant Witnesses: Charles Collier

Parish Records

Christ Church, Spitalfields

Francis Dearman bp 24.1.1836
(parents Francis& Sarah Dearman)

St Matthews, Bethnal Green

Jane Susannah Dearman born 15 Oct 1860 bp 11 November 1860
(parents Francis, Weaver 21 Bacon Road, and Maria Dearman)

St Thomas St, Bethnal Green

Francis Charles Dearman Weaver (19) of 14 Hope Town
(father Francis Charles Dearman Weaver)
Married 7.8. 1876
Sarah Louise Crease (19) of 15 (?) Thrould St
(father Lewis Crease, Hot Presser - see Note 2. below)

Census Records Held

1861 Census

9 Oakley Street, Bethnal Green

Francis Dearman Head (age 25) Silk Weaver born Spitalfields
Maria Dearman Wife (23) Lucifer Box Maker born Bethnal Green
Francis Derman (age 4) born Bethnal Green
Maria Dearman Daughter (age 2) born Bethnal Green
Jane Dearman Daughter (age 4 mos) born Bethnal Green

1871 Census

11 Jubilee Place (near Parliament st) Bethnal Green

Francis Dearman Head (35) Silk Weaver born Bethnal Green
Mary Ann Dearman (41) Silk Weaver born Bethnal Green
Francis Dearman (14) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
Sarah Dearman (12) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
Jane Dearman (10) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
George Dearman (8) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
William Dearman (6) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
Charles Dearman (4) Scholar Born Bethnal Green

1881 Census

120 Gossett St, Bethnal Green

Francis Dearman Head (24) Silk Weaver born Bethnal Green
Sarah Dearman wife (24) Tobacco (?) Tripper born Shoreditch
Frances Dearman son (1) born Bethnal Green
Sarah Dearman daughter (3) born Bethnal Green

1891 Census

298 Globe Road, Bethnal Green

Francis Dearman Head (34) Silk Weaver born Silk Weaver
Sarah Dearman wife (34) Silk Weaver born Bethnal Green
Chas Francis Dearman son (8) Scholar Born Bethnal Green
Rose Dearman daughter (6) Scholar Born Bethnal Green

1901 Census

298 Globe Road, Bethnal Green

Francis Dearman Head age 65 (should be 45) Silk Weaver working at home born London, Spitalfields
Sarah Ann Dearman Wife age 44 Silk Weaveress working at home born London, Bethnal Green
William F. Dearman Son age 18 Solicitor’s Clerk born London, Bethnal Green
Rose F. Dearman daughter age 16 Cardboard Box Maker born London, Bethnal Green


The information above (Certificates Held, Parish Records and Census entries) confirm that Francis Dearman, mentioned in the book, was the son of Francis & Maria (Collier) Dearman. The information indicates that there were 3 generations of silk weavers named Francis Dearman:

The dates do not match exactly (e.g. in the book Francis is said to be born in 1831 but all the other evidence suggests 1835) but it does appear that Francis Dearman is “ours” and there is a little bit of family history in this book.

A descendant of Francis & Maria contacted me to point out that his grandfather William Francis Dearman is shown in the 1891 Census as Charles Francis Dearman (corrected in the 1901 Census). These things happen!

Colin Bower
12 June 2019


Links to:

Silk Weavers named Collier - Introduction & Index

Silk Weavers named Collier - The Story So Far

Collier Family - Progress to Date

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