Bancroft family account booksCreation: 1815-1849
The Bancroft family owned and operated the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company, a cotton cloth manufacturer in Rockford, Delaware, beginning in 1831. The volumes help document the activities of two generations of the Bancroft family in England and America and the operations and employees of two early Delaware Valley textile mills.
- Creation: 1815-1849
- Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co (Organization)
The Bancroft family owned and operated the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company, a cotton cloth manufacturer in Rockford, Delaware, beginning in 1831.
John Bancroft (1750-1833) was a chair manufacturer and timber merchant in Manchester, England. His son John (1774-1852) was born in Manchester in 1774 and was apprenticed in his father's business. In 1822, the family emigrated to the United States. John, the younger, established a woolen mill near Brandywine Bridge in Wilmington, Delaware, with his sons John (1802-1882) and Samuel (1804-1891). The third son Joseph, remained in England to complete his apprenticeship at his uncle John Bright's cotton mill in Rochdale but joined the family in Wilmington in 1824.
In 1827, the family moved its operations to Upper Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and in 1831 they moved again to a site on Ridley Creek in Nether Providence Township. Here they built the Todmorden woolen mills and installed 2400 spindles and thirty looms for blanket making. The family-operated Todmorden Mills under the style of John Bancroft & Son until 1842, when they were sold on account of business depression. They were repurchased by Samuel Bancroft in 1854.
In 1828, Joseph returned to Wilmington and, in 1831, established his own mill on the Brandywine at Rockford. This operation became Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company.
Scope and Contents
The volumes help document the activities of two generations of the Bancroft family in England and America and the operations and employees of two early Delaware Valley textile mills. They are one of the smallest collections within Hagley's much more comprehensive holdings on the activities of the Bancroft family.
The first volume includes a small amount of documentation on the early career of John Bancroft (1774-1852) as a lumber merchant, furniture maker, and woodworker in Manchester, England, from 1815 to 1820.
The balance of the first volume is the cash book of the Todmorden (woolen) Mills in Nether Providence Township, from 1833 to 1838. It lists financial transactions with banks, customers, suppliers, laborers, mill workers, and others. In addition to John Sr., other members of the Bancroft family mentioned included John Jr., Joseph, Rebecca, Samuel, Thomas, and William, as well as the partnership of Bainton & Bancroft. Workers at both the Upper Mill and Lower Mill are listed with their earnings. The volume records payments for baking cloth, coal, drayage, digging millrace, flannel, flocks, freight, fuller's earth, glue, kersey, leather, pelts, picker, picks, porterage, roller cloth, sandpaper, shuttles, skewers, wood, wool, wool bags, and yarn drying.
The second volume is a daybook and production record from Joseph Bancroft's cotton mill at Rockford, Delaware, from 1847 to 1849. The volume lists workers' names, numbers, operation numbers, quantities of work done, and remarks.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
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Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Bancroft family account books
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- 2021: Ashley Williams