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Margaret Marsh (fl. 1723 – 1757)

Margaret Marsh was identified as a ‘Widow and Mantua Maker’ on ‘Saint Albans Street in the Parish of Saint James Westminster’ in her will. She bequeathed £1000 each to her three children, and £100 to her sister Ann Cheshire. To her brother Henry she gave £10 for mourning, plus she forgave ‘all Sums of Money he Shall Stand Indebted unto me’, indicating that she was independently wealthy.[1] 

Stamp Duty Assessments reveal that Margaret Marsh bound her female apprentices outside of the livery companies, suggesting that this was part of a wider trend as the eighteenth century progressed. Table 1 shows that she had at least four female apprentices and charged high premiums, indicating that hers was a substantial trade.[2]

Table 1
2 Aug 1723Elizabeth CrouchSt Martin in the Fields£21
13 Jul 1726Sus CluterbuckUnknown£26 5s.
3 May 1731Elizabeth PykeCambridge£31 10s.
6 May 1735Mary SalisburySussex£31 10s.


[1] The National Archives (TNA) PROB 11/834/4, Will of Margaret Marsh, Widow and Mantua Maker of Saint James Westminster, Middlesex, 2 November 1757.

[2] TNA IR1/9 Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books, f.97, 1723; TNA IR1/11, Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books, f.127, 1726; TNA IR1/12, Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books, f.154, 1731; TNA IR1/14, Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books, f.12, 1735.


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