• Reference
  • Title
    Hipwell Archive
  • Admin/biog history
    Hipwells of Pavenham and Stoke Mills, Sharnbrook. The family is supposed to have originated in Hipswell, Yorkshire, two brothers, Edward (c1575-1617) and William (c1590-1653) migrated to Pavenham, Bedfordshire. Edward arrived c 1600 and his brother ten years later. A member of teh family, Thomas (c1655-1748) aged about 10 was sent down by his parents from London back to Pavenham. He founded the rush mat making business there, which was carried on by his sons. One of his sons, Daniel I (1696-1784) married Lettic Robinson and with the help of his father-in-law set a rival business to his father's. this eventually passed to his son Daniel II (1735-1817). Daniel Hipwell III (1786-1878) realised the mat making industry was in decline and in 1804 set up as a farmer at Wootton. Apart from copies of wills there is little on the earlier history of the family in the archive. Daniel III has left a number of documents. He farmed at Wootton and marston Moretaine, from where his wife came, 1804-1817. A measurement of the farm at Marston Moretaine c1810 (X106/63) and a Wootton House Property Tax of 1813 (X106/49) date from this period. Daniel shrewdly cashed in on the high agricultural prices during the Napoleonic War. Although he started with no farming experience, he certainly was a capable businessman. In 1817 he left Wootton and sold his corn and stock (X106/100-101) and moved to Stoke Mills, Bletsoe. The Mill had been virtually reconstituted by the landlord, Lord St John of Bletsoe and was offered with a hundred acres of farming land. although he had no knowledge of milling, Daniel had now two strings to his bow with which to face the difficult economic conditions of the post 1815 slump. Daniel's business did not collapse and he founded a milling firm that lasted till 1966, when his great great grandson, William Alexander Hipwell sold Stoke Mills to Nitrovit. For the first 20 eyars, Daniel ran the business on his own. From this period there are some records of Hipwell's dealings with his clients. Thomas Eyles of Bletsoe, baker was forced to sell all his houshold goods, stock in trade, livestock etc in Bedfordshire for £60 9X106/90). More extensive papers relate to the the affairs of William Pool, a cousin of Hipwell's who was a baker at Stevington. He too went bankrupt. Both, no doubt, had long accounts at Stoke Mills for flour they had bought. Daniel's account book 9X106/386) gives receitps from 1827 and debtors from ten years after and starts a series of accounts which continues (with gaps) till 1957. In 1837 Daniel moved to Bletsoe Cottage (X106/387) preparatory to being less involved in the business and taking his son, William into partnership. Hipwell & Sons. Daniel Hipwell brought his eldest son, William (1812-1891) into the partnership in 1839 and his second son, Thomas (1813-1876) in 1858 (X106/210). Hipwell and Sons developed a business with Wykes as coal and Salt Merchant by 1861. Their offices at 74 High Street, Bedford, were also used as Hipwell and Sons Bedford Office. Thomas left the partnership with his father and brother in 1870. Daniel finally left the partnership in 1873. On 19 September 1873 William Hipwell the elder entered into partnership with his two sons, William (1843-1931) and Thomas Collier Hipwell (1845-1928). The partnership deed (X106/346) gives a very detailed synopsis of the property and assets of D Hipwell and Sons at that time. The death of Thomas Hipwell (1813-1876) meant that the Coal Merchant's business in Bedford became vested in his brother William rather than his own children. William, the elder son, concentrated on the milling side of the business and Thomas Collier Hipwell on the corn and coal merchan's at Bedford. A considerable amount of correspondence etc (X106/347-361) relates to the fine tuning of the deeds of partnership by the firms solicitor, Tebbs of Bedford. Frank Hipwell became sole manager of the firm following the death of his uncle, William in 1931. Hipwell and Sons became a limited company on 12 May 1950. Their minute books are deposited here at X106/379-381). The firm was sold to Nitrovit in 1966. Thomas Collier Hipwell married his cousin Annie Bella Mary Hipwell (1854-1897) (daughter of Dainel IV (1816-1894) who was 4th son of Daniel III) in 1877. These Hipwells lived at maidwell Dale and Barnwell in Northants, as well as later at Dunchurch, Warwickshire. Much of Thomas' correspondence relates to his wife's family, especially his wife and sisters who married respectively richard Attenborough and B W Millington. The letter gave considerable detail on Attenborough's unremunerative farming at Sawtry and his financial difficulties. He was related to Walter Attenborough MP for Bedford Jan-Nov 1910. There is also a substantial archive relating to relations of the Hipwells of Maidwell Dale called Russell from Elie, Fife, Scotland. Thomas Collier Hipwell, also acted as executor and trustee of his uncle Thomas Hipwell (1813-1876). His correspondence with Thomas' widow and children reveaql information about London in the 1870s and 1880s. Thomas Hipwell's daughter Frances was a professional singer. Thomas Collier Hipwell lived at 27 The Embankment, Bedford. Frank Hipwell (1878-1965) was the son of T C Hipwell. he went to Herne House School, Cliftonville, near Margate, to the Bedford School and finally to La Villa, Ouchy, Switzerland where he learnt French. Unlike any of his predecessors, frank trained as a miller, getting City and Guilds of London Institute Certificates in 1897-1898 (X106/236-253). He kept a diary from 1896-1914 9X106/235/1-19). The diaries and letters of this period include details of his time as a Bedfordshire Volunteer, his visits to the Russells of Elie, visits to sporting events such as the 1905 Derby, Henley and skiing X106/255-268. X106/264 is a printed souvenir of Joseph Chamberlain's speech on Tariff Reforem at Luton on 5 October 1904. Frank Hipwell married Amy Weston in 1909. they lived at Sharftesbury Avenue and 22 Merton Raod, Bedford before moving the Stoke Mill House i1920. There is a bill for improvements to the house in 1920-21 by T H Pacey of Sharnbrook (X106/295a-b). Relations of the Hipwells: The Wings and the Colliers. As a marriage of Daniel I's daughter Elizabeth to James Tacy Wing, architect (1802-1880) records of teh Wing family came into the archive. Theyte to John Wing, the elder, sonemason of Rutland and father of John Wing, the architect of Town Bridge, Bedford. the Elder's diaries give brief details to the places he went, mainly as part of his job (X106/79-80), dating from 1775 and 1780 respectively. J T Wing was John wing the Elder's grandson. In 1842 William Hipwell III (1812-1891) married Eliza Chapman, the adopted daughter of Thomas Collier (1771-1850) of Kettering and latterly of Sharnbrook. Thomas Collier was a member of Kettering Baptist Meeting and then of Sharnbrook Strict Baptist Church. His diary of 1794-1810 is primarily a spiritual one but includes a poem on the enclosure of Kettering Links (X106/. A useful account of sale fo the contents of waterside (now Ouse Manor), Sharnbrook forms part of his archive, as well as his funeral accounts.
  • Deposited at the Record Office in 18 different accessions from 1943 to 1989 by three different members of the Hipwell family. In 1992 the whole collection was transfered to the record office as a gift.
  • Scope and Content
    The account books of Hipwell and Son go back to Daniel Hipwell I and continue to the 1950s. They include trading accounts, inventories and wage accounts. Both the correspondence and the financial records give considerable details of the water wheels and steam driven turbine machinery used at Stoke Mills. Photographs of the machinery were made in 1966 and are deposited , reference plans of Stoke Mills prepared by Usher and Anthony of Bedford survive, reference CDE79. The records cover the various enterprises on which the Hipwells were at various stages involved: Stoke Mills (originally in a detached part of Bletsoe, subsequently in Sharnbrook), Ditchford Mills, Northants, the Corn Merchant and Coal Merchants business in Bedford and farming at Hill Farm, Sharnbrook. An interesting contrast could be made between the businesslike Hipwells, who survived and the spendthrift and unscrupulous Powers of Biggleswade, who went bankrupt int he 1880s (HF41). At the time of Daniel Hipwell I (1786-1878) personal and private papers were intermingled. As the partnership formalised into the family firm of Hipwell and Sons, so the private parpers of the individual partners separated from the firm's archives. Apart from a diary of William Hipwell IV (1843-1931) when a young man, the bulk of the private documents relate to Thomas Collier Hipwell (1845-1928) and his son Frank (1878-1965). Thomas Collier Hipwell kept a diary in which he put rough accounts from 1882-1928. These (with gaps) are X106/224/1-14. They give substantially more detail after 1902.
  • System of arrangement
    Due to the material being received by the record office at so many differnt times some items that normally would have been listed together will be found in different parts of the archive. For example, Stock and Account Books of Hipwell and Sons are found at X106/108-121, 182-183, 203.)
  • Reference
  • External document
  • Level of description
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