Basket Makers

Basket Makers in York in the 1830s

In the 1830s, there were at least eight basket makers in York, who are all listed below, but we take a long look at one who turned out to be a real character in York’s history, Francis Mountain.

Basket makers produced both items for domestic use, including items of furniture which were becoming fashionable in Victorian times, as well as for industrial use, such as for use in factories.

The basket makers listed at the time were:

Francis Mountain – 9, Girdler Gate

Francis Mountain was born on 18th August 1807 in York and baptised on 8th September 1807. He was the son of Francis and Jane Mountain. He worked as a basket-maker in 1834 at 9, Girdler Gate (now known as Church Street). He lived in 1837 at Grape Lane in the city, and in 1850 Mark Green, the superintendent of the Vagrant Offices suggested Francis Mountain take over from him, as he was currently a sergeant of police who was a respected local figure.

He married Sarah (born in 1817), and they had a son Charles born in 1834, a son Francis born in 1836,  a daughter, Hannah born in 1843, a son Robert born in 1845 and a son Charles H Mountain, born in 1853. In 1861 they lived at 7, Little Shambles, where Francis was a policeman and superintendent of the Vagrant Offices, and in 1871, they lived at 17, Aldwark in York. He died in 1876.

The other basket makers were; Joseph Allan – 5, Nessgate Joseph Allen worked at the premises as a basket-maker from between 1828 to 1841. William Varley – Dundas Street The premises at which William Varley worked from have now been demolished, and are now part of the Hungate York development.

The other makers were;

William Barlow – Lawrence Street, Richard Clarkson – Shambles, Benjamin Fletcher – 14, New Bridge Street, Richard Robinson – 18, Fossgate and George Stead – 96, Peter Gate.

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