Soap and Candle Making

When the hides were taken for the leather trade, the fat was also separated and rendered to make tallow, which was made into candles by the tallow-chandler or into soap by the soap-boiler. The meat of the animals went to the butchers, of whom there were many in Moreton, but the horns were not needed. They were allowed to accumulate and gave the name of Hornhills to the area immediately below the Shambles, the area where most of this trade was carried on.

In the Directories we find John Cole (1793), George Harvey (1823-30), William Snow (1830) and Abraham Norrish (1850) listed as tallow-chandlers, and John Pinsent (1793) as a soap-boiler.

In the deeds of the building now occupied by Will Langworthy's pottery, at one time the Punch Bowl Inn, we find that a lease of 1758 says that John Cole had a soaphouse there at that date, and that the slaughterhouse of Henry Palling butcher was also there; John Pinsent, soapboiler, was a party to the deed. The house almost opposite, 11 Ford Street, was called Candles quite recently, and was occupied by a tallow chandler.

We also hear about the soap and tallow business through Treleaven's diary. 'In 1799 Mr John Pinsent, the soap-boiler, had an apprentice who ran away but was brought back; a few months later the same apprentice was caught stealing candles and selling them to a neighbouring shopkeeper.' Mr Pinsent had a narrow escape in 1803 with a fire in his upper room when a boy with a lighted candle went in to an area where wick. and cotton yarn for making wick, was stored. In 1804 Mr Pinsent retired, and handed his business over to George Harvey who had been taken on as an apprentice in 1799.

In 1803 Mr John Mann, tallow chandler, was summonsed and fined for having more candles in production than he had declared - presumably there was a tax on them. He had started on the business of tallow chandler in 1801, under the instruction of Robert Bater - in 1806 he departed to London, having evidently not been successful.