The Tallow Chandler

Having spent some time building up a structure, it now seems time to add some texture using some of my personal research experience. I have deliberately picked somebody I have not studied for sometime, so I too will be learning as I go along.

My intention is to introduce my research into a character called John Panton. As usual I began with the minimum of facts. He was born in 1805 in Lincoln and had a daughter called Charlotte Panton. From her wedding information, (I took the rare step for me of obtaining her marriage certificate). I soon learned her father John Panton had been a tallow chandler.

Perhaps you are more knowledgeable than me, but I first needed to discover a little more about his trade, never having heard of it before. I was amazed to discover that candles had not always been made of wax but that some had been made of a somewhat cheaper substance called tallow.  Having obtained his year of birth from the 1841 census, I had learned he had once lived at a rather interesting address in a building which is still standing today. I also ascertained the identity of his father. I became very intrigued and confused by his Bail Gate addresses  as there had been other Pantons, also in Bail Gate.

However the most informative and  unique fact I had about John Panton, was that he was employed as a tallow chandler. Having ascertained this was about candles, I set out to follow this line of research in The British Newspaper Archives. I had already discovered this little gem readily available online.

BROG/1/4/3/6/1 Depositions and recognizance
Prosecutor: Edward Scrivener of the High Street,
23 Mar 1846
grocer and tallow chandler.
Witness: William Tuxford, police constable.
Accused: John Panton, labourer, worked in
Scrivener’s candle house.
Crime: stealing ¾ lb of soap and ½ lb of candles in
the parish of St Benedict, Lincoln.

Information available online Here

My initial interest was Scrivener’s Candle House itself. I conducted some research to learn a little about the proprietor of this establishment. I look for patterns. I was interested to discover exactly what kind of employer he was.

This is where delving into the British National  Newspaper Archives began to produce very rich fruit indeed.

The Lincolnshire Chronicle, and Northampton, Rutland and Nottingham advertiser of March 26th, 1846 gave a detailed account of events. More to follow..

I have found for the first time  today a date for his death, which seems to fit with the date of his birth-a document for a John Panton, which suggests he was born around 1803 and died in 1885.

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