Cloth Seal, Clothier's Seal, Rochdale, John Walmsley

Cloth Seal, John, Image & Found by Derfel Cloth Seal, Clothier's Seal, Rochdale, John Comfley?, Image & Found by Derfel.
Found on Thames foreshore.

"It appears to say John a i or l mfleyi think there is a letter before a as the a in the surname is not a capital letter. Rochdal e possibly missing as it is next to the first letter in the surname? Nothing on the back of the seal its 29mm wide."

Possibly John (Comfley?) and probably a clothier from Rochdale.

From Paul Cannon, "The letter you think is an ‘f’ is in fact an ‘s’. It is a long ‘s’ which was in use up to the early 1800s in handwriting and print (see <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s">Long s</a>). Compare the front page from Paradise Lost. I have never seen one on a seal before.
I would suggest that the inscription can probably be read as ‘John / [W]almsley / ROCHDAL[E]’. From the style of lettering I would date it to 1775 to 1825. John Walmsley of Rochdale was recorded as a cotton spinner in 1797 [<a href="http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16445coll4/id/218284/rec/1">Scholes’s Manchester & Salford Directory, 1797, p159</a>]. Walmsley’s Sun Insurance records of 1791, presumably for the mill are in existence see <a href="http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/rd/ae7aaf37-1e5f-4d54-8262-ff39005e7d02">London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, Insured: John Walmsley, Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire, cotton spinner</a> as are wills of two different John Walmsleys of Rochdale, proved in 1809 and 1822 <a href="http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_st=adv&_ep=John%20walmsley&_col=200&_d=PROB&_dss=range&_ro=any&_p=1800&_hb=tna">National Archives, John Walmsley</a>. If I am right, the John Walmsley of the seal is probably one of these men."

See also <a href="http://europlombs.forumpolish.com/t366-plomb-de-scelle-john-taylor-rochdale">John Taylor of Rochdale</a>.

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