The Bednall Archive
Last updated: 23/02/2010
Leather worker's, no.8, spring loaded, hole punch manufactured and marketed by Bednall & Co., Sheffield. It's approximately 7" in length and carries the maker's name on the low jaw. The punch is made of steel and the lower jaw also carries a brass insert.
The firm of "John Bednal & Co.", grindery merchants and manufacturers, was established in Sheffield, by John Bednal of Sheffield and James Wilton of Liverpool, sometime prior 1864 . John Bednal was the son of Thomas Bednall, a Manchester shoemaker and his wife Hannah nee Morton. John, who was born in June 1829, became a leather cutter and in due course moved to Leeds as a journeyman, sometime prior to 1851. About 4 years later, however, he is listed as "Bednall, John & Co. Eyre Lane, Sheffield -Sheffield spring knife cutler" and in 1862 as a "shoe awl manufacturer & grindery dealer". How and when he and James Wilton of Liverpool became partners is unknown but in August 1864, the partnership between them was dissolved by mutual consent. Subsequently Bednal carried continued in business on his own account, describing himself as a "manufacturer" in 1871. His business premises were at 25 Change Alley, Sheffield in 1865 but by 1883 had moved to West Street Lane and was then describing himself as a "boot & shoe tool manufacturer". Whether or not he scaled down the business between these two dates is not known but in 1881 it appears to have been a small one for in the census return for that year he was described as a "hardware manufacturer employing 1 man, 1 boy and 1 girl".  Sometime before 1901 John retired from business and the census that year finds him living on Kenwood Park Road in Eccleshall Bierlow with just one servant. He is described as a retired cordwainer although, in 1898, he was still listed as a director in Kelly's Directory of Directors.
some stage, presumably when John decided to retire from the business, the firm
was combined with that of S. Thornhill & Co, trading under the name
"Thornhill, Bednall & Co., general manufacturers and
merchants carrying on business at 7 Sycamore Street, Sheffield .
This firm was still in business in December 1919 when the then partnership
between Horace S. Wall and Howard J. Haslam was dissolved by mutual
consent . Under this agreement, Horace Sydney Wall was to carry on the
business subsequently, trading under the same name on his own
account. A catalogue of the firm's products gives this firm's address as
"Crispin Works, Sheffield" and their products as "shoe
In 1860 John met and married Annie Gillatt Hydes daughter of shopkeeper John Hyde of Harthill and the couple set up home at 64 Suffolk Road, Sheffield later moving to Wostenholme Road, Eccleshall Bierlow.  Annie died in 1897 and John ten years later. As no children are mentioned in any of the census returns in which he and Annie are recorded, they may have left no direct descendants. The census returns for John and his wife are, however, interesting from another point of view because on two occasions relatives were staying with them when the census was taken. In 1901 one of these, a niece, was 38 year old, Harthill born, Josephine Annie Innocent, daughter of Joseph Innocent a Sheffield spring knife cutler who died in July 1862. It is thus possible that this family relationship played an important part in establishing John Bednal in business -certainly this connection is worth following up.
NB Bought in auction in 2006 and now forms part of the Bednall Collection.
AWBednall, Macclesfield 2004-2007