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Exercise book

  • Place of origin:

    Derby (made)

  • Date:

    1848 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hood, Henry, born 1836 - died 1917 (author)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Barbara Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Creativity Gallery, case 22

Physical description

A paperback book with a light blue cover. On the front is inscribed in thick black letters, 'Henry Hoods Book, Ashbourn (sic), 1848'. Inside the front cover, the words 'Mast. Hy. Hood, Sept 6th, 1848', written with delicate swirling script. The following page features the words 'Mercantile Correspondence', encircled by serpentine flourishes and floral garlands.
The remainder of the book is filled with draft letters dealing with routine matters of business. The letters are all dated, and range from 16 September to 17 November 1848. The letters are 'signed' by a variety of different names including D Williamson, E Simpson and J Brown. Businesses include drapers, wholesale grocers and stationers. The subjects of the letters include asking for references for suppliers, responding to invoices to dispute quotes, and requesting payment.
All are written very neatly in copperplate handwriting, and feature very few corrections or amendments.

Place of Origin

Derby (made)


1848 (made)


Hood, Henry, born 1836 - died 1917 (author)

Materials and Techniques

Ink on paper


Height: 22.5 cm, Width: 18.5 cm

Object history note

This collection of books belonged to Derby tailor Francis Hood and his children.

Francis was born in Ashbourne, Derby, in 1800. In 1823 he married Susanna Wilson, and they had five children. All their names, apart from the youngest, Susanna, appear on the exercise and copy books. Francis was a successful tailor, and the enterprise grew to be a flourishing family business.

George (born 1827) was a tailor with his father by the age of 14. He died aged only 24.

Elizabeth (born 1830) became a milliner and dressmaker. She married Scottish draper John Train, but was soon widowed, and thereafter is listed is woollen goods trader as well as dressmaker.

Francis (born 1832) moved to Australia, possibly before his twentieth birthday, where he stayed the rest of his life.

Henry (born 1836) was an apprentice in 1851. Ten years later, at the age of 25, he inherited the family business, and by 1881 was employing 6 men and 2 boys. He was married to Elizabeth from Somerset, and they had six children. He was able to retire in his mid-sixties and move to a country house on the proceeds of the business. Soon after, Elizabeth died, but Henry remarried at the age of 72 to a woman 31 years his junior. His second son George (born 1868) continued the Hood dynasty from the 1890s, though the shop in St John Street, Ashbourne, remained ‘Henry Hood & Son’ in 1900.

Susanna (born 1838) never married, and lived with Elizabeth. She was also a dressmaker.

The books were passed down through Henry’s children to the donor’s husband.

Descriptive line

Light blue paperback book, containing Mercantile Correspondence by Henry Hood, Derby, 1848


Ink; Paper




Children & Childhood; Education & Learning

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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