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Exercise book
  • Exercise book
    Hood, George, born 1827 - died 1851
  • Enlarge image

Exercise book

  • Place of origin:

    Derby (made)

  • Date:

    1838 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hood, George, born 1827 - died 1851 (author)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Barbara Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This book of handwriting exercises was completed over the course of five weeks in Spring 1838 by George Hood, an eleven year old boy from Derby. George's father was a tailor, and he and his brothers were educated to become successful merchants themselves.
The importance of penmanship shouldn't be underestimated. Along with good manners and credit, it could help create a good impression and secure a reputation. The moral messages of the phrases copied here constantly reminded George of that.

Physical description

Paperback exercise book with dark blue paper cover affixed to first page. Each page has been ruled with parallel lines, which guide the handwriting exercises. The words are written in black ink throughout.
The size of the handwriting varies throughout the book, but each page is filled with a different phrase or word. There are a number of words and phrases, such as Commemoration and Remembrancer, which repeat throughout the book.
Often, a page is signed by George Hood and dated.

Place of Origin

Derby (made)


1838 (made)


Hood, George, born 1827 - died 1851 (author)

Materials and Techniques

Ink on paper


Height: 22 cm, Width: 18.7 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

Exercise book, nine leaves of folded paper bound in dark blue paper wrappers, containing handwriting exercises by George Hood, aged eleven, Derby, 1838.


Ink; Paper




Education & Learning; Children & Childhood


Museum of Childhood

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