On this day in 1651 a certain Thomas Pendleton and 12 other shoemakers petitioned the House of Commons for monies owed.
Firstly some background information on this story.
Northampton has a long history of boot and shoemaking which dates right back to the 15t century and continues right up to the present day with high quality shoes being produced and exported worldwide, historically the presence of a local cattle Market gave easy access to the raw materials needed for this trade, allied with the towns proximity to water and its central location.
By the year 1642 there were enough shoemakers in the Town to secure a large order of 600 pairs of boots and 4,000 pairs of shoes for the New Model Army; these were to be used by the soldiers of Lord Essex’s Army in Ireland..
These were dangerous times times however and Pendleton wisely arranged for a Troop of armed horse to guard the consignment on its way to London.
Northampton was a staunch supporter of the parliamentarian cause during the war, and there were many actions in the county between the two sides over the course of the war, the most famous of which is of course Naseby.
Pendleton became involved in local politics and the non-payment for his and his fellow shoemakers work became somewhat of an embarrassment for him, even more so as by this time he was running for the mayoralty of Northampton.
Pendleton and his fellow shoemakers had by 1647 still not been paid hence the need to petition the House of Commons.
And then on Monday, January 17, 1647
House of Commons Journal reports, “An ordinance for Payment of a Debt of Eight hundred Pounds to a certain Shoemaker of Northampton, out of the Estate of Wm. Baud, a Recusant, was this Day read; and, upon the Question, rejected.” But fear not, for it was recorded a little later that the same William Baud, of Walgrave, “a Popish Recusant, that hath adhered to the Enemy against the Parliament” should have his estate seized and, from the money raised, “Thomas Pendleton, and other Shoemakers of Northampton, be paid and satisfied”.