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Scotia Silver Trademark, Scotia and the McClory's


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Hello, the below image of a spoon name mark has been in my laptop's "unknown electroplate marks" folder for quite a while. It has "NS" on for "nickel silver" but lacks anything extra to help find the owner of this "Scotia Silver" trademark.


However this week, a lucky look around one of those few remaining small sensibly priced second hand shops brought me to this "Firth Brearley" knife shown below. It is a little over 9 inches (24 cms) long and it looks like an "eating" table knife. 


I had not heard of this Sheffield concern "John McClory & Sons" before but here we have a company name to go with a "Scotia" trademark and there is an additional "thistle plant" pictorial mark.

The "Name on a knife blade" web site


does however have some information about this "John McClory & Sons" concern, but I have some Sheffield Indexers entries that may give extra information on the "McClorys". 

                                       1864-65       MCCLORY, John (Qualifying property, House & shop, 27 Waingate).
                                                                                                          Address: Waingate, Sheffield 
                                                                                                           Recorded in: Sheffield Burgess Rolls.

This first  John McClory was said to have died 1867 and I wonder if the following could have been his widow carrying on the residual business but largely "dealing" in cutlery and not manufacturing.

                                          1871        McClory, Ellen (~, cutlery dlr).
                                                                                 Address: 13 Waingate, Sheffield
                                                                                  Recorded in: Whites Sheffield & District Directory - 1871.

This next entry is the likely son "John" who may also be "dealing" from his Rockingham Street warehouse as it predates the early 1880's date given for John and his brother William Vincent trading as "John McClory & Sons Ltd".

                                         1875-1876      MCCLORY, John (Qualifying property, Warehouse, Rockingham Street).
                                                                                   Address: ~, St George
                                                                                    Recorded in: Sheffield Burgess Rolls.

                                         1905     McClory, John & Sons Lim. (, pen,pocket & table knife & electro plate manufacturers).
                                                                                    Address: Continental Works, Milton Street, Sheffield 
                                                                                     Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield &Rotherham.

                                          1911     McClory, John (, & Sons Ltd. Electro plate manufacturers).
                                                                                      Address: Milton Street,
                                                                                       Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham

 The below entry of a "John Lewis McClory" would a grandson of the first "John McClory"?
                                           1911      McClory, John Lewis (, Cutlery manager).
                                                                                        Address: 20 Sterndale Road, Millhouses, 
                                                                                         Recorded in: Whites Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham 

There does not appear to be information on dates when "Scotia" and  "Scotia Silver" became trademarks. Also, that they belong to the same concern is just my assumption. Does anyone have more info and and knowledge? I think it is possible to date the use of "Scotia" with thistle mark from at least the mid 1920's as this was the start  of the "Firth Brearley" period but is that correct? Extra information required please. "Name on a knife blade"  indicates "Hyram Wild" started using the "Scotia" mark after the liquidation of "McClory's" in 1938.

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The gatepost in the  picture with the name Osberton can be seen at 27 Sale Hill, the opposite gatepost bears the final word in its name, House, Osberton House. In 1894 John H McClory lived in this beautiful house, still well kept today. Johns father, also called John, was born in the village of Drumsallagh in County Down in Ireland, he came across with Thomas McGivern and they both opened hardware shops, John opened his cutlery warehouse at 27 & 29 Waingate, he sold knives and joiners tools but what ever people wanted he sold it, this shop was active up to Johns death the 7th of November 1867, he was laid to rest in the new catholic cemetery, St Michaels at Rivelin.
After his death, his son John McClory & sons was appearing in local directories, the owner and driving force of this new venture was John Jnr, our subject today, his office was in the Eldon Works on Eldon Street, the firm was listed as table knife and pocket cutlery manufacturers and merchants but five years earlier in 1879 he was working out of premises at 122 Rockingham Street making pen & pocket knives. John Jnr saw a gap in the market for cheap but expensive looking cutlery as most manufacturers in the town were aiming at the export of expensive products, a newspaper article of the time said “McClory & Sons, who by 1888 were freely admitting to the production of cheap, but decent and attractively finished goods, and even chastised the elitism of the old-established houses” A few years ago, partly owing to the apathy of the older firms, who in a great measure confined themselves to the manufacture of the more expensive classes of cutlery, the enormous trade in cheap and middle class goods seemed likely to fall into the hands of German rivals, McClory`s thought why let Germany steal a march on them and they proceeded to produce the good looking cheap cutlery, such was the threat of cheap foreign goods flooding the country, nothing seems to have changed there then. In 1890 John Jnr had moved into new premises, the Continental Works on Milton Street, I worked in this works for a short while in the late sixties but by then the large works was let off into several smaller shops for “Little Mesters”, in 1890 John was living on Western Bank but I just cannot work out as to why he’s registered as living at 27 Sale Hill, anyway he was living on Western Bank with his wife Mary Ann and his son John Lewis McClory who was born in 1881, by the early 1900s John Lewis had joined the firm, by 1905 the business had become a limited company and John Jnr had obtained a partner Mr Henry Elliott, they were selling table cutlery, pocket & pen knives plus electro plated items, John Lewis at that time was works manager.
John McClory Jnr died on the 1st of June 1913 aged 61 years, he was buried alongside his father in St Michaels cemetery at Rivelin, in his will he left just £4,000, his son John Lewis continued as works manager after the first world war, this company was one of the first to produce stainless cutlery but its inventor Harry Brearley worked with R.F. Mosley & Co. of Portland Works, Randall Street and they produced the very first stainless steel knife blades, in 1938 the company was liquidated and after the second world war the McClory & Sons name and order book was bought and transferred to the Continental Works on Herries Road, this new ownership became Hiram Wild, who were well known in the sixties and seventies as a producer of quantity rather than quality, seems the took a page out of John McClory seniors book.
The area of Sheffield where Sale Hill is situated was originally church land and according to Peter Harvey’s book Street Names Of Sheffield, he writes that S.O. Addy thought the name was ancient and came from the old Viking name, Sel, meaning a hut on a mountain pasture but because it was laid down on church land Peter Harvey plumps for the Sale Hill name being given in honour of Canon Thomas Sale who was the Vicar of Sheffield from 1851 to 1873, this I don’t believe as Canon Sale was only  chosen as Vicar just five years before the Sale Hill street name was printed in directories of the time and for a man to get a street named after him in just five short years in the job is a bit tenuous to say the least, after his death maybe. Sale Hill still retains its Victorian houses and its charm, most of the houses are very well cared for but some need some tender loving care, sadly some of these family homes are now flats but that’s better than letting them go into rack and ruin. Once again my undying thanks to Geoff Tweedale for his book The History Of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers without which my research would have taken much longer.



Gatepost of No 27 Sale Hill in 1893 was the home of John H McClory cutlery manufacture rtwo of two.jpg

Gatepost of No 27 Sale Hill in 1893 was the home of John H McClory cutlery manufacturer one of two.jpg

No 27 Sale Hill in 1893 was the home of John H McClory cutlery manufacturer.jpg

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Thank you Tozzin for the added context and photos to my limited version of the "McClory" story.


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