A catalog and history of Holtzapffel lathes


This biographical letter was written by J. J. Holtzapffel to Sir Robert Peel applying for naturalization as a British subject. It was transcribed from the original by Warren Ogden Jr., and appeared in the Society of Ornamental Turners Bulletin 74:140. The letter is the property of Dr. Craddock and has been placed in the Guildhall Library together with other papers concerning the firm of J. J. Holtzapffel.

Draft letter by J. J. Holtzapffel applying for naturalization as a British subject, circa 1822

To the Right Honourable Robert Peel - His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department, etc.

The humble petition of John Jacob Holtzapffel of No. 64 Charing Cross in the Parish of Saint Martin’s in the Field, in the County of Middlesex, Engine, Lathe and Toolmaker.

Sheweth -

That your Petitioner was born in Strasbourg in Alsace of Protestant Parents and educated in the reformed Calvin Faith, that your Petitioner came to this Country in the year 1792 for professional pursuits, and has ever since resided in it – was first employed by Mr. Jesse Ramsden a Mathematical Instrument Maker – that he established himself in the Parish aforesaid in 1794, that your Petitioner than married an English woman, one of his Majesty’s liege-subjects and successfully carried on his business as Engine, Lathe and Toolmaker, in which he has been patronized by many Noblemen and Gentlemen of High rank in this Country to many of whom your Petitioner is well known in respect to character as well as in the way of business - That your Petitioner has brought up a large family (six sons and six daughters) in the Protestant Religion, and educated as worthy members of Society enjoying the esteem of those by whom they are known.

That in the year 1804 he took into Partnership Johann Georg Deyerlein who had been in his employ since the commencement of his business – That your Petitioner has been obliged in conjunction with his said partner Johann George Deyerlein to purchase several Leaseholds properties on the Estate of the Mercers' Company for the better carrying on their business, and also at Charing Cross and Northumberland Street, Strand - the last named on the Estate of His Grace the Duke of Northumberland.

This Partner having already petitioned for letters of Denization, to enable him to dispose of his property, your Petitioner now prays for the like grant to enable him to dispose of his share by Will to his Family.

Your Petitioner has been a housekeeper in the Parish of Saint Martin’s upwards of 30 years, and trusts he has obtained the good esteem of his neighbours as a Subject, and shewn every attachment and respect for His Majesty's ordinances and Government, especially those respecting Aliens resident in Great Britain, in corroboration of which he begs leave to refer to the Signatures of several of the respectable inhabitants of this Parish – That your Petitioner is desirous of procuring his Majesty's Letters Patent to constitute him a Denizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to enjoy the rights of Denization to enable him to hold the Freehold Property for the benefit of himself and family, it being in your Petitioner’s intention to reside for the future in this Country with the knowledge of a free Denizen.

Your Petitioner therefore prays, Right Honourable Sir, that taking into consideration the long residence in this Country – his being married to an English woman, and having a large Family, that obtaining His Majesty's other Patent of Denization would most materially benefit himself and family by securing his property for him and them. That you would be pleased to direct such measures as will procure the same and your Petitioner will ever pray.

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