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Account of making the Newbury Coat

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A written account of the time taken to make the Newbury Coat. Also retained with the document are samples of cloth and lining silk. In 1811, Sir John Throckmorton issued a bet that John Coxeter, the owner of Greenham Mills, could make him a woollen coat in one day, between sunrise and sunset. The process had to start with the shearing of two sheep at 5am and the coat had to be ready for Sir John to wear at 8pm for a formal dinner. The sheep were shorn and the wool was spun into yarn that was woven into cloth by John Coxeter’s son. It was washed and dyed before being given to the tailor at 4pm to make into the coat. Many people worked to complete each stage of making the coat, which was completed at 20 minutes past 6 o’ clock; a total of 13 hours and 20 minutes, with an hour and 40 minutes to spare. John Coxeter won the £1,000 bet and celebrated by buying 120 gallons of beer for the large crowd of 5,000 who had come to watch, and they ate roast mutton from the two sheep whose fleeces had made the coat.

Period: Early 19th century

Location: Newbury

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