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UK Trades
Lock Smiths
Boot & Shoemakers
Fish Merchants

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LockLock making in the Willenhall area, Staffordshire, may have started in Elizabethan times there are references, sources unknown, to the "ingenious craftsmen in Willenhall well skilled in the making of locks and keys" and to Elizabeth 1. granting to the township of Willenhall the privilege of making all locks required for State purposes. The main development of the cottage industry however did not start until the 1700,s with the growth of the local iron industry. The first locksmiths were probably blacksmiths.


A locksmith worked in his own small smithy which usually formed part of his dwelling house and he had no assistance beyond his family. There are many web sites giving details of the Lock Industry and a few are listed under Links.

Tuckley families were involved in lock making in the Willenhall area of Staffordshire for approximately 250 years from 1726 to 1971. Humphrey [ circa 1718 to 1793] and his brother John Tuckley [circa 1718 to 1766] were both described as Locksmiths but how and where they learnt their trade is not known. John in his will of 1766 was described as a Spring Chest Locksmith. Humphrey Tackley [Tuckley] was listed as a Box Lockmaker in the Willenhall section of the 1780 Pearson and Rollason Directory for Merchants and Tradesmen.This is the first published reference in a Directory to a Tuckley lockmaker. Humphrey had 4 sons all involved in the lock industry in the Lane Head area John 1740 - 1808, Thomas 1750 - 1822, William 1754 - 1793 and Joseph 1758 - circa 1800. Humphrey in his will of 1793 left land, dwellings at Lane Head and his tools to his surviving sons John, Thomas and Joseph and legacies to his daughters.

John [1740 to 1808] was described in 1765 as a locksmith in the Bushbury church marriage records. Professions were not usually given in the marriage records of this period so it may indicate he had status in the community William [1754 to 1793] moved from Lane Head to Kidderminster in 1765, Darlaston in 1766 and then to Wednesbury between1767 and 1769. William's sons who started the Tipton branch of the family, became coal miners and canal boat builders.

In the early 1800's there were 6 major Tuckley family groups involved in lock making in the Lane Head, Short Heath areas of Willenhall. They had large families and most of the people with name who are still living in the Black Country area are their descendents :-

Sons of John and Mary Tagg :-

John [1766 to 1837]
Thomas [1773 to 1827]
William [1785 to 1850]

Sons of Thomas and Phoebe Hartill ;-

Joseph [1775 to 1854]
Humphrey [1778 to 1853]
Isaac [1789 to 1870]

All are listed in Trade Directories for 1833, 1838, 1845.


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John Tuckley's Family Tree Website Interested in the Tuckley Name, want to know more, or have something to add? Please get in touch with me HERE.