[The Newbury Coat.] To Robert Throckmorton Esq.re Buckland House Farringdon This Print respresenting the beginning progress & completion of an extraordinary undertakingto prove the possibility if Wool being manufactured into cloth and made into a coat between sunrise and sunset, which was successfully accomplished on Tuesday 25th June 1811, Is respectfully dedicated his most obliged and humble Servant John Williams Sand Steward to the late Sir John Throckmorton.
London Published by John Mitchell, 33 Old Bond Street.
Lithograph with large margins. Printed area 540 x 740mm (21¼ x 29"). A few creases in the sky.
A composite image showing a race to create a wool hunting coat from scratch in one day, held in Newbury Berkshire. The origin of the event was a comment made by John Coxeter, owner of Greenham Mills in Newbury to Sir John Throckmorton: 'So great are the improvements in machinery I have lately introduced into my mill, that I believe that in twenty-four hours I could take the coat off your back, reduce it to wool, and turn it back into a coat again'. Throckmorton calculated the time required for the various processes, accepting it could be done. Shortly after Throckmorton made a wager a thousand guineas that at eight o'clock in the evening of June the 25th, 1811, he would sit down to dinner in a well-woven, properly-made coat, the wool of which formed the fleeces of sheep's backs at five o'clock that same morning. A holiday was declared so the town could watch (greasy-pole climbing and fencing competitions can be seen to the right), and the race was on. Starting at five in the morning, Coxeter presented the coat to Throckmorton at 6.20, who put the garment on before over five thousand people, and sat down to dinner at eight o'clock in the evening. The sheep that provided the wool were roasted for the spectators. The 'Newbury Coat' is still owned by the Throckmorton family; an identical coat, made in a 1991 re-enactment, is in the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury.
[Ref: 31236] £850.00