Locations

The Sheldon Tapestries

The Sheldon Tapestries marked an attempt by wealthy landowner William Sheldon and his son Ralph to create new rural employment opportunities through the development of new skills imported from continental Europe.

Sheldon fortunes take a downwards turn

Ralph Sheldon was fortunate not to have been drawn into the 1583 Throckmorton Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth and replace her on the English throne with Mary Queen of Scots…

A life blighted by the march of religious change

A first look at the life of Ralph Sheldon, whose days were dogged by religious persecution and by greedy adversaries who cast envious eyes over his vast wealth…

US descendants cherished John Sheldon’s memory

Back in 2006, seventh-generation American descendants of an eminent Victorian entrepreneur and manufacturer embarked upon a pilgrimage back to the city of Birmingham…

The mysterious past of pen maker John Sheldon

John Sheldon was always vague about his age and background giving different dates and places of birth in numerous ‘official documents’ throughout his lifetime…

John Sheldon (1802-1863), pioneering manufacturer

John Sheldon was a pioneering manufacturer and innovator during the early years of the explosive growth in industrial capacity in the city of Birmingham. Innovators such as Sheldon were the catalyst for the rapid expansion of what was soon to become…

The complexities of Leicestershire mining

A more detailed look at the Sheldons’ involvement in the Leicestershire coalfield, which began during the reign of Henry VIII and lasted for another 200 years. The methods were primitive but William Sheldon and his heirs certainly knew how to make their investment pay…

William Sheldon (1500-1575) Part one

William Sheldon (1501-1575) lived through one of the most turbulent periods of English history but had the good sense not to publicy commit himself to either side of the great religious divide that caused so many of his contemporaries to lose their heads…

1930s ‘Pretty Woman’ artist still in demand

Charles Gates Sheldon was a prolific and talented American illustrator whose ‘pretty woman’ stylised portraits in chalk pastels were much in demand in the 1920s and 30s. His work was initially distinctly Art Nouveau with a mix of Edwardian influences…

Philippa’s will that of a wealthy woman

Philippa did not survivie long to enjoy the fishing rights granted to her in the will of husband Ralph (1470-1546) as she died within two years of him. She had little land to bequeath, but she had many other valuable…

The details of Ralph Sheldon’s will

Ralph Sheldon of Abberton was a wealthy man; by values that apply in today’s world he would undoubtedly have been a millionaire many times over. Much of his wealth was inherited from his older brother, William…

Ralph Sheldon (1468-1546) the first coal king

The Sheldons had already acquired great wealth through sheep farming and weaving when Ralph Sheldon, quite late in life, acquired land at Cole Orton in Leicestershire in around 1533, possibly at the behest…