Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Charles Hancock

From Graces Guide

Charles Hancock (1800-1877) of the Gutta Percha Co and the West Ham Gutta Percha Co. Artist well-known for his animals.

1800 December 16th. Born at Marlborough the son of James Hancock, Senior. See Hancock Genealogy

1835 Exhibited painting at the Athenaeum. [1]

1841 Living at 21 High Row, Westminster (age 40), Artist. With wife Rebecca (age 32) and Charles, Junior (age 12), Thomas (age 8), Robert (age 7), Emily (age 4), Alfred (age 3) and Mary (age 1). [2]

1841 Charles Hancock patented a stopper made of resin for bottles.

1845 Charles Hancock, Henry Bewley, Christopher Nickels and Charles Keene came to an agreement to create a pool account from the proceeds of working several patents that they separately owned relating to resin goods in india-rubber and gutta-percha. Hancock commuted his share in the patent to a salary of £800 a year on a three year contract with the Gutta Percha Co.

1848 February. 'Mr. Charles Hancock, of Brompton, has obtained several patents for manufacturing it (gutta percha) into various articles, and that gentleman, in connexion with his brother, Mr. Walter Hancock, established a manufactory Stratford, 1845, and in the subsequent year other and more extensive premises were taken, situate in Wharf-road, City-road, London. Ultimately a company was formed, consisting of several gentlemen of wealth and enterprise, including Ernest Bunsen, Esq. of Upton Grove, in this county, (son Chevalier Hansen) and of the extent and operations of the company some conjecture may be formed from the subjoined statement. At the Stratford, as well as the City-road works, several powerful steam engines are in operation, and two have recently been added. About 80 persons are employed in the former place, in the manufacture of lathe bands and a solution for adhering percha soles boots and shoes. These works an: ostensibly under the management of Mr. Walter Hancock and Mr. E. Moore. The City-road establishment is the principal depot, where between two and three hundred hands are employed. The manager is J. Stathan (Statham?), Esq. of the firm of Statham and Bates, of Manchester. The experimental managers are Mr. C. Hancock, Mr. W. Hancock, and Mr. Bewley. The superintendent of the sole department Mr. Joseph Watson. The whole of the gentlemen selected for the above departments are well known in the scientific commercial world. The average sum paid each week for wages at the two establishments is about one thousand pounds, and the present returns, from the sale of articles, at least £500,000 per annum. The works are daily inspected persons of rank and distinction, and among the recent visitors we may mention the Rajah of Sarawak, Mr. Brooke. The gutta percha is a good substitute for leather, and has been long used for lathe bands. Most tin mill owners the manufacturing districts have substituted them in lieu of the old leather lathe bands; large numbers are weekly sent to Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, &c, well as Ireland and Scotland. Some oi the other articles for which inapplicable, are outer soles for boots and shoes, picture frames, walking-sticks, inkstands, door-handles, chess men, some surgical instruments, watch-guards, whips, flutes, floor-cloths, harness for horses, sword and knive handles, it is also suitable for obtaining fine impressions from coins, and is manufactured into a fine thicking used by milliners for lining ladies' dresses and bonnets, in lieu of oiled silk, also extensively used in hospitals for bandages, &c. Large quantities of gutta percha articles arc exported to Germany, Prussia, America, Holland, Belgium, and France; and the increasing demand for them has led the company to take other extensive premises in the Wharf-road, City-road, the occupation of the Patent Wood Fuel Company, and should only tithe portion of the articles now manufactured be brought into general use, gutta percha will form, no distant period, one of the most important items British commerce' [3]

1850 Charles Hancock, with the support of his family, established the West Ham Gutta Percha Co, on June 1, 1850 at Stratford in east London as a competitor to the Gutta Percha Co, with which he had been previously engaged.

1851 Living at 48 Milner Square, Islington (age 50 born Marlborough), Artist Painting, Gutta Percha Manufacturer employing 933(?) men. With wife Rebecca (age 43 born Medmenham, Bucks) and children Walter (age 20 born Aylesbury), Gutta Percha Manufacturer; Thomas (age 18 born London), Mould Carver; Mary R. (age 10 born London) and Charles J. (age 1 born Brompton). One servants. [4]

1861 Living at Islington (age 60 born Devizes), Gutta Percha Manufacturer. With his wife Rebecca (age 52 born Medmenham, Bucks) and their children Thomas (age 28 born London), Literate author (?), Frances Emily (age 24 born London), Mary Rebecca (age 21 born London), Francis William (age 18 born London), Clerk, Laura Elizabeth (age 15 born London), and Charles John (age 11 born London). One servant. [5]

1871 Living at Quadrant Road, Inner Circle, Islington (age 70 born Marlborough), Retired Gutta Percha Manufacturer. With his wife Rebecca (age 62 born Buckinghamshire) and their children Frances Emily (age 34 born London), Francis William (age 28 born Knightsbridge), Alice Langley (age 23 born Brompton), married, and Charles John (age 21 born Brompton), a Jeweller. Also some grand-children and one servant. [6]

1877 July 30th. Died at Blackheath

1877 August 3rd. Buried at Brompton Cemetery


Query - is this the same person as above?

CHARLES HANCOCK was born about the year 1795; the exact date cannot now be ascertained, nor are there available any particulars concerning his antecedents, belongings and place of birth.

The exhibition of a picture at the Royal Academy in 1819 gives us our first clue; that year discovers Hancock, then a young man of about 24 years, residing at 55, St. James's Street.

He won this first success with a portrait of "Mr. J. Hancock," a near relation, no doubt, of his own.

His name does not occur in the Royal Academy catalogue of the following year; but at the exhibition of 1821 we find him represented by "The Broken Teapot," a title which suggests that his artistic tastes took first a direction domestic rather than sporting.

At this latter date he was residing at Marlborough, in Wiltshire, and thenceforward until the year 1830 he would seem to have had no fixed abode: he dwelt sometimes at Marlborough, sometimes at Reading, and sometimes at High Wycombe, his London address being given as "Messrs. Tattersall's, Grosvenor Place," through which firm his dwelling-place was always to be discovered.

Between the years 1819 and 1847 he exhibited at the Royal Academy twenty-three works; and though these no doubt include many of his best efforts, it is noteworthy that the portraits of racehorses (a class of work which formed one of his specialities) are not represented among them.

He did not confine his exhibits to the Royal Academy; fifty-five paintings from his easel were shown at the British Institution, and forty-seven at the Suffolk Street exhibitions; he also contributed occasionally to other London galleries.

Though we find Hancock residing at Marlborough in 1821, it was not until 1825 that he turned his attention to animal subjects and sporting scenes.

At one period of his career, indeed, it would seem that Charles Hancock shared with J. H. Herring the distinction of being the fashionable painter of winning horses on the turf.

In 1832 Charles Hancock exhibited two pictures at the British Institution

The expression "very rising artist " was never more happily used, as that year saw the beginning of Hancock's vogue as a painter of the best race-horses of the time.

No record exists to show the exact date of Charles Hancock's death. His active career as a painter can be traced from 1819 to 1847, the period during which he contributed to the Royal Academy, but there is reason to believe that he attained the age of sixty, in which case it would seem that his brush lay idle in his later years.


  • Charles, Junior (c1829 - )
  • Walter (c1831- )
  • Thomas (c1833- )
  • Robert (c1834)
  • Emily (c1837- )
  • Alfred Hancock (1838- )
  • Mary R. (c1840-)
  • Charles J. (1840- )

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Berrow's Worcester Journal, Thursday, July 23, 1835
  2. 1841 Census
  3. Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 04 February 1848
  4. 1851 Census
  5. 1861 Census
  6. 1871 Census