Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Twenty Images : 3. Booth Denton - The Grocer Of Mirfield

If you spend your life digging in the genealogical allotments of ephemera, you learn to welcome an unusual name. You can keep your "John Smiths" and your "Tom Browns" : give me a "Roderick Trencheon-Philpotts" any day. Or, more specifically, give me a Booth Denton - which is the name pencilled-in on the reverse of this Victorian Cabinet Card. I bought it because it comes from a local Huddersfield studio (Sellman & Co), and because it features a beard you ignore at your peril. A little spade work reveals that Booth Denton was a grocer from Mirfield (a few miles to the east of where I live) who was born in 1831 and died in 1894. He not only weighed out the tea, and parcelled up the cheddar cheese, he was also a bit of a pillar of the local community, who sought election to the local Board of Guardians on at least one occasion. He looks a formidable character - you wouldn't be too keen on going back to the shop to complain that your butter had gone rancid, or your flour had mouse droppings in it.


  1. I don't know, Alan. As a local housewife, I'd be hard pressed to buy my cheese from this fellow. The first black, kinky hair and I'd walk to the next town for what he sold.

  2. As a member of the hirsute brotherhood, I greatly admire Mr. Denton's attention to tonsorial detail in managing the wave of his forelock, the curl in his mustache, and the crinkle in his bush. Clearly a man well acquainted with his barber on a weekly if not daily basis.

  3. I love these serious beards. I may stop trimming mine.


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