Records of T. Grace, builder, of Quainton, 1885-1940, and other miscellaneous records relating to Quainton, 1680-1781
These records illustrate the activities of a small jobbing builder in the last part of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of this. The ledgers, and in particular the labour and materials books, provide a great deal of information about both the firm's labour force and the work undertaken, and would allow a fairly detailed analysis of the nature of the business. From the places mentioned in these papers it would seem that Tom Grace worked mainly in the north west of the county, from Ashendon in the south to Radclive in the north. For a list of buildings in Quainton erected by Grace and notes on buildings mentioned in item 1 and 2 see item D/165/23.
D/165/1 - 5 Ledgers and payments books 1904-1931
D/165/6 - 8 Labour and materials books 1885-1926
D/165/9 - 14 Work diaries 1909-1930
D/165/15 - 23 Invoices, correspondence and related papers 1907-1940
D/165/24 - 26 Misc. records unrelated to building firm including Quainton parish overseers' accounts, 1695-1734, and accounts for Shipton Lee Grange estate in Quainton, 1759-1781 1680-1781
Items D/165/24 and 25 were discovered by the depositor in a compartment in a brick oven attached to a cottage at Towns End, Quainton (Woodbine Cottage) in the 1930's. The King family are believed to have lived in this house for several centuries.
Administrative / biographical background:
The following notes on the history of the firm are based upon information supplied by Mr. H.C. Grace (the son of Tom Grace) and Mr. G. Rodwell. Tom Grace was apprenticed as a bricklayer to his uncle Charles King of Quainton, who inherited his builder's business from James King. At the completion of his apprenticeship Tom Grace left Quainton and emigrated to Canada. However he later returned and became a partner in his uncle's business, before eventually taking it over. Tom Grace died in 1935. See item 23 for further information.
Below is a summary list of the entries found in county directories relating to the firm.
1864 Joseph King; bricklayer
1883 Joseph & Edward King; builders
1887, 1891, 1895 Joseph King & Son; builders
1899 Edward King; builders
1903 Mrs Sarah Jane King; builder
1907 Tom Grace; builder
1911, 1924 Tom Grace; builder, contractor, house decorator and painter
1931, 1935, 1939 T. Grace & Sons; builders, contractors and house decorators